Leonardo has announced a further major reinforcement of its presence and customer service and technologies in US with the official opening of their brand new, state of the art Helicopter Training Academy. The academy is located on their existing campus in northeast Philadelphia that also includes production, support and administrative functions for the United States.
The new Academy in Philadelphia is part of an $80 million investment in United States operations that will provide training services for a growing demand and need for pilots, cabin crews and maintenance technicians across North and South America. The Training Academy in the US 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, which is already up and running for customers, features training services for the AW119, AW169, AW139 models and will also be home to the training services for global customers of the world’s first tiltrotor set to receive civil certification, the AW609.
This one of a kind Academy strengthens the role of Leonardo as the only helicopter OEM that has an own capability of designing, developing, delivering, qualifying, supporting and operating the fullest 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.”
Gian Piero Cutillo, Leonardo Helicopters MD, added: “Our new US Training Academy will help to serve the largest market for helicopters in the global industry, and will be part of a continued process to guarantee customer proximity and expand our range of offer. We are committed to devoting every possible effort to continue to build a training culture as part of our value proposition, a true benefit of all our stakeholders, customers, end-users.”
The first Leonardo Helicopter Training Academy opened in Sesto-Calende (Italy) in 2006 and in its inaugural year provided training to 600 students; by the 2018-2020 period, that number grew to an average of 10,000 annually across the growing global training network also including similar facilities in the United Kingdom, Poland and Malaysia as well as authorized training centres. The latest step in US confirms Leonardo’s commitment to a continued enhancement of the level of customer service.