The new head of Blackcomb Aviation says it’s an exciting time to be taking the reins of a company poised for further growth into the United States.
Jonathan Burke was announced as Blackcomb Aviation’s new president and COO on Tuesday (Jan. 29) following a long search in North America and Europe, said a release. He’ll have his first day with the company on Monday (Feb. 4).
In an interview, Burke said established success within the Sea to Sky, solid ownership from John Morris and the McLean family, and a team of workers that are “second to none in the industry” are what first attracted him to the new position.
“(The owners) are very focused on growing the business and taking the experience we’ve developed in places like Whistler, Pemberton, Squamish, etc., and taking that to the United States where there’s a significant need for the very specialized type of work our pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers have developed the skills to do,”
Burke said there is “limitless opportunity” in the Western U.S. for Blackcomb Aviation, which bases its helicopter operations at the Pemberton Regional Airport, particularly working in infrastructure development.
“That’s what we’re going to be focused on in our expansion into the U.S.,” said Burke.
The company is now operating south of the border as Blackcomb Aviation USA, setting up a base in Arizona to provide the same variety of flight and aircraft services currently offered in B.C.
“We’ve already acquired one aircraft in the United States and will develop more,” said Burke. “We’ll also ship some of our pilots down the U.S. for both training and ongoing work down there.”
Closer to home, Burke said plans are to continue expanding its Pemberton base, where all major maintenance work on its helicopter fleet is done.
“Pemberton is our home,” said Burke, noting that he’s excited to get to know the Spud Valley community better. “It’s a great place to live as well, so it has all the right ingredients to make it a great hub for our main maintenance facility, and that’s what we’re developing there.”