The name may be new, the colour scheme and paint jobs on the helicopters are definitely new, but the company and the experience its crews deliver are certainly not. Northern Shield Helicopters is the rebranding of the helicopter division of Transwest Air, and has been delivering helicopter services to Saskatchewan for more than 50 years. It all began with a Bell 47G, and the company has maintained a Bell fleet ever since.
Transwest Air has rebranded its helicopter division to truly showcase its helicopter capabilities. Northern Shield’s eight high-tech helicopters transport people and/or cargo to inaccessible locations. It supports a wide variety of industries —taking oil and gas seismic crews and their equipment to exploration sites, delivering mining employees to drilling locations to assess development viability, and taking firefighters and their gear to forest fires. Northern Shield also rescues people in medical distress from isolated spots where planes can’t land and brings them to the nearest health facility.
The Northern Shield fleet is provided by Bell Helicopter, which is one of the largest helicopter manufacturing companies in the world. The fleet contains two Bell 206 light category units (capacity of four passengers and up to 1,000 pounds, or 454 kilograms), one Bell 206L4 unit (capacity of six passengers and up to 1,400 pounds, or 635 kilograms), three Bell 407 intermediate category units (capacity of six passengers and up to 2,500 pounds, or 1,134 kilograms), and two Bell 205 medium category units (capacity of 14 passengers and up to 4,000 pounds, or 1,814 kilograms).
The qualities of Northern Shield Helicopters are consistent with those of Transwest Air. This is a company that not only has the largest fixed-wing segment in the province with over 20 diverse planes (on wheels, skis and floats), but has provided reliable, safe and efficient flights for over 60 years — both scheduled and chartered, carrying passengers or cargo, for personal or corporate use. It is the company’s forward thinking that led to the creation of a redesigned passenger/cargo combination aircraft to service the needs of communities in northern Saskatchewan.
Recently, Transwest Air and Northern Shield Helicopters were purchased by Westwind Aviation. It is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Westwind. Westwind Aviation is 87 per cent Aboriginal owned and 13 per cent employee owned. Transwest Air and Northern Shield Helicopters were born in the north and are proud to continue serving people in the north.
For more information about Northern Shield Helicopters you can contact Adam Kaine, chief pilot and director of flight operations at 306-764-1404 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.