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Helicopter service for northern Manitoba announced

March 21, 2012  By The Winnipeg Free Press

March 21, 2012, Winnipeg - An aboriginal business group has announced a joint partnership to provide northern Manitoba with helicopter services.

The new helicopter service will provide services in northern Manitoba for Manitoba Hydro, federal and provincial governments, mining and resource exploration companies and other business concern.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, the northern chiefs council that represents 30 northern First Nations announced the deal between its business development arm Wabung Development Ltd. and Custom Helicopters.

Custom is the charter service that operates the MKO Santa Express every Christmas season.

MKO will own 51 per cent of the new company to be called Piminawin Ltd and Custom the other 49 per cent.


"This partnership will allow the MKO First Nations in partnership with Custom Helicopters to capture the (northern) helicopter services market," MKO Grand Chief David Harper said in Winnipeg.

Manitoba Ojibway Hollywood actor Adam Beach lent his star power to the announcement by attending the event.

"There is a line we use on Arctic Air: ‘We are the lifeline for these communities.’ This is the same situation here with MKO First Nations," Beach said.

The actor currently plays the lead in the CBC TV series Arctic Air, a series about a northern airline in Canada’s Arctic.

Future plans call for the new company to train northerners interested in helicopter careers.

No date was announced for the launch of the new chopper service.


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