Professional Helicopter Services (PHS) was established in 1981 and is the holder of Air Operators Certificate (AOC) numbered MB 059141 and Maintenance Authority No 1352.
PHS currently operates 30+ helicopters from bases in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon, with satellite training bases in South Australia and Brisbane.
Ron Newman, the founder of the company and now non-executive chairman, has been in the Aviation industry for over 55 years, first becoming a licensed aircraft engineer in 1959 and then a pilot in 1965. Ron has over 18,000 flying hours and has flown in all types of helicopter operations throughout the Southern Hemisphere, including several trips to the Antarctic.
Brett Newman is the CEO and Chief Pilot of the group and has been in the Helicopter Industry for 34 years. Brett has over 12,000 flying hours flying throughout Australia conducting all types of helicopter operations.
PHS has vast experience in all aspects of helicopter operations gained over the past 30 years. The company started as a training school in 1981 with one Hughes 300 helicopter that Ron and Brett re built in the garage of Ron’s home. By 1985 the company had bought its second Jet Ranger helicopter and held contracts with the Department of Shipping and Transport (AMSA) and State Electricity Commission (SEC). These contracts were held for over 10 years until the contracts ceased to exist when the agencies were privatised and their equipment modernised The company still operates for the privatised companies on an adhoc basis as formal contracts are no longer issued.
In the 1980’s the company also had a contract with the National Safety Council of Australia, conducting all its ab-initio and advanced training including IFR and Night VFR training.
Pilot Training – PHS is proudly Australia’s longest running Flight Training School and has one of the best safety records of any helicopter company in Australia. The company has trained many students from all parts of the world including Students and Instructors from the UAE Air Force, Oman Police, and Dubai Police Departments.
Tourism – Is another ever growing part of the PHS business. It started in the 1980’s when the company owned and operated a tourism, charter and cattle mustering operation in Kununurra Western Australia. This operation had 4 fixed wing aircraft doing tourist flights over the Bungle Bungles as well as a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter doing charter, scenic flights and mining survey work through Northern Australia and operated 5 Hughes 300 helicopter’s on cattle mustering. After PHS sold the Kununurra operation to a local company it commenced a tourism operation at Ayers Rock in 1991. This operation started with one pilot and one helicopter and now has 10 pilots, 3 buses and 5 helicopters in the peak season at Ayers Rock, with a satellite base now established at the Kings Canyon Resort. PHS carries over 17,000 passengers per year in its tourism operations, making it one of the largest helicopter tourist operators in the country. PHS also conduct Charter, Film and Survey operations throughout Central Australia from the Ayers Rock Base.
PHS is also proud to be the preferred operator for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Northern Territory Ambulance for medical evacuation and rescue in the areas surrounding its Northern Territory bases, including landings on the top of Ayers Rock.
Sling operations – Have been a large part of PHS’s operation over the years. The company has vast experience in all kinds of aerial crane work, conducting several of Australia’s first tasks, such as dismantling several 500 foot towers in 30 sections throughout Victoria, placing scaffolding onto the top of the Loy Yang Power Station cooling towers and carrying the roofing iron to the top of the same Power Station. PHS positioned most of the new generation Light Houses in Bass Strait and has transported entire houses piece by piece onto remote islands. PHS also pioneered the carrying of advertising banners under a helicopter in 1986 in Sydney Harbor.
Fire Fighting – Is also a large part of the PHS business commencing with contracts in 1985. The company still has contracts with the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) supplying 4 helicopters on 15 minute call throughout the summer fire season around Victoria. These contracts place high demands on pilot experience and training and require considerable logistical management throughout the busy fire season, when crew changes may be required as often as every 4 days. PHS has been reissued these contracts in 2010 which run until mid 2015. PHS has also operated extensively throughout NSW on Fire Fighting operations.
Mining and Survey Operations – PHS has operated in many parts of remote Australia conducting a variety of Mining and Government Survey operations including steam sampling and electronic and seismic surveys.
Film and Video Production – Is an area that PHS has specialised in over the years with credits such as Qantas “I still call Australia Home”, and Australian Tourism, both filmed in numerous locations around Australia, Jackie Chan – First Strike, The Man from Snowy River, Silver Brumby and many TV productions and commercials.
Major Events – Is an area PHS has been heavily involved in. The company has been the Aviation Consultants and Helipad Mangers for the Australian Grand Prix Corporation for the last 13 years. This has involved total operation of the helipad at both the Melbourne Formula One and Phillip Island Motorcycle Grand Prix’s, working closely with Government Authorities such as CASA and Air Services Australia in coordinating the aerial activities at the events. These operations require over 14 staff to load and unload up to 15 helicopters as well as operating scenic flights carrying hundreds of passengers over the events each day.
PHS has also managed and conducted the aerial co-ordination for all helicopter operation at the past 4 Avalon Air Shows, as well as operating 6 helicopters on Joy Flights at the event.
The depth of experience within PHS makes it extremely qualified to meet the requirements of any intended helicopter operation and shows its ability to plan and co-ordinate all types of helicopter and major event operations.
The company prides itself on the quality of its aircraft. All aircraft are maintained to the highest standards by our qualified staff using only parts purchased from authorised suppliers.
PHS is dedicated to conducting all its operations in the safest possible way. The Operations Manual, Safety Manual and OH & S Manual and company systems are designed to achieve the highest possible safety standards in all its operations.
In the beginning of 1999 PHS introduced an internal Audit, Safety, and Quality Assurance system. The company has a Quality Assurance Officer who conducts audits and cross-checks on all flight and maintenance record systems, ensuring that all aspects of the company’s operations are run to the highest possible safety standard, and within all CASA and aircraft manufacturers’ guidelines.
CASA has conducted several regular audits at PHS’s various bases since it introduced this system and has given written praise on the standard of the company’s operations. The comments from CASA after the 2011 audit stated, “PHS is an extremely compliant company”.
PHS has also undergone extensive audits on its Operational and Maintenance standards by independent auditors for its Victorian Government contracts, and by Flight Safety P/L to conduct operations for various Mining and Oil and Gas companies such as Santos Ltd.
PHS has very strict policies on the standard of pilots it employs. It is normal policy to employ pilots that it has trained whenever possible in order to maintain the high standards that it demands. As PHS is a pilot training school, most of its pilots are also Flight Instructors, adding to the safety standards of the company. On all of the previous and current contracts, PHS has received nothing but praise regarding the standard of its pilots, and their willingness to get the job done.
PHS policy has always been to never promise anything that it cannot deliver. It only employs above average pilots and staff, who have the attitude and personality to work with clients to provide the best possible service.
The company and its personnel pride themselves on the fact that they have held extensive contracts for long periods, some for over 15 years, and they encourage prospective clients to contact the State Aircraft Unit at the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Australian Airshow Foundation or Australian Grand Prix Corporation, to confirm the standard of service and operation it delivers.
PHS has over 30 years’ experience in Pilot Training and supplying helicopters to Government agencies and large companies, developing excellent relationships along the way.
The company has an excellent safety record, and has been audited and approved by independent companies as an acceptable operator for large corporate and Government agencies.
PHS is Australia’s longest running continually owned Helicopter Company and looks forward to working with you and providing you with a service that is second to none, that shows that our company name is exactly what we deliver.
Managing Director / CEO