Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited is a helicopter service company based in New Delhi, India.The operations are based at the Juhu Aerodrome in Vile Parle (West), Mumbai. Other than providing helicopter services to ONGC to its off-shore locations, this public sector company is often engaged for providing services to various state governments in India, particularly in North-east India, Inter-island ferry services in Andaman & Nicobar Islands,for last 26 years service to Lakshdweep Administration in ferrying people from Islands to Kochi Intl airport and inter-island services. These are considered as backbone of Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands which are far flung from Indian shores extending up to 400–500 km into Arabian sea, Vaishno Devi Helicopter service for devotees. Service to BSF and Maharashtra Police for Medical and Logistics support in event of maoist attack on troops.
Pawan Hans was incorporated on 15 October 1985 as the Helicopter Corporation of India (HCL), the country's national helicopter company with the objective of providing helicopter support services to the oil sector for its off-shore exploration operations, services in remote areas and charter services for promotion of tourism. It is a government owned enterprise with 78.5% in government hands & 21.5% with ONGC. ONGC has upped its stake to 49% recently, a move that will see the equity base of PHHL being enhanced to 245 crore from the existing 1.13 billion.
The corporate office is located at Noida with regional offices at Delhi and Mumbai. The company has a net worth of 37,015 million and equity capital is 1,137 million. Pawan Hans is "Approved Maintenance Centre of Eurocopter" and also the first ISO 9001 : 2000 certified aviation company in India.
In 2011, PHHLs operations in the North Eastern States of India came under serious public criticism due to safety issues. After the crash that killed the Chief Minister of Arunachal PradeshDorjee Khandu and five others, it operations in the North East region were suspended and DGCA was asked to conduct safety audit of the company.
On 22 Sept 2004, Meghalaya Community and Rural Development Minister Cyprian Sangma, two MLAs and a former Deputy Speaker were killed when a Pawan Hans helicopter crashed near Shillong.
On 6 August 2010, a Pawan Hans crew member fell 10,000 feet (3,000 m) to his death at Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh, while trying to close a door that had flung open during a flight.
On 19 April 2011, a Pawan Hans Mil Mi-17 on a flight from Guwahati to Tawangcrashed in a gorge and caught fire, whilst trying to land near Tawang. Out of 23 people on board, 17 were killed in the crash, while two more succumbed to burn injuries later.
On 29 April 2011, a Pawan Hans AS350 B-3 helicopter carrying Dorjee Khandu, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, and four other people, went missing. It was traced four days later near Lobthang. All five people were found dead.