Airbus, Thales, and Helisim To Partner On $40M Helicopter and Maintenance Training Center

Airbus Helicopters, Thales and Helisim have announced they will partner to construct a new, a $40 million, state-of-the-art helicopter pilot and maintenance crew training center in Grand Prairie, Texas. The Airbus Helicopters Training Center is scheduled to open in 2020 and will be developed and operated by Helisim – a joint venture of Thales and Airbus Helicopters.

The training center will include the first H145 and H175 Level D simulators in North America that will enable pilot training for high-tech civil helicopters. The new facility will have the capacity for several thousand pilots and maintenance personnel a year to receive both introductory and recurrent training. It will be designed for expansion to allow the future installation of new simulators.

“With this expansion, we will be able to support our customer’s needs for world class helicopter training in one convenient location,” said Christopher Emerson, president of Airbus Helicopters Inc. and head of the North America region. “Expanding our capabilities with H145 and H175 Level D simulators will allow customers to optimize their training programs and benefit from the expertise that we can provide onsite at our headquarters in the U.S.”

“When we first embarked on this partnership with Airbus, our primary goal was to ensure the next generation of helicopter pilots worked in an industry with the same safety record as those in the fixed wing market,” said Benoit Plantier, Thales vice president, Training and Simulation. “The quality and level of training Helisim offers to pilots in Europe has gone a long way to accomplish that goal. We are proud to continue this legacy in North America.”

“The opening of this new facility near Dallas represents a major international expansion of Helisim,” said Christian Cochini, CEO of Helisim. “Our 18 years of experience in simulation training for Airbus Helicopters’ wide range of aircraft, representing nearly 200,000 simulated flight hours, combined with AH Inc. expertise will allow us to offer safe and efficient training solutions for North American customers.”