Columbia Helicopters Unveils a New Era for the Commercial Chinook

Aurora, Oregon: February 27, 2024 – Columbia Helicopters, a global leader in
heavy-lift helicopter solutions, announces a new development program to redefine
Chinook commercial operations worldwide. As the OEM of the Commercial Chinook,
the Model 234, Columbia plans to create a new model of super heavy-lift aircraft
through converting existing CH-47D Chinook aircraft. This development program,
named the 234 Special Purpose (234SP), leverages the existing Model 234 design
foundation, while retaining the legendary performance of the CH-47D. Coupled with
the planned Chinook Integrated Sustainment Program (CISP), these programs are
aimed at enhancing opportunity and support for commercial Chinook operators by
providing a fully FAA-certified transport category rotorcraft and providing unparalleled
affordability, readiness, and on-demand capabilities.

“Our introduction of the 234SP into the market marks a new chapter in Chinook
commercial operations,” said Mike Tremlett, President and CEO at Columbia
Helicopters. “We are thrilled to lead the way in unlocking unprecedented opportunities
for operators with this groundbreaking aircraft, enabling them to optimize their fleets
and achieve unparalleled performance and efficiency.”

The first customer of the 234SP is current CH-47D operator ROTAK of Anchorage,
AK. Ely Woods, President of ROTAK Helicopter Services, expressed enthusiasm for
this program stating, “We are excited to bring this new opportunity to the industry and
offer a new option for clients in the domestic heavy lift market. Our partnership with
Columbia and continued support has allowed a unique opportunity to change the
industry. We are proud to be the launch customer for this new endeavor.”

International customer HeliSwiss International, a Swiss helicopter operator
specializing in heavy lift long line precision work and disaster relief, will also be a
customer for the 234SP. CEO of HeliSwiss, Stéphane Delaye, writes, “For over 60
years, Heliswiss International has developed an expertise in the construction and
assembly of complex structures worldwide with the help of 10 tons category aircrafts.
In the frame of its development strategy and the global development plan of the Swiss
Helicopter Group, Heliswiss has assessed the European market and confirmed the
need for a 20 tons category helicopter. With this further step, Heliswiss intends to
operate the Chinook 234 SP as a utility – purposed Super Heavy Helicopter, and to
support the ambitious development plan of Power Grids in Europe.”

With certification and market entry planned for 2025, the 234SP development program
signify a pivotal moment in the history of Chinook. It offers operators an opportunity to
optimize their fleets and achieve unparalleled performance and efficiency.


Columbia Helicopters, Inc. (CHI) is a global leader in heavy-lift helicopter operations,
providing innovative helicopter solutions for a wide range of industries including

construction, firefighting, aerial logging, and more. With over 60 years of experience,
CHI is renowned for its commitment to safety, reliability, and customer satisfaction.
For more information, please visit

Ryan Mason
Ryan Mason
Ryan is an accomplished writer and aerial photographer that has worked in the aviation industry for over a decade before co-founding AerialFire Magazine. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Ryan is a former police officer that focuses his writing and photography efforts on para-public operations and agricultural aviation.

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