Leonardo opens Helicopter Training Academy in US

ROTOR Staff Education and Training

Apr. 29, 2021

Leonardo boosts customer service growth strategy by opening a Helicopter Training Academy in the US.

  • New state-of-the-art academy in Philadelphia will meet the growing demand for training services across North and South America, leveraging advanced simulation, augmented reality, artificial intelligence
  • Provides all-in-one, productive training experience in the classroom, in a virtual environment, and in the air for both pilots and maintenance technicians
  • Features the world’s first comprehensive training syllabus for the AW609 Tiltrotor, also including the first Full-Flight Simulator

Leonardo announced today a further major reinforcement of its presence, customer service, and technologies in the United States with the official opening of its 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 was first announced at the 2019 Heli-Expo in Atlanta and, despite the challenges of Covid-19, was able to open two years later, on schedule.

The new academy in Philadelphia is part of an $80 million investment in US 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 United States will mirror the services provided by its sister facility in Sesto-Calende (Italy) offering ground, air, and virtual training and leverages 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 facility 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.”

“We purposely co-located the academy next to our main production, support, and administrative offices because we wanted to not only provide cutting-edge training with modern technology to our customers, but also give them an inside view of our organization, our culture, and how our product is made and maintained with a constant emphasis on quality and safety,” said Bill Hunt, CEO of AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation and managing director of Leonardo Helicopters US.

“I want to congratulate Leonardo Helicopters on completing their new Training Academy in the US at their existing production and support campus at Northeast Philadelphia Airport. I am proud of the role this Philadelphia-based team has played in bringing this academy online, together with their teammates in Italy”, said Jim Kenney, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia.

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 centers. This step confirms Leonardo’s commitment to a continued enhancement of the highest level of customer service.

Since 1980, the helicopter business of Leonardo has been proud to call Philadelphia, Pennsylvania its home in the United States. Located at Northeast Philadelphia Airport (KPNE) just minutes outside the Central Business District, the facility has grown over the last 40 years from a basic service center to Leonardo’s US Industrial Center of Excellence for helicopters.

Leonardo is committed to providing leading, comprehensive support and training services to deliver unprecedented benefits to customers in terms of safety, quality, effectiveness, cost, and sustainability as a cornerstone of Leonardo’s Be Tomorrow 2030 Strategic Plan.

Leonardo Helicopters
Melissa Walters
Senior Media and Communications Specialist
AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation

3050 Red Lion Rd
Philadelphia - PA - US
Tel. +12152811451 - Fax

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