• Commercial


We specialise in most types of commercial and industrial work. Our fleet ranges from an EC120, several AS350 Squirrels, including heavy lift B3 Squirrel, which can lift loads of up to 1200kg, and our twin engine BK117s. Our skilled pilots are able to work with you to complete any commercial project, large or small. We have experience in a wide range of technical operations including aerial surveying, marine transport, avalanche control, fire fighting, photography and filming, construction and conservation assignments. Our crew and transportable fuel tankers make anywhere a flight base for your project.

Very safe. Very experienced.

With safety always our priority, our aircraft and equipment is modern and well maintained. Our pilots are experienced at flying in remote and challenging environments. We have Satellite Phones and reliable radio communication systems for remote operations. With our wide range of expertise, we are dedication to customer satisfaction and are proud to be the contractor of choice for both local businesses and large national organisations.

Our commercial and industrial work includes:

  • Gravel and concrete work
  • Frost fighting
  • Avalanche control
  • Department of Conservation work
  • Search and Rescue
  • Predator eradication/culling
  • Media support
  • Wire-stringing and support
  • Fire fighting
  • Supply drops
  • Photography and filming
  • Marine work

We are able to supply a wide range of equipment required for commercial and industrial operations. Precision flying is all part of the service.

Our equipment includes (but is not limited to):

  • Scoop net
  • Cargo pods
  • First aid kits
  • Concrete buckets
  • Night vision goggles
  • Night sun
  • Breeze eastern winch
  • Foam dispensing unit
  • Endurance fuel systems
  • Remote controlled gravel buckets
  • Collapsable fire buckets for monsoon work
  • Human sling equipment and stretcher
  • Emersion suits and offshore equipment
  • Long lines and strops with remote hook release
  • Thermal imaging equipment


Fire fighting and emergency

Fire Fighting

Southern Lakes Helicopters are fully equipped to provide a wide range of air rescue and other emergency services. In addition to providing Medivac and Search and Rescue assistance, we also assist with fire control.

Our skilled pilots can operate fire fighting equipment, including up to 1100 litre monsoon buckets with foam units. Southern Lakes Helicopter’s fire fighting role includes attending both large scale fires on rural or Department of Conservation land.

Other Emergency Services

As the only approved Search and Rescue and Medivac operator in Fiordland, we are always ready for a callout – 24/7. Our highly experienced and skilled pilots are able to operate a variety of specialist equipment to assist in any emergency situation.

These include:

  • Locator Beacon Tracking
  • Winch operations
  • Night Vision Technology
  • Long line offshore operations

Industrial and marine

We offer a wide range of industrial and marine charters throughout Fiordland, Southland and the Southern Coast and pride ourselves on high standards of safety, extensive knowledge and experience of the region, and commitment to customer satisfaction. Whatever your industrial or marine project, get in touch to discuss how we can help you achieve it.

Industrial Charters

Our pilots maintain a wide range of specialised technical skills. From heavy lifting to precision and formation flying our pilots have many hours of experience they will bring to your industrial requirement. Whatever your needs get in touch today and let us get to work on a solution for you.

Marine Charters

We have a long, established history of providing support to marine operations around the Southern Coast and beyond. We are capable of flying long range off shore, of up to 100 nautical miles (4.5 hours endurance).

We can assist with the transfer of live crayfish, relocate fishing crew and use longline buckets. Our pilots have experience of flying in some of the most challenging southern marine environments, supporting scientific research and wildlife management in the Sub Antarctic Islands and also working with Antarctica New Zealand at Scott Base regularly. We are able to supply and operate a wide range of equipment to complete your project efficiently and to a high standard.

Our marine services include (but are not limited to):

  • Live crayfish transfer
  • Fishing crew transfer
  • Transfer of equipment
  • Long-range offshore
  • Longline services

Film Locations Photography Work

We’ve had more than 25 years of experience working with the film industry and specialise in mountain flying, lifting, aerial filming and crew and gear transport. Our pilots have flown for companies filming in some of the most remote parts of the South Island and in offshore locations in the South Pacific and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

Our pilots have extensive experience using Continental, Tyler Wescam and Spacecam mounts and our helicopters are outfitted to suit individual film crew requirements. We have provided support to film crews working on large and small scale projects, often in challenging mountainous environments.

Staff at Southern Lakes Helicopters have extensive “on the ground” knowledge and information. We can recommend locally based specialist personnel to assist in the support of your filming operation. Work has included:

  • Feature films – Lord of the Rings, The Vertical Limit, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit
  • International Advertisements
  • Promotional filming predominantly in the Mount Cook, Southern Lakes and Fiordland regions
  • Offshore filming – Sub Antarctic Islands and New Caledonia
  • Television News
  • Nature History Documentaries
  • Relocation of support Crew

Photography Work

Our pilots and machines have the ability, expertise and flying skills required to have crated opportunities for photographers to capture numerous award-winning images in the following fields:

  • Wildlife
  • Adventure Sports
  • Landscape
  • Topography
  • Natural History
  • Aviation
  • News Media
  • Research