On the move

A HELICOPTER company is seeking the go-ahead to open a new servicing base.

An application has been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council by PDG Helicopters to build a hangar, helipad and car park at Insch Business Park.

The company has operated from a site at Kintore since 1992 but moved out at the beginning of last month and it is based temporarily in a hangar at HJS Helicopters at Peterculter, near Aberdeen, while the outcome of the planning application is determnined.

Deputy manager Matthew Thomson said the proposal for Insch was for a helicopter “garage”.

He added: “We have applied for full planning permission for a helicopter hangar, helipad and associated car park.

“It is our intention to be servicing about 20 helicopters. ..it will be very much what you would described as a garage for helicopters.

“It will not be used for pleasure flights and we will be handling privately-owned helicopters.”

The company plans to be servicing Robinson R22, R44 and Bell 206 helicopters.

The owners will bring their helicopters in for maintenance and then fly them out.

The company reassured the local community it had nothing to fear over noise and envisages an average of five flights a week.

Mr Thomson said they were aware that people would be worried by noise but they had put careful consideration into the choice of location for the business.

He added: “We believe Insch to be the right choice for us. We are a small but well-established company and have a growing reputation.”

The firm has a team of four - three engineers and a technical assistant. The Insch base would be one of several PDG has throughout the UK, with a head office in Inverness.

The deadline for public comment on the application is Thursday, March 22.

Councillors on the Garioch Area Committee are expected to discuss it in the next few weeks.