With this approval, the Bell Helicopter Training Academy (BTA) is authorized to provide Part-FCL training courses for European customers, including the use of Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTD) for the Bell 407 and Bell 429 aircraft models.
“The EASA ATO certification is a significant milestone for Bell Helicopter. This certification enhances our ability to provide in-region pilot initial and recurrent training for our Bell 429 and Bell 407 customers in Europe, and is a critical next step towards the opening of our joint training facility with TRU Simulation + Training and Textron Aviation in Valencia, Spain,” said Ray Lamas, General Manager, Global Customer Training for Bell Helicopter.
Bell Helicopter is the first organization outside EASA member states approved as an ATO to provide Part-FCL type training courses, including the use of FSTDs for the Bell 429 and Bell 407 aircraft. The two organizations recognized the event with a formal signing ceremony at the EASA headquarters in Cologne, Germany.
“The guidance and support the EASA certification team provided us in navigating through the ATO certification process was outstanding. We are honored to receive our ATO approval and look forward to furthering our relationship with EASA,” said Charles Fisher, Senior Manager, Domestic Training Operations for the BTA.
The ATO approval is a significant step in the company’s plans to open a regional training center in Valencia, Spain in Q1 2016. Announced in October 2014, the Bell Helicopter training center is a partnership with sister companies TRU Simulation + Training and Textron Aviation.
The facility expects to open with a Bell 429 full flight simulator certified to Level D FAA and EASA/JAA requirements.TRU Simulation + Training plans to build the simulator at its facility in Tampa, Fla., and the training academy will be housed in Textron Aviation’s Customer Service Center located in Valencia, Spain.
The new center furthers the collaboration initiated at Farnborough where Bell Helicopter and TRU Simulation + Training announced their collaboration on the full flight simulator on the Bell 525. It also furthers Bell Helicopter’s commitment to increase resources and regional support in Europe, starting with the announcement that its facility in Prague, Czech Republic would serve as its official customization, delivery and aftermarket service center for Europe.