Blackpool aviation firm signs staffing deal in Middle East

Gemma Walker of HeliSpeed
Gemma Walker of HeliSpeed

A Blackpool based aviation firm has signed a major deal in the Middle East.

HeliSpeed, based at the airport at Squires Gate, and Abu Dhabi Aviation have signed a two year agreement for pilot staffing.

HeliSpeed's Geoff Packer

HeliSpeed's Geoff Packer

It means that HeliSpeed will provide qualified and experienced helicopter pilots to support Abu Dhabi Aviation’s growing operations in the Middle East and beyond.

They will work on a variety of helicopter types, such as the AW139, the Bell 412 and the H135.

HeliSpeed’s chief executive, Geoff Packer, said: “We are proud to become a close partner of an organization as professional as Abu Dhabi Aviation, and to support their operational growth plans with tangible flex staffing solutions.”

A spokesman for Abu Dhabi Aviation said: “Abu Dhabi Aviation is pleased to enter into a long term agreement with HeliSpeed in support of its growing needs for qualified pilots.

“HeliSpeed’s business model has been instrumental in allowing us to adapt our capacity quickly and efficiently, giving us the flexibility we need to satisfy our customers.”

With its proprietary pilot management database, HeliTrax, HeliSpeed is able to respond to operators’ needs globally, on more than 83 types of helicopters. It supplies contract pilots for missions ranging from ferry flights and flight tests, to longer term commitments in offshore transportation, VIP transport, plus search and rescue and emergency medical services operations.

Abu Dhabi Aviation is the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East based in the UAE, employing more than 1,200, operating and maintaining in excess of 50 helicopters and a fleet of Dash 8 Aircraft worldwide.

Meanwhile, HeliSpeed’s operations director Gemma Walker has been championing the cause of women in the aviation sector.

Gemma, 30, has been speaking at Fylde coast schools to illustrate the range of careers in the sector and was invited to Parliament to take part in the for the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Seminar.

She said: “I spoke at Aspire Academy and Heyhouses Primary, and am now a Mentor for Young Women in Aviation. There is no reason why women should not have a successful career in the sector.

"There is a whole world of opportunity out there and if I can inspire even one person to a career then I will be delighted.”