Helideck Analytics acquires inspection service company HCA

December 2, 2014

Privately held Helideck Analytics Ltd. has acquired the Helideck Certification Agency (HCA), which provides inspection and certification services for offshore helidecks.

Alex Knight. Photo from HCA.

HCA is based in Aberdeen, Scotland and has satellite offices in Norwich, England and Bergen, Norway. It is responsible for the inspection and certification of all helidecks on offshore vessels and installations operating in UK waters. The company also provides services to major oil companies, platform constructors, helicopter operators, shipping registries, and national civilian aviation authorities worldwide.

Other HCA services include friction testing, specialist training and verification and consulting across all aspects of helideck safety.

HCA was founded in 1997, by the UK helicopter industry in response to increasing oversight by the UK regulator. Prior to its acquisition by Helideck Analytics Ltd, HCA had been jointly owned by subsidiaries of Bristow Group, Inc. and CHC Group Ltd.


HCA is managed by Alex Knight, Search and Rescue trained by the Royal Navy in the 1970s. Specializing in certification, regulatory and inspection, Alex sits on many industry committees and regulatory boards.

Helideck Analytics Ltd. is registered in Aberdeen and formed only a few months ago. It's led by seasoned helicopter executives David Lawrence Dobbin and Neil Menzies Calvert (CEO), both of whom are based in British Columbia.

David Dobbin served in various executive capacities with the predecessor company of CHC Group. David also led Canadian Ocean Resource Associates Inc., a consulting firm specializing in international best practice reviews in various sectors, third world institutional support, and public/private partnerships. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Good Times Restaurants Inc. and Small Island Investments Ltd. (a Bermuda corporation).

Dobbin commented, “Today marks the culmination of a lot of effort working within the helicopter community to ensure the continued safety of crew and passengers alike. This industry has a strong background of collaboration in an effort to do what’s right and we have a talented team in place, driven to continue building on that track record.”

Neil Calvert has held various executive positions in CHC Group and Heli-One, CHC’s maintenance, repair and overhaul services subsidiary. Neil is currently CEO of Amur Helicopter Financing Services, based in Vancouver, Canada.

Calvert said, “I am very pleased to both renew connections to Aberdeen and to be involved in a crucial part of the ongoing improvement of flight safety in the offshore community.”


Financing for the acquisition was provided by Praesidian Capital Europe, an innovative private investment firm, established in 2013 and based in London, focused on providing senior and subordinated debt along with growth capital to private lower middle market businesses in the United Kingdom, Germany, and selectively in Northern Europe.

Jason Drattell, founder, and Christian Heidl, partner at Praesidian commented “We are excited to be involved with the team at Helideck Analytics and HCA. A strong business model combined with real-world commercial helicopter experience positions them well for expansion.”

Baker Tilly’s Corporate Finance team in Aberdeen, led by Angela Toner and Ewan Grant, provided due diligence services to Praesidian Capital Europe ahead of the company’s decision to provide financing.

Helideck Certification Agency: www.helidecks.org

Related news:

Colloquy: Offshore helicopters, 3 November 2014 [market]

Total E&P awards CHC long-term North Sea contract, 28 October 2014

Ross Offshore gets NCS transport contract, 24 October 2014

HeliOffshore— new helicopter industry association launched, 21 October 2014

Helicopter review recommendations, 21 February 2014 [UK CAA]

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