The visionary idea was to create a helicopter division with the purpose providing for the needs of incorporating this kind of aircraft into ENAP Magallanes’ Off-Shore operations, located at the eastern mouth of the Magellan Strait. Thus, DAP Helicópteros Off-Shore is born.
Since then, the main operation base has been located at the northern riviera of the Strait, in the town of Posesión, northeast from Punta Arenas, where administration offices are located.
In its origins, the company brought an AS-355 Twin Star F2 unit, with CC-CMV plate. Short time after, and considering the satisfying results of this aircraft, ENAP decided with an international bidding process, to five DAP the full coverage of their helicopter operations. Following this it was necessary to incorporate two more aircraft. This way, in 1992 came CC-CIN AS-355 Twin Star F1 and CC-CIM AS-355 Twin Star F2 helicopters. Later on, CC-CIB AS-355 Twin Star F2 was incorporated in 1997, and in 2003 CC-CIK aircraft of the same kind.
In 1996 DAP started providing this service for SIPETROL in Argentina, the international filial to ENAP. For this, it based CC-CIB permanently at BRM base, located near the Vírgenes Lighthouse, eastern exit of the Magellan Strait. This way, DAP Helicópteros Argentina is born, a company legally established with Argentinean personnel.
In the year 2003 the company incorporated five new BO-105 helicopters, of which, CC-CHM, CC-CHN and CC-CHR were destined exclusively to the service of the then recently created AeroRescate, with its Center Base at Lomas de Lo Aguirre, km 11 of Route 68 in Santiago, Chile. CC-CHK and CC-CHQ, instead, were destined for AeroRescate’s South Base at Prat Dock in Magallanes.
At the vanguard
On December 2005, DAP Helicópteros initiates its first Antarctic campaign, positioning helicopers on the White Continent. This successful initiative, together with the strong growth in air services for the tourism industry (Torres del Paine and other national parks of the Region), and providing the service of transporting canal practicals (for ships crossing the Magellan Strait) were some of the activites that cemented the path for DAP Helicópteros to become a company at the vanguard, creator of new business areas for the national industry, and maintaining in such manner the innovative, creative and pioneer spirit that is characteristic of Magallanes’ people.
Consolidating these operations was only possible by working closely and with full support from the General Civilian Aeronautics Direction (DGAC), which had to generate, in some cases, new normative to regulate some of these new flight activities.
As a result of a continuous and successful operation, in the beginning of 2007 the company purchases an EC-135 helicopter, plate CC-CCA, destined primarily for Off-Shore activities in Argentina. At the end of 2010, DAP Helicópteros incorporates four more BO-105 units: CC-ACM, CC-ACN, CC-AEI and CC-AEJ, all of them equipped and configured as air ambulances, to increase the service fleet of AeroRescate.
Finally, in January 2011 a modern AS-350 B3 helicopter, CC-AEK, was incorporated into the fleet. This multipurpose aircraft is specially adapted for the desert and heights of Chile’s north. This helicopter is equipped to satisfy the service needs of the mining industry in the north, industrial needs of the center zone, energy and aquiculture of the country’s south, amongst others.
With these aircrafts, during 2011 DAP achieved a total AeroRescate and DAP Helicópteros coverage of the country, from Arica to Antarctica.
The company carries out a careful selection of staff, mainly of its pilots and mechanics, as the aircrafts need to permanently be in excellent operative condition, something that has awarded us an extraordinary level of safety and reliability in our activities. Each of our pilots has an average of 8.736 helicopter flight hours, achieving over 150.000 in total. To cover the need of night or instrumental flights, pilots have IFR flight habilitation, and are controlled every six months by the DGAC with practical instrumental flight exams.
90% of large mining companies use our services
The company has an SMS specialist Safety Advisor, people in charge of Quality Management System, as well as ISO certification 9001:2000, and a Department of Instruction and Technical Training. The company has been successfully audited by Hart Aviation, BARS FSF, Aviateq and international aeronautic authorities such as ANAC. This shows the achievement of international standards backing DAP Helicópteros in its ability to provide services for companies such as BHP Billiton, Repsol YPF, Barrick, Yamana Gold, Antofagasta Minerals, ENAP, Sipetrol, CGE, IIATO, United States Government, Argentina and Chile Presidency, amongst many others.
In regards to our maintenance personnel, we have mechanics with over 30 years of professional experience, in and out of Chile, with courses in France, Brazil and USA. The company, after 25 years operating, can count over 100.000 flight hours, 1.023.056 passengers, 24.820 tons of transported load, and over 528.100 take offs and landings without an accident that put any passengers or crew at risk.
For this impressive amount of flight hours, specially on board model AS-355, Eurocopter has recognized us as “Reference Fleet”, which makes us very proud. Moreover, DAP Helicópteros has been recognized by the Helicopter Association International in 2011, Orlando, USA, for its notable operation and positioning.