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Training centres: the best training tools available at the best prices

Jul 27. 2015 

Helicopter operators have to train pilots to perform effectively on increasingly complex and demanding missions. Simultaneously they are facing budgetary constraints and pressure to reduce accidents by 80% over the next ten years. In response to these needs, Thales is pioneering in delivering turnkey training centres.

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Helicopter-International Working Group is redefining standards for helicopter synthetic training. Some industry groups require members to take part in synthetic type training and recurrent training courses for contracted helicopter operators. The industry favours more simulation training than is currently being carried out, with affordability being one of the biggest barriers to more training. The growing range of helicopter applications and the development of rotorcraft operational capabilities are driving complexity. This, in turn, is having a knock-on effect on the type of training platforms that need to be deployed.

“In a world where the use of helicopter services for critical missions such as Search & Rescue, Emergency Medical Services and transport of critical crews and supplies is increasing, Thales Training and Simulation is dedicated to ensuring mission success and the highest possible standards for safety and skill for flight crews,” says Jean-Jacques Guittard, Executive Vice President of the Training and simulation activities of Thales.

Thales’s experience in flight simulation

As a pioneer in the development of full-flight and mission training services, Thales enjoys a longstanding reputation for state-of-the art high fidelity training devices. “The technology and innovations developed by Thales guarantee a high standard of equipment with quality displays and an easy maintenance due to the all-electric concept,” explains Jean-Jacques Guittard. “Our solutions deliver the opportunity to allow pilots to train in perfect safety for critical procedural and potentially life-threatening scenarios, such as tricky manoeuvres and dangerous flight events.”

The training strategy combines innovative training devices with tailored approaches for delivering training as a service, and for the delivery of turnkey training centres. The approach leverages know-how and technical capability with on the ground expertise and local market understanding to improve flight safety, intensify training experience and optimize training costs for operators. According to Guittard, “it is Thales’s mission to enable the highest standards of training with innovative value-for-money solutions for customers of all sizes. The Thales Training Academy solution allows customers to optimize their training budgets and operational fleet use by providing a high fidelity pay-by-the-hour training environment.”

Thales’s training centre and service offering covers full service offer, training needs, building design and construction, classrooms and simulator halls as well as experienced instructors.

A first in Europe

The Thales Training Academy in Albertville, south-eastern France, is the first centre in Europe to provide full flight training and simulation for the AS350 B3 type helicopter and reinforces the offer for SAR operators in the region. The training centre received EASA certification and started full operation in 2014. For a year, Thales Training Academy and its partner SAF Training Academy, a well-known French helicopter operator, propose and deliver courses. “Our AS350 B3 simulator is the first full-flight simulator of its type here in Europe. It comprises our Hexaline 6-axis all-electric motion system. The Reality H delivers an extremely life-like flying experience, with high reliability and far improved efficiency of maintenance and operation,” points out Jean-Jacques Guittard. “It is our hope that together with SAF and with the support of the French civil aviation authority (DGAC), our Training Academy will set the standard for the use of synthetic training to ensure flight safety.” During the past year, the Albertville training centre has welcomed domestic customers as well as customers from Angola and India.

“Our training academy here in Albertville is the latest in our growing network of global training centres, which started in 2000 with the establishment of Helisim in Marseille. Later this year we are excited to be opening our training centre in Norway to support customers in the off-shore oil and gas industry, and in 2016 we expect to open a training centre in Australia to support customers in the field of medical evacuation services,” adds Jean-Jacques Guittard.

Video - French

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