After the opening of the first EU certified heliport in Riga passenger port 50 skyshades had an amazing possibility to interview Aldis Pauga, the owner of Baltijas Helikopters.
Q.Aldis! Could you tell us more about your company history? What is Baltijas Helikopters?
We are pretty long time on the market. Since 2000 we have our AOC, which now is renewed according to latest EU regulations for special helicopters, as we are operating now Bell 429A. So our charter clients have now pretty big range of helicopters to choose from. Small Robinson or newest Bell. Certified service center for Bell and Robinson helicopters. We are Part 145 certified, so we are doing helicopter maintenance works and also for our neighbors – Lithuania and Estonia. I would say we are really Baltic – Riga, Tallinn, Kaunsa, Vilnius, Palanga. We also were offering helicopter PPL (H) pilot's license trainings, but I am not sure we will prolog this programm. We are independent representative of Bell Helicopters and Robinson. So as you see we are almost all in one about helicopters.
Q.Recent helipad opening In Riga passanger port – the initiative is private, or the governement also supportet it?
You are right. Riga Passenger Terminal invested in the creation of first certified heliportIt . Unfortunately due to some reasons the government supports us more mentally at this stage then financially. I will give you simple example – we were collaborating with the state programm to form helicopter pilots for Latvian Border Control. But now the porgramm is ended and this is one of the reason we are thinking if we will prolong the training license – there are not enought of private individuals who can afford training course to ger PPL (H). And we are private company, who must calculate and earn for take care of people working at BH.
Q.So what is main use of your helicopetrs? Charter flights?
Yes, that’s exactly what it is. Mainly VIP and regular charter flights. If you ask me if we have enough of them – I can tell you, honestly, I wish we have much more clients. We have full range to offer - Robinson 44, Bell 407, Bell 429A. So we cover all Baltics for charter flights. Choose the one you like and we take care of the rest.
Q.Do you plan furter develop the helipad network?
Absolutelly for sure! At the moment Baltijas Helikopters has 3 EU certified helipad in Jelgava, 1 in Riga ( in cooperation with Riga Passenger Terminal). To cover the country we need more. I would say 5 to 6 helipad needed. Existing 7 helipads in Latvia all are private. We have the rights to use some army helipads if needed due to cooperation agreement we have. But once again, it is important to build and develop helipad network.
Q.Are you involved in EMS and search&rescue operations?
No we are not. But in fact this is very sensitive topic. We dont have a dedicated EMS helicopter in our fleet. But we did some transportations ordered by private persons which I would call medical. However it is only transportation, in fact similar to charter, ordered and paid privately. This is the area where governement support and clear position is needed. It is huge domain where just private initiative is far not enough.
Q. So what is your plan for the near future?
I am a lucky man, who’s hobby is part of his business. So in the near future Baltijas Helikopters will work on realisation of our goals, step by step. You see, we have highly qualified people working in the company, able to offer quality and wide service. So now we have to do our best and keep growing.
Photos: Baltijas Helikopters and Evija Trifanova/LETA
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