Over the decades, CHC (the Canadian Holding Company) has steadily evolved through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisition.
CHC Helicopter has two distinct operating divisions; CHC Helicopter Services and Heli-One. The company was purchased by First Reserve Corporation in 2008 and is currently privately held. CHC Helicopter, in addition to its offshore oil transport operations and maintenance unit, is also the world leader in helicopter search and rescue, holding major contracts on two continents.
This growth was probably never imagined by the pioneers who launched CHC’s precursor companies, the same year that the first offshore oil well was drilled out of sight of land, in 1947. Around that time, Okanagan Helicopters started as a crop-spraying company, introducing the practice to British Columbia. Two years later the company, run by the legendary Carl Agar, developed the first skid gear for helicopters. In 1987, Okanagan Helicopters would become CHC Global Operations.
1947 saw the setting up of British European Airways which would become CHC's first UK subsidiary, British International Helicopters (BIH). CHC’s Norwegian entity also dates to 1947, when Hancke Morten began to indulge his passion for flying. By 1956, Morten had established the Oslo-based helicopter company that would become Helikopter Service Group. And as far back as 1945, a young man named Bob Schreiner was developing a business to trade aircraft and aircraft components in the Netherlands.
CHC was created in 1987 by Craig Dobbin who headed a group that purchased Okanagan Helicopters and Toronto Helicopters and merged them with his own company Sealand Helicopters, which he had founded 10 years earlier.
CHC has welcomed numerous other companies to the CHC group, the last major one being the Schreiner Aviation Group in 2004 – the leading offshore helicopter services company in the Dutch sector of the North Sea, and a key player in the Nigerian offshore industry.