Western Australia’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy, Corrective Services and Industrial Relations, Bill Johnston, officially opened the Asia Pacific headquarters of global heli-aviation leader PHI Aviation in Perth on Thursday (25 August).
Speaking at the opening, the minister said that the opening of the global heli-aviation company’s new Asia-Pacific headquarters was “an example of what can be achieved here in Western Australia”, with PHI providing a raft of essential transportation services for the energy sector alongside its life saving work in support of the Australia Maritime Safety Authority and range of high-profile energy clients.
“We [Western Australia] are the logical base for people in the energy sector – and we’ve watched the growth of PHI here in Western Australia as you’ve picked up new contracts over the last few years. We’re really appreciative of the fact that you’ve decided to come here to Perth for your regional headquarters”, said Johnston.
PHI Aviation Managing Director Keith Mullett said that Perth was chosen as the regional headquarters because of its proximity to key customers and strategic growth and diversification opportunities in the region. The headquarters at 1100 Hay Street will oversee bases across Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines, expanding PHI Aviation’s global reach. “Our decision to expand in Western Australia was primarily driven by a strong focus on customer service, potential growth opportunities, and our priority on safety that requires key decision making on-the-ground. We see huge potential in the region”, said Mullett. “We are investing in the growth of our business – hiring more people, expanding to bigger premises, and bringing more helicopters into Australia. We are currently on a significant recruitment drive to fill approximately 50 vacant roles after having recruited 16 new people over the past 8 weeks in Perth, across our corporate head office, engineering and pilot staff. We expect to triple the size of our head office team in Western Australia over the next 12 months to service growth in Australia and across Southeast Asia,” he said.
Industry veteran Cory Latiolais, who has over 25 years of experience in the industry, has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) PHI Aviation (APAC) and relocated to Perth from the United States to take up his new role. Latiolais said that the company sees growth opportunities with oil and gas clients working offshore in Australia; in supporting renewable energy investments such as offshore wind; in offering advanced helicopter maintenance capabilities; and in air medical and search-and-rescue in regional and remote communities.
“We regularly provide support to Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and recently completed a number of critical rescue operations. We also see huge growth opportunities in the region in provision of mining support, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),” he said.
PHI Aviation’s global headquarters is in Lafayette, Louisiana USA and it also has an office in London, United Kingdom to service Europe, The Middle East and Africa – its EMEA region. PHI Aviation has been operating in Western Australia since 1980 and currently has operating bases in Broome and Karratha, with Exmouth due to start in early 2023. It has also operated in Onslow, Port Hedland and Truscott. Its customers include INPEX, Shell, Woodside, BHP, Santos, ENI and Western Gas.