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Denendeh Helicopters secures five-year fire contract

March 31, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

March 31, 2011, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Discovery Air Inc. subsidiary Great Slave Helicopters Ltd. is pleased to announce its majority aboriginal-owned partnership Denendeh Helicopters Ltd. has been awarded a five-year contract to provide firefighting support and suppression services out of Hay River, N.W.T.

Denendeh Helicopters brings together the investment arms of K’atlodeeche First Nation, of the Hay River Reserve, and the Deh Gah Gotie First Nation, of Fort Providence. Yellowknife-based Great Slave Helicopters – Canada’s second largest VFR helicopter company – owns a minority stake.

“This is a great win for us and the entire team at Denendeh and Great Slave Helicopters,” said Chief Roy Fabian, Denendeh Helicopters President. “This
contract is a tremendous source of pride for our people as we work together to protect residents, tourists and their property from the annual threat of wildfires.”

The five-year deal, valued in excess of $2 million if the expected hours are flown, will see Denendeh Helicopters supply one firefighting purpose-built Astar 350 B2 helicopter and the related flight and maintenance crew to the Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“We’re extremely happy to have again been awarded this contract and it is a clear reflection of our expertise and proven track record working to support the territorial fire crews,” said Chief Joachim Bonnetrouge, Denendeh Helicopters Vice President. “Our aboriginal-controlled Denendeh Helicopters has been the leader at conducting this sort of work since we created our partnership with Great Slave Helicopters in 1998.”


In addition to the NWT, Great Slave Helicopters, its subsidiaries and aboriginal partners currently service forest fire contracts in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, and provide back-up support in B.C. and Yukon.

“The local Northern benefits associated with this contract in Hay River are sizeable,” said Jeff Denomme, President of Great Slave Helicopters. “From crew positioning flights to ground support vehicles, we strive to maximize the amount of money earned through this contract flowing back into the local economy.”

Denendeh Helicopters also owns two helicopters that are servicing the mineral exploration industry this summer.


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