Since 1949, our yellow and black helicopters have delivered confidence and the guarantee of a safe arrival to more than 1 million passengers across the globe.
Over the years, PHI has pioneered many industry firsts. From our extraordinary history serving the energy industries to our innovative air medical services, we continue to build on our long tradition of meeting the evolving needs of our customers.
Here are just a few of our proudest accomplishments.
PHI got its start in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, with just three Bell 47 helicopters and seven employees providing helicopter transportation to seismic crews exploring for oil and gas in the marshlands of South Louisiana.
The Bell 47 D-1 was the first aircraft in our growing fleet.
As search expanded into the Gulf of Mexico with deepwater sites up to 200 miles offshore, PHI led the way, pioneering the basing of helicopter operations at offshore locations.
We were the first to design and construct offshore refueling facilities for helicopter operations.
The Sikorsky S-58 entered our fleet.
A few years later, the SA 316 B Alouette joined our fleet.
PHI established the world’s most comprehensive offshore radio network that tied our 15 gulf coast bases with six offshore bases.
We also pioneered the establishment of offshore navigation techniques and procedures through the creation of our own flight route structure, communications network and weather services, and became the only helicopter operator in the world with a helicopter-equipped Roving Maintenance Team available for offshore maintenance support.
PHI welcomed the Bell 206A into our fleet family.
PHI was the first commercial helicopter operator to log the historic milestone of 1 million flight hours, and the first to use electronic data processing for parts inventory control, maintenance and records.
The Bell 212 joined our fleet.
We simultaneously became the first commercial helicopter operator authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct “off airways” flight operations in the Gulf of Mexico, and the first to operate under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) conditions without the aid of autopilot systems.
We introduced the BO 105 and the Puma SA-330 into our fleet and logged the historic milestone of 2 million flight hours.
PHI surpassed 3 million flight hours.
We welcomed the Bell 222 to our fleet.
That same year, we became the first to pioneer the establishment of comprehensive training programs for our own pilots, mechanics and technicians.
PHI introduced PHI Aeromedical Services—now called PHI Air Medical—one of the fastest-growing providers of EMS helicopter support in the nation.
Simultaneously, PHI became the first commercial helicopter operator to log the historic milestone of 4 million flight hours.
The Sikorsky S-76 and Bell 214 joined our fleet, and PHI became the first to use the S-76 in air medical transport.
We reached the historic milestone of 5 million flight hours.
PHI was the first helicopter operator to exceed 6 million flight hours.
We were proud to keep stacking up the airtime, becoming the first commercial helicopter operator to log the historic milestone of 7 million flight hours.
PHI also became the first to design a specialty interior for rotary wing aircraft in order to allow for the installation of equipment to transport a mobile extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patient.
PHI, in conjunction with the FAA and one of our long-standing customers, commissioned the first Next Generation Weather Observation System (NEXWOS) in the Gulf of Mexico.
The BK-117 entered our fleet.
We reached 8 million flight hours.
PHI celebrated its 50th birthday.
PHI became the first commercial helicopter operator to log the historic milestone of 9 million flight hours and were the first to equip all our helicopters with life-saving night vision goggle technology.
We developed the Enhanced Operational Control program, recognized as an industry best-practice and adopted by the FAA industry-wide. We also pioneered the Aircraft Data Monitoring System and Line Activity Monitoring Program in the air medical industry.
We were the first commercial launch customer for the Sikorsky S-92A in the world, welcoming it into our fleet.
PHI was the first commercial helicopter operator to reach 10 million flight hours.
PHI added another first to the list: operating aircraft in the Gulf of Mexico using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast technology to provide instrument flight rules surveillance and control.
PHI added the AgustaWestland AW139 to our fleet.
PHI Century, a joint venture between PHI and Century Aviation, was formed in Ghana to establish Ghanaian aviation operations in support of offshore energy.
PHI Air Medical was established as an independent business unit with a footprint expanding across the US.
We continued our streak and became the first commercial helicopter operator to reach 11 million flight hours.
PHI Americas Ltd, a subsidiary of PHI, was formed in Trinidad and Tobago to support local Trinidad operations for some of our key multinational energy customers.
The PHI Australia Pty. was established.
We welcomed the H145 to our fleet and acquired HNZ.
PHI Air Europe was established.
PHI went through a restructuring process and is well positioned financially to continue to be the aviation provider of choice for many years to come.
Airbus and PHI announced a joint partnership in launching the H160 in the United States. We also celebrated the historic milestone of logging 12 million flight hours.
PHI established head offices for our Asia Pacific (APAC) operations in Perth, Western Australia, and in the United Kingdom for our EMEA operations to ensure proximity for key customers in those regions.