Leonardo opened its new and state-of-the-art Helicopter Training Academy as a new initiative to strengthen its presence, customer service and technologies in the United States. The initiative is located on campus in northeast Philadelphia and includes manufacturing, support, and administrative functions for the country. The new academy was first announced at the Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta and despite the challenges of Covid-19, it was able to open two years later on schedule.
The project is part of a US $ 80 million investment Leonardo is making in the United States to provide training services to meet growing demands and needs from pilots, cabin crew and maintenance technicians. The training academy mirrors the services of its sister facility in Sesto-Calende (Italy), which offers ground, aerial and virtual training, and also uses simulator functions jointly developed by Leonardo and CAE and operated by their Rotorsim JV.
The academy, which is already in operation for customers, offers training services for the models AW119, AW169, AW139. It will also host the global customer training services for the world’s first tilt rotor equipment to receive civil certification, the AW609. The academy is unique and strengthens Leonardo’s role as the only helicopter OEM with the proprietary ability to design, develop, deliver, qualify, support and operate the most comprehensive range of training systems. The data comes from OEMs who are certified in the simulation environment.
Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, said: In our industry, only companies with a clear vision, strategy and consistent execution can pursue long-term sustainable business and become strategic assets for their countries. We don’t want to be seen as a supplier, but as a partner who guarantees exceptional service and training experience. We are integrating these skills into our unique helicopter offering with the aim of becoming a global leader in the industry. Advanced simulation, augmented reality and artificial intelligence are built into our academy and are examples of our vision based on the new technologies we implement and investments in the digitization of our offerings and processes. “
Gian Piero Cutillo, CEO of Leonardo Helicopters added: Our new training academy in the US will help serve the largest helicopter market in the global industry and be part of an ongoing process to ensure customer proximity and expand our offerings. We strive to make every effort, as part of our value proposition, to build a training culture that benefits all of our stakeholders, customers and end users.
We are deliberately placing the academy next to our main production, support and administration offices because we not only want to offer our customers cutting edge training with modern technology, but also want to give them an insight into our organization, culture, production and maintenance of our product with one constant focus on quality and safety, said Bill Hunt, CEO of AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation and CEO of Leonardo Helicopters US.
The first Leonardo Helicopter Training Academy opened in Sesto-Calende (Italy) in 2006 and taught 600 students in its first year. For the 2018-2020 period, that number rose to an average of 10,000 per year in the growing global training network, which includes similar facilities in the UK, Poland and Malaysia, as well as licensed training centers. The final step in the US confirms Leonardo’s commitment to continuously improving customer service.
Since 1980, Leonardo’s helicopter business has made Philadelphia, Pennsylvania his home in the United States. The facility is located at Northeast Philadelphia Airport (KPNE) and just minutes from the Central Business District. Over the past 40 years, the facility has grown from a basic service center to the Leonardo Industrial Center of Excellence in the USA for helicopters.
Leonardo is committed to providing its customers with training and support services related to safety, quality, effectiveness, cost and sustainability as the cornerstone of the Be Tomorrow 2030 Strategic Plan.
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