The helicopter operator that serves the oil industry and provides emergency services took a key step forward in its effort to slash its debt load by about $900 million and exit bankruptcy under new owners.

In a federal court hearing in Houston on Aug. 21, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones gives co. permission to send creditors an outline of a reorganization plan so they can vote by Sept. 23

Jones also approves a related, so-called debtor-in-possession loan that will help the company continue operating while it finishes the Chapter 11 process; loan will inject $150m into the company, part of...