HAI International Tuesday: Coldstream Helicopters Ltd. - Canada

Paul Smith Top Story

Coldstream Helicopters is a privately held Canadian company that provides commercial helicopter solutions to the public, industry, and government. Coldstream continues to support the forestry, mining, petroleum, utility, and tourism industries through innovation, technology, and experience.

Company History and Inspiration

Coming from a humble background, Coldstream owner and president Robert Gallagher started his love of helicopters back in the early 1970s. Growing up around mountaineering legends like Hans Gmoser, Jim Davies, Gary Forman, and his father, Lloyd “Kiwi” Gallagher, Rob has helped shape a company founded on the principles of hard work, dedication, and a love for the mountains.

Rob has been actively flying since 1991, with ATP ratings for both fixed-wing and helicopters and is a Transport Canada check pilot. He has 12,000+ hours of helicopter flying time and brings a wealth of experience in production long-line, logging, mountain flying, heli-skiing, fire suppression, VIP transport, IFR operations, and search and rescue.

Coldstream pilots average more than 9,000 hours of flying experience. With a focus on mountain and long-line operations, company pilots undergo thorough flight training to ensure that flight standards are met. Company training is comprehensive, covering all operational areas including emergency, recurrent training, and customer requirements.

Maintenance is key to safe helicopter operations, so regular and recurrent training for Coldstream’s aircraft maintenance engineering personnel covers safety, human factors, and appropriate factory and type training for the various models.


Aerial construction. Coldstream supports the aerial construction needs of a variety of demanding industries, including oil and gas, mineral exploration, hydro/utilities, forest management, and construction.

Heli-Skiing. The combination of abundant snowfall, cool temperatures, and regular breaks in weather systems make British Columbia ideal for heli-skiing and snowboarding. Using a helicopter to access vast expanses of terrain in order for our customers to ski untracked snow is our specialty.

Emergency Services. Coldstream is equipped to provide emergency helicopter services from its bases throughout British Columbia and Alberta, and to mobilize aircraft to respond to incidents anywhere in the world. Crews are specialized in mountain rescue, fire suppression, search and rescue, and disaster services.

Oil and Gas Air Support. Services include mountain flying operations, heli-portable seismic, heli-fracking, and wireline support, among others.

Orchard Protection Services. Coldstream is equipped to provide rain and frost protection services from its bases throughout the Okanagan. We are also able to mobilize aircraft to respond to requests anywhere in the region.

Motion Picture, Sports, Film, and Television. Coldstream camera systems feature Cineflex, Westcam, and Eclipse technology, and our staff have experience supporting the filming of numerous movies, TV shows, and commercials.


The Coldstream fleet includes the following models:

  • AS 332L/L1 Super Puma
  • Bell 206B
  • Bell 212 HP + BLR
  • Bell 407 VIP.

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