Canadian Helicopters announces extension of U.S. Air Force contracts

    MONTREAL, April 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Helicopters Income Fund (TSX:
CHL.UN) ("the Fund"), the largest helicopter transportation services company
operating in Canada, today announced the extension of its U.S. Air Force North
Warning System Contracts. The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that the contracts
have been extended to September 30, 2009, subject to delivery by government
authorities of final documentation. At that time, it is envisaged that new,
longer term contracts will be awarded
    Representing the continuation of a long-standing relationship with the
U.S. Air Force, this support agreement is comprised of three separate
contracts. Canadian Helicopters will operate up to nine medium and heavy
helicopters in providing transportation support to early warning radar sites
across the Canadian north. The aircraft will provide operation and
maintenance, construction and fuel re-supply support to the various radar
sites and will operate primarily from five locations. Five aircraft are on
dedicated year-round operations and four additional aircraft provide seasonal
summer support.
    The prime contractor is the Canadian Commercial Corporation, Canada's
international contracting agency, which focuses on government-to-government
contracting and procurement. The contracts are denominated in U.S. dollars and
are comprised of both monthly and hourly revenue components. They incorporate
revised pricing, which reflects cost escalations experienced on the former
    The North Warning System (NWS) is a chain of 47 unmanned radar sites
supported by five Logistics Support Sites. The NWS provides aerospace
surveillance of Canada and the rest of North America. Constructed between 1986
and 1992, they are part of the NORAD agreement between Canada and the United
States and are considered an essential element in guarding Canadian
    "Canadian Helicopters has provided transportation support to the North
Warning System sites for approximately 18 years," said Don Wall, Senior
Executive Vice-President of Canadian Helicopters Income Fund. "We are pleased
with this extension of our supply contracts, which signifies the ongoing
confidence the U.S. Air Force has placed in the quality of our services and
operations and we look forward optimistically to a successful fall renewal."


    Through Canadian Helicopters Limited, Canadian Helicopters Income Fund is
the largest helicopter transportation services company operating in Canada and
one of the largest in the world based on the size of its fleet. From over 40
base locations across Canada, Canadian Helicopters provides helicopter
services to a broad range of sectors, including emergency medical services,
infrastructure maintenance, utilities, oil and gas, forestry, mining and
construction. In addition to helicopter transportation services, Canadian
Helicopters operates three flight schools and provides third party repair and
maintenance services. With over 60 years of experience, Canadian Helicopters
is an industry leader in establishing safety standards and operating


    This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to the
future of the contractual relationship between Canadian Helicopters and the
U.S. Air Force. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks
and uncertainties, and actual results or events may differ materially.
Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance on such
forward-looking statements. In particular, the contractual relationship with
the U.S. Air Force may not be extended beyond September 30, 2009 and this may
have a material adverse effect on the Fund.
    The forward-looking statements relate to the date on which they were
made. The Fund disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise unless being required by applicable laws.
    %SEDAR: 00022513EF

For further information:

For further information: Jean-Pierre Blais, President, Canadian
Helicopters Income Fund, (450) 452-3007; Don Wall, Senior Executive
Vice-President, Canadian Helicopters Income Fund, (780) 429-6919

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