Ric Collins, Base and Contract Manager Broome, PHI Aviation

Ric Collins has been associated with INPEX and Ichthys LNG since the early days of project construction.  

From 2014, as a pilot, Ric was involved in transporting workers to and from the vessels contracted to lay the 889-kilometre-long subsea pipeline that would ultimately connect the Ichthys offshore facilities to the onshore processing facility in Darwin. 

In later years, Ric again supported the project by piloting workers offshore to support the installation and hook-up of the offshore facilities to the pipeline and subsea infrastructure. 

These days, Ric still supports Ichthys LNG’s operations, drilling and other field development activities, but now from the ground, as the Base and Contract Manager for PHI Aviation’s Broome operations. 

In addition to PHI’s passengers, Ric is responsible for the management and welfare of the 155 personnel who support the Broome operations. Although not all personnel are on base at the same time, Ric is often interacting with the workforce to coordinate and achieve the daily flight program as well as unplanned aspects of work, such as emergency rescues.  

One of the most rewarding parts of Ric’s job is ensuring the safe and seamless transport of Ichthys LNG’s offshore workforce to work and back again. 

"Each day, the role requires a degree of problem-solving to ensure we deliver a safe outcome for our customers.

It’s rewarding that INPEX offshore personnel arrive home safely to their families.” 

PHI is proud of its Search and Rescue (SAR) capability, working together with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to provide medical evacuation services. The All Weather SAR S-92 helicopter and crew support INPEX and Shell Australia’s offshore installations but are occasionally called on by state and federal response agencies to support the local and regional community. 

For Ric, notable community SAR activities included flood relief at Fitzroy Crossing and the rescue of a group of stranded fishermen earlier this year. 

Having been FIFO for 22 years, Ric made the decision to move to Broome to accept his current role in 2023. The change has meant Ric enjoys managing operations at PHI’s busy Broome Base. 

“Returning to work with INPEX felt like a homecoming of sorts – having previously worked in partnership with the company,” Ric said.  

When asked what he enjoys about life in Broome, Ric mentioned the laidback lifestyle and beautiful natural environment, and unique history and cultural diversity. 

“You have stunning Cable Beach on your doorstep and many other wonders of the Kimberley just beyond,” he comments.  

PHI’s cadet and apprenticeship program 

PHI runs successful industry-supported cadet and apprenticeship programs, which provide pathways for program participants to join the offshore aviation industry.  

Ric Collins, Base and Contractor Manager, PHI Aviation