Having announced at the 2019 Heli-Expo in Atlanta that it intended to create a U.S.-based Helicopter Training Academy, Leonardo S.p.A. has officially opened its brand-new, state-of-the-art Helicopter Training Academy in Philadelphia on schedule, despite the problems faced dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Academy is located on its existing campus in northeast Philadelphia that also includes production, support, and administrative functions for the United States. The new Academy is part of an US$80 million investment in U.S. operations that will provide training services for pilots, cabin crews, and maintenance technicians across the Americas. The Training Academy in the U.S. will mirror the services provided by its sister facility in Sesto-Calende (Italy) offering ground, air and virtual training, and leverages also simulator capabilities jointly developed by Leonardo and CAE and operated by their Rotorsim JV.
The Academy features training services for the AW119, AW169, AW139 models and will be the sole venue for training services for the world’s first tiltrotor, the AW609, set to receive civil certification. Leonardo as the only helicopter OEM that has an own capability of designing, developing, delivering, qualifying, supporting, and operating the most complete range of training systems, with certified OEM-data into the simulated environment.
Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, said: “In our sector, only organizations with a clear vision, strategy and consistency in execution can aim for a sustainable long-term business and become strategic assets for their countries. We want to be regarded as a partner, not just a supplier, by continuing to ensure an outstanding service and training experience. And we integrate these capabilities into our unique helicopter offer with the ambition of becoming the world leader in the sector. Advanced simulation, augmented reality, artificial intelligence – all embedded today in our US Academy – are examples of this vision. It can leverage on game-changing technologies we are deploying and on investments in the deep digitalization of our offer and processes.”