By BOSORINA ROBBY
NATIONALLY-owned helicopter company, Helifix, expanded its fleet to five helicopters including two Bell 212 helicopters last week.
The 15-seater helicopters are on a lease-purchase arrangement and were bought from a helicopter company in Abu Dhabi, in the Middle East.
Helifix chief executive officer Robert Agarobe said the new helicopters would be used to carry out more work which clients want.
He said his company would also tap into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
Mr Agarobe saidthe arrival of the two helicopters was a “proud moment” for his small company from its humble beginnings in 1998.
As the first national aircraft engineer, Mr Agarobe’s dreams for his company is to be truly national and to promote nation-building by living up to their motto of “doing our bit in nation building”.
He said though the aviation industry was the most difficult industry to operate in, it was something he loved doing and so wanted to be a helicopter operator.
Mr Agarobe proudly said Helifix employed only Papua New Guineans and the pilots and engineers were all fully licensed and trained.
Helifix is currently training its first female helicopter engineer and trainee pilot.
Mr Agarobe said both exercises were expensive but he wanted the best, which was why he trains his employees.
“I want the Government to step in and assist me, but I will not wait for them … I will continue to do it all on my own.”
The company is currently in a joint venture with another helicopter company to build their capacity in terms of technical expertise lacking in PNG.
The Bell helicopters are being reassembled by the Helifix maintenance and engineer crew with help from two international experts.