Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2014 Contents AsianAviation | MAY 2014 25
of customer training last year, and Sharples is
expecting 20% more in 2014.
Some 110 pilots used the FFS last year, from 17
different countries. These were mostly in the Asia-
Pacific, but also included UAE, Kuwait, Turkmenistan,
Mexico and France. AHSA also trained more than
300 technicians in 2013.
Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia covers a
total of 15 countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei,
Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,
Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand,
Timor-Leste and Vietnam.
Within these countries, AHSA has a subsidiary
located in Bangkok, Thailand. The Thai operation
includes a first and second line MRO facility, plus a
small logistics centre and a number of support staff.
AHSA has also set up branch offices in Taiwan
(Kaohsiung and Taipei).
"What's very important in this business is very
close proximity to helicopter operators -- it's one
thing to buy a helicopter but another to ensure you've
got the local support. We've invested locally to be
close to our customers -- 24/7, 365 days a year."
There are separate subsidiaries for the Malaysia,
Indonesia and Philippines markets, owing largely to
their size. There are more than 2,000 employees at
Airbus Helicopters' 11 subsidiaries across the Asia-
Sharples says that the AHSA countries are a mix
of maturing ones such as Thailand, Philippines and
Vietnam, and emerging ones including Myanmar,
Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka,
Nepal and Timor Leste.
Of the latter group, Myanmar is one where AHSA
has been active recently -- Sharples sees a lot of
potential here in the civil sector and has recently
participated in seminars with the local directorate
of civil aviation with the aim of exposing potential
operators and business operators to the helicopter
market, looking at areas such as operational safety,
facility organisation and MRO. "We're helping the
authorities to develop the market," Sharples explains.
"We're just in the process of exploring strategic
partnerships with local business interests to establish
MRO capability in order to support customers," he
adds. "We're in active discussions to provide at least
first level MRO for our customers."
Meanwhile, back in Singapore, AHSA is developing
its design capabilities -- something that was started
by Sharples' predecessor Dr Bernard Brenner as
Sharples graciously points out.
"We're now authoring service bulletins and STCs
for the mother company back in France."
One interesting project that AHSA is working on is
the design of a carriage frame for a mock-up for flight-
testing a reusable space shuttle. This Airbus Group
level project, which is being supported by Singapore's
Economic Development Board, will involve the mock-
up being dropped by a helicopter from 10,000ft. The
flight test will take place in Singapore.
AHSA has also been asked to expand its
capabilities in the area of health and usage on-board
monitoring -- in particular the HUMS monitors that
are mandatory on medium-and-heavy helicopters
used on offshore work.
AHSA provides support in Singapore with an
analytical and diagnostic team, but has been asked
to extend that to Western Australia.
"The plan is to further expand our design office
responsibilities -- including avionics systems and
software services. Especially for new models."
The EC175 was launched last year and the EC 145
T2 recently received certification from EASA. "We
are positioning ourselves to support new generation,
sophisticated on-board avionics. In the future we'll
become as much a support centre for software
services as we are for hardware." Sharples says.
"The Asia-Pacific region is in a growth phase. I'm
very optimistic for the future. We've been located
in Singapore since 1977 -- we have a great deal of
experience and legacy and market penetration." ✈
First rotor FFS
Airbus Helicopters Japan inaugurated
Japan's first full flight simulator (FFS) for
helicopters in April at its facilities located in
the Kobe Airport vicinity.
The simulator is configured to represent
Airbus Helicopters' light twin-engine EC135
P2+ rotorcraft, and has received Level C
certification from the Japan Civil Aviation
Hangar at AHSA's Seletar facility
"What's very important in this
business is very close proximity to
helicopter operators -- it's one thing to
buy a helicopter but another to ensure
you've got the local support. We've
invested locally to be close to our
customers -- 24/7, 365 days a year."
managing director AHSA
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