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Mr. Paul Spring, winner of the Eurocopter Canada, “Innovation in Safety” Award


Helicopter Association of Canada, Vancouver, BC, November 9th, 2013

Eurocopter Canada presents the “Innovation in Safety” award to Mr. Paul Spring, President, Phoenix Heli-Flight Inc.

The 2013 winner of Eurocopter Canada’s Innovation in Safety Award is Mr. Paul Spring, President of Phoenix Heli-Flight, following a review of nominees by a helicopter industry committee.  Active in the industry for over 37 years, Spring is an early adopter of innovative safety management systems in Canada helicopter operations and a strong advocate for new safety monitoring technology.

Photo Credit: Heath Moffatt/Vertical Magazine

Paul Spring has more than 13,000 hours of pilot-in-command (PIC) time on single and multi-engine helicopters as well as fixed-wing aircraft and is also a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (AME).

In 1991, Paul Spring founded Phoenix Heli-Flight Inc. as a charter company in Fort McMurray, Alberta which has become the commercial focus of Canada’s oil sands industry.

As new international oil companies invested in Canada in the last decade, Paul Spring transformed the safety management culture at Phoenix Heli-Flight to align with the aviation safety guidelines of the International Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) and also acquired satellite-based communications, flight tracking systems and twin-engine helicopters.

An innovator, Spring introduced small compact and affordable Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring (HFDM) recorders in January 2008 to the Phoenix Heli-Flight fleet so the management could know exactly how its helicopters were flown. Spring now regards HFDM “as the most significant safety advancement in decades” and has openly shared his experience and lessons learned with helicopter operators around the globe.

Spring was a founding member the Global Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring Steering Group which was formed in 2010.  For the past three years Spring has made presentations on the benefits of HFDM to hundreds of industry professionals attending flight safety seminars presented by the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC), Helicopter Association International (HAI), European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST), International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and other OEM sponsored events.

Eurocopter Canada created the “Innovation in Safety” award in 2011 to help strengthen the industry’s understanding of superior safety practices and initiatives by recognizing a group, company, organization or agency that utilizes an exceptional or ground-breaking approach toward rotary wing safe flying operations.

“Safety is and will always be the number one priority. Reinforcing it requires changes on how we think and behave as an industry,” said Romain Trapp, President and CEO, Eurocopter Canada.  “We congratulate Paul Spring on receiving this award and for being such an advocate and industry leader in the field of safety.”

“I am honoured to be recognized for this helicopter safety award,” said Paul Spring. “I have always believed that even small helicopter companies working in remote regions have an obligation to implement effective training and safety programs for the benefit of their customers, employees and stakeholders.”

The award is given to a nominee whose business initiatives have demonstrated a great impact on the overall goal of safe flying operations, as recognized by examining skill development, training and any additional resources. The Eurocopter Canada Innovation in Safety Award winner receives a cheque for $5,000 and recognition at the HAC Annual Conference.

The winner is chosen through a committee selection process. The committee included Robert Erdos, Chief Experimental Test Pilot, National Research Council of Canada; Fred Jones, President and CEO, Helicopter Association of Canada; Matt Nicholls, Editor, Helicopters Magazine and Wings Magazine; and Mike Reyno, Photojournalist and Group Publisher MHM Publishing, publishers of Vertical, Vertical 911 and Canadian Skies magazines.

For more information on how to nominate future candidates for the ECL Innovation in Safety Award, please visit

About ECL & Eurocopter Group

Eurocopter Canada Limited ( is a subsidiary of Eurocopter. Eurocopter Canada based in Fort Erie, Ontario since 1984, has additional operations in Richmond, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec and a support and customer service network that spans the entire country.  Established in 1992, the Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 22,000 people. In 2012, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 6.3 billion Euros, orders for 469 new helicopters and a 44 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter’s worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports more than 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,780 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 148 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business.

For more information, please contact:

Eurocopter Canada Limited


Tel : (905) 871-7772

Mob : (905) 321-7738

Eurocopter Group


Tel: +33 4 42 85 59 64

Mob: +33 6 22 00 34 73

Eurocopter Group

Stéphane CHÈRY

Tel: + 33 (0)4 42 85 60 51

Mob: + 33 (0)6 23 93 71 23


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