Aviation services company founded in 1973 offers charter flights, aerial tours, surveying, search and rescue, photography, animal herding, utility operations, and more.

A veritable aviation oasis surrounded by the majestic Great Basin, El Aero Services is a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft services provider based in Elko, Nevada. An FAA Part 133 Rotorcraft External Load Class A/B/C, Part 135, and Part 137 operator, the company serves northern Nevada and the Intermountain West from two bases—Elko Regional Airport (KEKO), which is open year-round in all weather conditions, and Carson Airport (KCXP) in Carson City.

El Aero Services partners with sister company and fixed-base operator (FBO) Mountain West Aviation at both locations to offer flight training, aircraft rentals, charter services, utility helicopter operations, and aircraft maintenance.  Fuel, a private pilot lounge, heated hangar space, weather for flight planning, and courtesy vehicles are also available. The FBO’s line services team is trained and certified through the National Air Transportation Association’s Safety First program.

Helicopter Division

The helicopter division of El Aero Services operates two Bell 206L-4 Long Rangers and one Bell 206B-3. The crews for the helicopter trio remain busy providing a wide variety of services, including from high-altitude mountain locations and harsh desert environments. Some of their operations are unique to the region.

In addition to performing air tour, aerial photography, charter, and external-load operations, the company regularly assists clients with geophysical surveys, mineral exploration, and surveys of wild horses, bison, and burros, as well as herding and gathering livestock. El Aero Services also maintains contracts with the Elko County Sheriff’s Office and Briarpatch Defense Systems.

Safety and Support

El Aero Services is passionate about safety. The company was the first member to join the Vertical Aviation International (formerly Helicopter Association International) safety management system (SMS) program, choosing Baldwin Safety and Compliance as its SMS provider in 2022.

The company’s Part 145 repair station supports helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, with a specialization in Bell 206 maintenance that includes minor structural repairs, engine diagnostics and repairs, annual inspections, and parts sales.

New Leadership

Jarius Duncan, the company’s former director of operations who became president of El Aero Services and Mountain West Aviation in March, has big plans for future expansion.

“Later this year, we will be rolling out a program to help hopeful operators get started in the helicopter industry,” he says. “For years, I’ve heard people speak about how much opportunity there is in their particular part of the country, and how they would love to buy their own aircraft and start working, but the time and expense of obtaining the proper FAA operating certificates usually shuts them down before they even get started. Our company has the infrastructure to bring these people and aircraft on board, train them, and help them get established in the business.”

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Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.