In 1957, Lon Halvorson was born and his father, Elling B. Halvorson, founded his construction company – Elling Halvorson Inc. It specialized in difficult logistics projects, many using aircraft. After attending Bellevue College, Lon initially spent 10 years managing remote construction projects in Alaska.
In 1988, Lon founded Halvorson Pacific Development Company developing commercial projects in the Seattle area. Elling Halvorson became involved in a large helicopter logging project in Alaska, again peaking Lon’s interest incorporating construction and aviation.
In 1992, Lon and Elling founded Rainier Helicopter Logging Inc. successfully logging with Bell Hueys, a Bell 214B and a Kaman K-1200 KMAX. During the 1990s-market downturn, Rainier restructured, focusing internationally. In 1998, the name change to Rainier Heli-Lift fit their new mission – helicopter leasing.
Over time, Lon and the Rainier team have grown its fleet to over 20 helicopters on lease. They have provided aircraft on five continents including the Great Barrier Reef, Norway, as well as construction, firefighting, Department of Defense, and hurricane relief in the Americas.
In 2009, it evolved to Rainier Heli International Inc. reflecting its global leasing business. Rainier works closely with its sister company, Papillon Airways Inc., providing fleet assistance and better positioning themselves with manufacturers and suppliers. This resulted in large fleet agreements at considerable savings.
Lon has served on the Bell Helicopters Customer Advisory Board which was instrumental in the development of the Bell 429, Bell 505 and the Bell 525 Relentless.
Lon has held the position of CEO since Rainier’s inception. He is married to Colleen and has a blended family with his children, step-children and step-grandchildren. Lon holds to position of President and CEO of Elling Halvorson Inc. and Monarch Enterprises Inc., is Executive Vice President of both Papillon Airways Inc. and Grand Canyon Airlines Inc., and is President or a Managing Member of the Halvorson Aviation Group of thirteen aircraft leasing companies owning in total in excess of 85 aircraft. He is currently active in all aspects of Rainier’s operations. Duties include financing, acquisitions and sales of aircraft as well as developing and managing the national and international lease fleet.
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