Academy Expands to Train AW189 and AW169 Crew

 - February 11, 2012, 10:30 AM
At AgustaWestland’s main training facility in Sesto Calende, Italy, a major expansion will house nine full-flight simulators and six training devices.

With service entry for its new AW189 and AW169 models looming large over the next couple of years, AgustaWestland is scrambling to ensure that operators can get their flight crew type rated in good time. At its main training academy in Sesto Calende, Italy, a major extension is under construction to house no fewer than nine full-flight simulators and six training devices for the new aircraft.

The new facilities will significantly boost the capacity of a flight academy that last year certified some 4,200 students from 40 countries on 45 separate courses. Its Class D simulators are in action 20 hours a day, 363 days per year. The center also offers extensive instruction for mechanics.

Last June, AgustaWestland opened a new flight training organization in Frosinone for ab initio pilots, equipped with two Bell 206s and a pair of Swidnik SW-4s. The center is attracting business from countries and operators wanting to develop relatively large groups of student, including a batch of 50 rookies from an undisclosed African government.

Responding to the growing Asian market for rotorcraft, the manufacturer last month opened another training academy in Malaysia. According to AgustaWestland, others could follow soon in locations such as Brazil, where the offshore oil and gas industry is set to boom.