Helidax, owned by DCI and INAER, has announced that it has passed the 20,000 flight hour mark with its fleet of Eurocopter EC120 Colibri aircraft-in under 13 months of operations. Helidax was the first public-private partnership (PPP) to be launched by the French Ministry of Defense.
Since May 2010, Helidax has trained two graduated students, including pilots from Belgium, meaning some 40 trainees have graduated. A third intake of pilots has just started its ab initio training in the EC120/NHE (New Training Helicopter). Of Helidax's 36 aircraft, 32 are made available each morning for students of the French Army Air Corps' training school (EAALAT) in Dax. The utilization rate of Helidax's aircraft approaches 100 percent.
"We are pleased to confirm that the availability of Helidax's EC120s/NHEs is excellent," states Jean-Louis Rotrubin, Chairman of DCI and Helidax. "The 20,000 hours of flying time we have gained in just over a year have made it possible to train two students' intakes in these next-generation aircraft. However, we do not expect to leave it at that, because Helidax's potential goes beyond the needs of the military."
"In addition to the contract signed in January 2008 covering Helidax's purchase of 36 EC120s, the last of which was delivered in October 2010, Eurocopter and Helidax have built up a true partnership. This rests in particular on the operational support provided by Eurocopter that guarantees the helicopters' operability and availability," adds Dominique Maudet, Eurocopter executive vice president Global Business & Services. "Another important factor in the partnership is the invaluable feedback Helidax is able to give concerning its experience of maintaining the EC120s and their behavior in operation."
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