Thales to join SAF Group at shared helicopter training facility
Following training centre openings across the UK and France, and the planned opening in Norway in 2015, Thales will join SAF Group, one of the key European players in the helicopter market, at a shared training centre in Albertville in the French Alps. The centre will feature two state-of-the-art Reality H Simulators, the most advanced full flight simulator on the market. With this announcement Thales continues on its path to become one of Europe’s premier training and simulation providers.
SAF, who have operated a Reality H in Albertville since 2012, providing training and simulation for the EC135, will be joined by Thales, who will operate a further brand new Reality H to be ready for training by mid- 2014.
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The Thales simulator will fill a much needed gap in this market by being the very first in Europe to provide full flight training and simulation for the AS350 helicopter.
The choice of providing training and simulation for these two platforms in the same facility is crucial to better serve clients’ future needs. The AS350 and EC135 form the bulk of the European SAR and emergency response fleet for mountain areas, and the centre is therefore strategically located to service clients across the Alpine regions of France, Italy and Switzerland as well as being easily accessible to all operators across Europe.
Reality H simulators are highly flexible and well suited for training pilots to fly safely under difficult and challenging conditions such as mountain terrain. However, as the facility follows recommendations by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) to reduce accidents and improve helicopter safety in all situations, Thales and SAF envisage broadening the scope of training services to include any type of environment required by all their clients from across Europe.
“This new centre is further proof of our capability to develop and deploy full service training solutions for all operators. The centre meets a critical requirement for helicopter operators in Europe who utilise the AS350 platform but have no access to full flight simulators in this region.”
Jean Jacques Guittard, Vice President Thales Training and Simulation
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Source : Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)