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customers, with a total of 38 pilots coming from
Australia, Bangladesh, India, Korea and the United
Arab Emirates. The first batch of trainees arrived in
early April, and around 100 pilots are expected to
be trained this year. An annual target of 3,000 FFS
training hours is expected to be achieved in four
The FFS will allow operators to perform initial and
recurrent type training as well as specific training
covering emergency procedures, instrument flight
rules (IFR), offshore and search and rescue (SAR)
operations, night flights (night vision goggles),
flights over mountainous regions and low altitude
ESEA also has an EC120 flight training device at
Seletar, while nearby Eurocopter Malaysia will soon
have an EC225/EC725 FFS up and running.
As well as training, ESEA wants to expand into
other service areas. "We want to grow our design
activities for the mother company. We have high
potential guys who are able to do this type of work
for us and the group as a whole."
This could include supplemental type certificate
(STC) work, retrofits and design tools, all under
the auspices of Eurocopter. In 2010, Eurocopter
appointed ESEA as the first design office in Asia,
while ESEA also received certification from the Civil
Aviation Authority of Singapore. "These are major
steps," notes Brenner.
"We will always develop things around the
helicopter that could be useful for Eurocopter - an
extension of the workbench. There will be some
surprises - some interesting things coming up."
In the meantime, there is plenty of work going on
in terms of South-East Asian sales. Brenner notes:
"South East Asia is not one homogenous market - there
are different maturities, different open sky policies,
some markets are more familiar with helicopters than
others. There are all types of mission."
At the Singapore Air Show, Eurocopter signed
deals for a total of six new helicopters, ranging
from the lightest EC120 to the heaviest EC225.
An agreement was signed with Bangladesh s R&R
Aviation for two new Eurocopter EC130 B4, marking
Eurocopter s breakthrough into the Bangladeshi
market with its first new civil helicopter sale.
To be delivered in September this year and first half
of 2013 respectively, the two rotary-wing aircraft will
be used primarily for emergency medical services,
and can be re-configured for corporate passenger
transport when the need arises.
Also at the air show, Vietnam Helicopter
Corporation signed a deal for a EC120 to be used as
a training aircraft for its newly-created VNH Training
Centre; Stockwell Investing signed for two units
of EC145 T2 for utility missions in Indonesia; and
Southern Vietnam Helicopter Corporation invested
in its fourth EC225 for offshore operations.
Vietnam is one market where Brenner sees plenty
of potential. "Vietnam is a new market in which we
believe very much." It has historically been strong
for oil and gas type operations, notes Brenner, and
Eurocopter has had some success in the military field.
"The VIP market is waking up, and operators too."
One of the issues in Vietnam, like China, is pilot
training, Brenner says. The deal signed with Vietnam
Helicopter Corporation (VNH), to set up the VNH
Training Centre in Vung Tau with the support of
Eurocopter is one he s particularly proud of.
With an initial aim of providing ab-initio training
to develop a pool of rotary-wing pilots, Eurocopter
will be leasing its light aircraft, the Colibri EC120
B, to VNH Training Centre. The partnership also
entails the training of Vietnamese pilot instructors by
Eurocopter, using the EC120 Flight Training Device
housed in Singapore.
"We have been operating Eurocopter aircraft for
many years now, and have found them to be very
reliable. We have also enjoyed a good, cooperative
relationship with Eurocopter, who provides excellent
all-round support and services," comments Capt.
Nguyen Duc Hoa, VNH s deputy general director.
Vietnam has a big fleet of Russian helicopters,
Brenner notes, adding that, "some people like to fly
in new, western-built helicopters."
ESEA was not immune from the financial downturn.
"It took us quite a long time to bring back the VIP
market after the 2008 crisis. It only came back in
second part of 2011," explains Brenner. "That s why
it s always good to develop services."
He adds, "We have the products. We are
close to customer. And many missions are not yet
developed in south East Asia. If you look at police
and parapublic markets - even in Singapore there
are no emergency medical service helicopters, no
harbour patrol helicopters. There are still a lot of
things to be done."
"Many missions are not yet developed in
South East Asia"
Eurocopter South East Asia now has a Dauphin AS365 N3/N3 +
full-flight simulator in Seletar
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