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and equipment. “We also provide search and rescue services
and medical evacuation services, particularly in world
regions that are without a sophisticated coast guard,”
says Duncan.
Indeed, Bristow provides comprehensive, safe and reliable
service – with particular emphasis on safety. While helicopters
provide a unique aircraft safety capability – as copter pioneer
Igor Sikorsky once said, “If you’re in trouble anywhere in the
world, an airplane can fly over and drop flowers, but a helicop-
ter can land and save your life” – Bristow is raising the safety
bar even higher.
“We’ve set very stringent standards for ourselves,” emphasizes
Duncan. “Our helicopters are not only very sophisticated, but
they’re also outfitted with advanced safety equipment.”
The proof is in the numbers. “On a statistical basis, helicop-
ter safety for offshore flying is about four times safer than other
commercial helicopter activity, and Bristow is even four to five
times safer when you statistically compare it to all offshore hel-
icopter business,” points out Duncan.
Bristow distinguishes itself from the competition in several
other significant ways. “Our size and business scope allows
more efficiency of scale in terms of purchasing, logistics and
supply chain,” indicates Duncan. “We’re able to easily move our
helicopters around the world where necessary. If one regional
market is depressed, we can move and deploy our aircraft in
other markets.”
Further, if an aircraft presents a technical problem, the com-
pany can replace it very quickly. Thus, Bristow can confidently
guarantee that energy industry workers get from shore to off-
shore and back again on time and in the safest manner. “Smaller
companies have far less ability to match our level of reliability
and responsiveness,” says Duncan.
Also, the company’s pilots can be deployed throughout the
entire operation, a large consideration for an enterprise that, with
its 350,000 annual flight hours, metaphorically helped shrink
the world.
And no matter wherever in the world a helicopter is airborne,
the company possesses the capability to track the aircraft from
its technologically sophisticated operation centers. “At any point
in the day, from anywhere in the world, we can tell you where
our helicopters are in the air,” says Duncan. “In some regions,
this can be done simply by calling the helicopter every 15 min-
utes, but we also have an advanced IT system network that is
specialized for our activities.”
In January 2010, Bristow changed its business structure and now
has an organizational model that involves global operations and
new business. “We operate in about 20 different countries and
further organized the company into five business units,” says
Duncan, who is responsible for new business opportunities (for
instance, wind energy installations).
The company’s structure includes businesses that are 100-per-
cent owned by Bristow as well as joint ventures. Businesses
owned by Bristow have 390 helicopters. Partners bring about
190 additional copters into the large fleet.
The five business units include North America (Gulf of
Mexico, Alaska and Canada); Europe (the United Kingdom,
Holland, Norway and Ireland); West Africa (Nigeria); Australia;
and International, which essentially covers everywhere else, but
particularly focuses on Brazil, Columbia, Trinidad, Mexico,
Libya, Egypt, India and Malaysia.
Pictured opposite: Bristow S-76C++ making final approach to crew
change passengers;
above: Bristow S-92 supports drilling and development in all major deep
water regions.