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Ontario First Nations get into helicopter business

June 2, 2011, Fort Frances, Ont. – A group of 20 northwestern Ontario First Nations are getting into the helicopter business.


June 2, 2011
By Fort Frances Times

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June 2, 2011, Fort Frances, Ont. – A group of 20 northwestern Ontario First
Nations are getting into the helicopter business.

Rainy Lake Tribal Development Corp. has joined Windigo Community
Development Corp. and Wasaya Group Inc. to purchase a majority
ownership of Thunder Bay, Ont.-based V. Kelner Helicopters Inc.

While financial details weren't disclosed, the three development
groups have purchased 51 per cent of the company.

Peter Moen of Rainy Lake Tribal Development says the deal means
profit-sharing and revenues returning to each of the First Nations
involved.

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Moen says the demand for helicopters in northwestern Ontario
stems from a variety of things, adding the fleet currently can be
used for a number of purposes.

This includes ministry use, corporate use, transporting drills,
surveying, and geotechnical work.

"The idea behind it was basically to capitalize on the different
opportunities that present themselves in (this) area," Moen said.

"It's an idea that we've been working on for quite a while, and
putting all the right pieces together," he added.

Three helicopters currently are in service, with a fourth one to
join the fleet later this year.

"We're looking at expanding it strategically," said Moen.

"We want to make sure that the core business is there first, and
then looking at purchasing subsequent helicopters throughout the
next five years or so and see how it progresses," he said.


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