Helicopter charter company Nautilus Aviation this year celebrates an impressive 25 years in the Aviation Industry – complete with an impeccable safety record, state-of-the-art aircraft and the highly sought-after contract to operate Sydney’s Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters. The driving force? Chief Executive Officer Aaron Finn.
From humble beginnings as a line pilot, Aaron fast became the CEO of this privately owned and operated company and in only six years, he transformed Nautilus Aviation into one of the largest general aviation helicopter companies in Australia.
Under Aaron’s leadership, the one helicopter, one employee company operating at Townsville airport has grown to a company of 82 staff and a fleet of 27 helicopters positioned across three fixed bases in Queensland and two fixed bases in New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Aaron’s interest in flying began when on a scenic helicopter flight with his father over Jim Jim Falls in Kakadu National Park in 2001.
“That was enough to get me hooked,” he said. “It took me another six years of thinking about it before I finally bit the bullet and got my licence. Unfortunately, I don’t fly a lot these days, but when the opportunity comes up I try and take it if I can.”
Aaron’s love for aviation and his sound business acumen has been crucial to the development of Nautilus Aviation, owned by Computershare founding member and Queensland tourism tycoon Mr Chris Morris.
“The support and opportunities Chris has provided to me and to Nautilus Aviation are world class,” said Aaron.
Today Aaron spends a lot of time working between the company’s offices. When not in Cairns (head office), Darwin or Sydney, Aaron can be found mustering and maintaining Mount Mulligan Station (a working cattle station also owned by Chris Morris), and even, ‘down the wire’ on rescue operations with Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters (having qualified as a Rescue Crewman for hoisting operations earlier this year).
The B412EP helicopter (pictured with Aaron) was purchased to carry out emergency response work and played a major role in extinguishing the Koah fires two years ago as well as the community resupply of essential items post Cyclone Debbie in the Whitsundays.
Aaron is modest about his role in helping Nautilus Aviation achieve great success.
“The secret to the success of any business is employing the right people, providing an exceptional product and backing it up with excellent customer service,” he said.
When not busy working, Aaron loves spending time with his children and being involved in their sports and activities.
“I also like getting out to the cattle station where there is no mobile reception. The kids and I get a chance to spend time together and after working the cattle during the day, which I enjoy, it’s a great place to have a glass of red at night under the stars in the peace and quiet”.
Aaron Finn, not your everyday CEO
Words by JANIE BARTON
PHOTO BY Catherine Coombs
Hanger 9, Bush Pilots Avenue
Ph: 4034 9000