Celtic Air Services offering helicopter rides again this year

PORT HASTINGS: Locals and visitors will have the chance to once again see an aerial view of Cape Breton thanks to the staff and management of Celtic Air Services.

“The helicopter is arriving June 2, and we’re taking reservations on-line,” said Dave Morgan, the president and CEO of the local company which runs services at the Allan J. MacEachen Port Hawkesbury Airport.

In addition to handling customers flying into Port Hawkesbury, Celtic Air Services will be offering helicopter tours out of Inverness and Cheticamp. Things are set to get rolling shortly after the chopper arrives.

“We want to take people up in the air to give them a different view of Cape Breton,” Morgan said. “We’ll be giving 15 minute tours for up to three passengers. We haven’t really advertised yet, so we’re just getting started with that end of it. We’re off to a good start.”

Celtic Air has a new pilot ready to fly the Robinson R44 out of Inverness on Sundays and Mondays and out of Cheticamp on Fridays and Saturdays. The rest of the week will leave the chopper open to attend special events and festivals. There’s also an opportunity for charter service that would allow flights to last longer than 15 minutes and move people anywhere over the island.

As things now stand, the service will be in place until November 12.

“The helicopter doesn’t get along too well with snow and ice,” he said. “We’ll be limited with what we can do during the winter, but there might be some beautiful days with clear skies and snow capped mountains. I think there’s an opportunity there too, but we haven’t had time to explore it yet.”

The helicopter service had a demo run last fall in a couple of Inverness County communities, and Morgan is happy to report the chopper was very well received. Hundreds of locals took advantage of the chance to fly.

“We were amazed at the response we had last fall, and the tours are only going to get better and better,” he said.

Celtic Air is providing the service by partnering with an operating company out of Ontario which runs Heli Muskoka. Having such a partnership is a great help, Morgan said, as it’s always good to have operational experts helping.

Anyone interested in reaching out to Celtic Air is welcome to visit the company’s corner of cyberspace at: www.celticairservices.com.