Pipeline survey exposes small helicopter business to major projects
A large contract with Jemena to survey the route of the Northern Gas Pipeline means Northern Australian Helicopters (NAH) will be able to continue to grow, employing more staff and buying more fleet, including another $1.5 million long-ranger helicopter.
Operations Manager Dan Ward said the open-ended contract, which began in the middle of March 2016, would also expose the company to bigger projects and give them the confidence to bid for those big projects.
ICN NT’s resource co-ordinator, David Royle, became aware of NAH through its ICN Gateway listing, and when Jemena asked for expressions of interest for the project, contacted the company to gauge its interest and capability.
‘Their name came up thanks to their Gateway listing, and the fact they operated in the required regions,’ David said, adding that he was already aware of NAH as a highly capable commercial helicopter service.
‘Because of our relationship with them, we were able to help collect all the evidence to prepare the EOI.’
NAH was one of a number of companies put forward in the EOI stage and were eventually successful against an undisclosed number that were invited to tender.
According to David, a major factor in NAH’s success was its locality – the company already operated across all regions that the pipeline would traverse. But without ICN Gateway, and the effort put in by ICN consultants, major project owners are often unaware of the capabilities of locally-based companies.
And for David, who started at ICN about a year ago, this was his first experience as lead consultant promoting a local company for the NGP project, which made it even more rewarding.
NAH has been working full-time with Jemena surveying the pipeline route, between Mt Isa and Tennant Creek.
The first trip was a full photographic survey, involving an engineer and two helicopters. Other surveys have included checking for sacred sites, possible environmental issues in relation to both flora and fauna and archaeological evidence.
Once this burst of early activity finishes, the work will be more ad hoc.
While the company has undertaken a number of larger contracts since it began operation in 1993, Dan says this is a great boost for the regional business.
For more information about NAH, go to northaustralianhelicopters.com.au
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