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Ecocopter Paints a Vision for Latin America

Posted 5 years 201 days ago ago by Admin

Probably the first thing noticed in this article’s photos are the paint jobs on Ecocopter’s H125 helicopters, Much of their artwork is admired on social media for its intriguing and avant-garde style, but the fact is that operator Ecocopter, is intriguing and avant-garde itself.

Ecocopter is a Chilean company born 15 years ago with the vision of providing a different type of service in their region of the world. Born with a single helicopter, they were pioneers, providing the first EC130B4 in Chile for private use. As changes occurred, especially in the mining sector, they began to provide air services to industry. Then, after having success, an AS350B3 was purchased. After the aerial sector for industry continued to grow, the next logical step was to buy four helicopters to start Ecocopter’s fleet.

Today they have 15 helicopters: 12 H125s  (two new ones will arrive by September) , two EC135s, and one H145. This fleet currently flies  missions in external cargo, passenger transport, the mining industry, offshore transport, construction of high-voltage lines, photography and aerial filming, forest fire fighting, and EMS.  The company has various international certifications, such as ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, and BARS (Basic Aviation Risk Standard)-Gold.

Established in Santiago de Chile, Ecocopter also has bases in Puntarenas, Chile, and Lima, Peru. In Puntarenas they serve a long-term contract that began in 2014 for offshore operations, where they fly the EC135 VFR and IFR. They opened their Lima offices in 2009 with operations based in Ayacucho, Peru, where in a strategic alliance with Erickson they use two Skycranes helicopters in the Peruvian jungle. They also use their Peru assets in Chile for firefighting.

Company Culture

Ecocopter differentiates itself from other companies in the region by serving their client’s specialized needs with social responsibility programs  that strengthen the populations where they work. They leave their mark in communities by providing public services such as aero-medical evacuations, engaging in lectures at local schools, and motivating children to grow in aviation and science.

Ecocopter has more than 100 employees: 24 are pilots, 33 are maintenance and ground staff, with the rest divided between administrative and managerial staff. Commercial Manager Armando Weinberger says everyone on the  team is very committed to their jobs, from managers to cleaning staff. The company culture is a very pleasant work environment where all employees are respected for their roles. From its beginnings, Ecocopter has emphasized flexibility and adaptability while maintaining a consistent  work environment. For example, contrary to what is common in the region, they have implemented fixed salaries for pilots. In Latin America, many operators pay a basic salary plus pay for flight hours with the idea of reducing overall pay. This practice increases the pressure on pilots to take more risks. Ecocopter proactively countered this standard by giving stability to its crew with its full salary payment option. Additionally, they offer their crews annual compliance bonuses, which depend on performance evaluation as well as various work shifts. This allows the crews to be more relaxed and focused on their work.

Business Units

Seeing the diverse needs in the region and the market over time, Ecocopter has expanded its work capabilities in the types of missions they offer, but also by opening new business units in diverse aviation sectors.

With an authorized maintenance center, Ecocopter has expanded its business options by providing maintenance for its own helicopters, private clients, and even competitor’s aircraft. They are a Safran certified engine workshop up to Level 2.  Of course, they sell parts.

Ecocopter pilots and technicians were sent once or twice a year to receive training in Brazil or USA. Understanding the need to have their own training center, the company created its next business unit, named Ecotraining. Born out of a partnership with Frasca, it has two simulators, one for the EC135 and the other for the H125, with which they give training to their own pilots, as well as to third parties. The simulators are rated Level 5+  and are used for initial and recurrent training.

The fourth business unit is the newest and is called EcoDrones. As the name implies, they work with drones for applications in the mining, energy, telecommunications, and agricultural sectors.

Aircraft Art

Other large helicopter companies, sport an identical paint scheme across all their aircraft to make their fleet recognizable at first sight. Each Eccocopter has its unique design. This has the same result as the monolithic strategy because Ecocopter has become known for this attention-getting approach that creates a desire to learn more about what is behind each design.

Promoting science is part of the vision of  Ecocopter’s majority owner, who has a passion for the subject. Many Ecocopters display science themes to create interest and enthusiasm for scientific pursuits.  Children pay special attention and that’s part of the plan: Among Ecoocopter’s philanthropic efforts is the nonprofit foundation Ecoscience, that brings instructional programs to schools via a bus mobile laboratory where students experience science hands on.

Ecocopter’s science-themed  designs are Marine World, Charles Darwin, Entomology (insects), Blood in the Microscope, Mathematician, the Universe, Neuroscience, Paleontology (fossils), Geography, and Geology. They  also have had artwork about Leonardo Da Vinci. All designs are airbrushed by a renowned local artist. The vertical stabilizer of the entire fleet is painted with the Ecocopter logo.

Like science, Ecocopter has advanced throughout their history. Its vision for the future is to regionalize its services in South America and reach other countries  with helicopters, training, and drones. The sky is the limit to their innovative goals and growth.

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