Aircraft a first for Fiji

Elite Aviation's eight fleet Bell212 medium helicopter on its way to Nadi. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Elite Aviation's eight fleet Bell212 medium helicopter on its way to Nadi. Picture: JONA KONATACI

A LOCALLY owned aviation company has made a lucrative investment of more than $2 million in acquiring a medium sized helicopter to be used for commercial and relief operations.

A first for Fiji, the world renowned eight fleet Bell212 medium helicopter known for its multi-task capabilities was acquired by Elite Aviation — a newly established, wholly owned and operated Fijian business.

Company chief executive officer and owner Alaena Hill said the lucrative investment included specialist time and consultant work to achieve the landmark.

“The type of our eight aircraft fleet is known as Bell 212 and Bell 412 aircraft,” Ms Hill said.

“Depending on its configuration, it carries either 13 passengers, another carries four patients in stretchers and 15 minutes later it can be reconfigured for firefighting or another configuration for lifting up to 1.5 tonnes.”

Ms Hill added that this special aircraft would assist both tourists and locals in the country.

“From this operation, the locals and tourists will benefit from this,” she added.

“In reality, the time has come for transition in the aviation industry in Fiji and Elite Aviation is proud to be leading this transition by way of economical sustainability while maintaining the highest level of safety.”

She says Elite Aviation is still in the process of building the country’s first ever heliport.

“We are building the country’s first internationally standard heliport in Denarau with our partners Avoser,” she said.

“We will also be building specialist landing areas around the country to give our fleet the widest coverage of any operator.”

According to Ms Hill, the helicopter was brought in from Canada via Auckland after an intense selection process to ensure that the company only brought in the very best and world renowned partners of helicopters, specifically the 212 aircraft.

“Wildcat Helicopters were chosen as our aviation partners for their world leading expertise and global deployment capabilities,” Ms Hill said.

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