15:21 | 30/04/2015 Companies
(VEN) - With 30 years of experience in providing helicopter services, the Southern Vietnam Helicopter Company (VNH South), a branch of the Vietnam Helicopter Corporation, has become one of the leading helicopter companies in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. VNH South is highly appreciated by domestic and foreign oil and gas firms for its exceptional quality and professionalism.
A 30-year journey
On January 31, 1979, a UH-1 helicopter with registered number 779, flown by Captain Nguyen Xuan Truong, successfully landed on the Dan Queen drilling ship, marking the birth of the Vietnamese helicopter service industry. Because of that successful first flight, on March 11, 1985, the Vietnamese Government decided to establish a helicopter company, called Petroleum Helicopter Company, and later renamed it Southern Service Flight Company, to support offshore oil and gas operations. In 2012, the Southern Service Flight Company was changed to Southern Vietnam Helicopter Company, organized as a branch of the Vietnam Helicopter Corporation.
At its establishment, VNH South had to cope with numerous difficulties due to the lack of equipment, insufficient helicopter fleet with only two Mi-8 aircraft received from the army, and a severe shortage of experienced pilots, technicians and staff. However, thanks to assiduous efforts and enthusiasm from all members of the company, VNH South has grown drastically and become one of the leading helicopter service providers in not only Vietnam but also Southeast Asia. Currently, the company owns and operates a modern fleet consisting of 20 fully offshore configured helicopters such as AW-189, EC-225, Super Puma L2, EC-155B1, MI-172, and MI-17-1V, as well as an integrated ground facility with world-standard runways, aprons, and hangar.
VNH South is proud to have provided more than 250,000 hours of absolutely safe flights over the last three decades. Highly qualified human resources are the main reason for the company to maintain its flight safety record. At the moment, the company is managing experienced pilot teams, composed of 40 pilots with more than 5,000 flying hours; 20 of whom have clocked up over 10,000 flying hours. Many of them have also flown for oil and gas firms operated in the North Sea, which required a very high level of competence. Moreover, VNH South has a team of skilled technicians who have received basic training in universities in Vietnam and other countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and France, and advanced training in world-class training centers such as Airbus Helicopters, Bristow, and CHC.
With the development in labor force, equipment and helicopter fleet, VNH South has always accomplished all of its duties and attained many successes in the business activities. Currently, the company operates 15,000 flight hours per year with more than 30 flights and hundreds of passengers every day. Not only providing passenger and cargo transport services, the company’s pilots can also implement other difficult and complicated task such as flare-tip replacement services for Cuu Long JOC (April 2010) and Premier Oil (June 2014). Because of the difficulty, this was the first service of its kind to be performed in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Furthermore, VNH South has taken the initiative in building its position in the regional and global markets by exporting helicopter services, leasing helicopters, pilots and technicians to work in overseas countries such as Norway, Malaysia, East Timor, and India. These activities have not only brought the company US$27 million in revenue but also helped it establish a good global reputation.
Along with business activities, VNH South has successfully fulfilled its tasks in the field of national defense and security. The company has ensured absolute safety in operating special flights for leaders from the Communist Party, the Government and the Ministry of Defense. It has also assisted Vietnam People’s Navy in training pilots and technicians, while at the same time completing its guard duty over the sea and contributing to protecting Vietnam’s sovereignty.
All for flight safety
To strengthen its position as one of the most reputable helicopter companies in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, VNH South continues to focus on improving its human resources and helicopter fleet to provide customers with absolutely safe flights.
At the initial period of its operations, understanding the importance of enhancing the company members’ competence, VNH South organized many training courses in Vietnam and abroad. In 1986, the first team of pilots and technicians were sent to France for training. In 1995, the company provided on-site training for six pilots, meeting all the requirements from international standards. This success marked the first milestone of the company in the field of internal training. Currently, VNH South still continues to maintain basic and advanced training for pilots, technicians and other staff members, and regularly sends them to overseas training courses in Singapore, the UK, France, and the US. The company itself also provides training for its pilots and technicians and those of other member companies of the Vietnam Helicopter Corporation as well as Vietnam People’s Army, making them capable of meeting strict standards specified in the Vietnam Civil Aviation Law and growing requirements of oil and gas firms.
In order to further improve its service quality, VNH South has invested in modernizing and persifying its fleet. In August 2014, the company received the fourth EC-225 helicopter from Airbus Helicopters (France). This coming November, it will continue to accept a new AW-189 helicopter manufactured by AgustaWestland S.P.A (Italy). The AW-189 is a twin-engine, medium-ranged helicopter that was designed based on the air-frame and transmission system of the AW-149 and the offshore aviation equipment of the AW-139 (650 units of which have been sold over the last 10 years).
For 30 years of operations, VNH South has made ceaseless efforts to develop and become one of the leading helicopter companies in Southeast Asia. For its enormous achievements and contributions to the helicopter service industry, the company has been honored to receive many noble awards from the Communist Party, the Government and the Ministry of Defense, namely Labor Hero in the Renovation Period, Second and Third-class Independence Medals, and First and Second-class Labor Orders. These awards and achievements will become a foundation and encouragement to pave the way for VNH South to further develop in the era of international integration./.
By Duong Nga