Eurocopter, Thales Training & Simulation and France's D‚fense Conseil International have launched a helicopter training services company, Helisim, aiming for revenues of c15 million ($13 million) by the end of 2003.

The company has already secured a 15-year contract from the Royal Netherlands Air Force for training on the Eurocopter AS532 Cougar Mk2 simulator.

Eurocopter and Thales each hold 45% in Helisim, while Défense Conseil International has 10%.

The company says it has the only full flight simulators for Eurocopter products that are level D certificated by the European Joint Aviation Authorities and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The first of the simulators is already at Helisim's base at Marignane, Marseille, next to Eurocopter. The second will arrive at the end of this year, says Guy Dabadie, chief executive officer. "We will be able to train pilots 16 hours a day, six days a week, 50 weeks a year," Dabadie says. Helisim aims to clock up 10,000 flight hours a year at an average cost of €1,500/h.

The company also has deals with South American and Middle Eastern air forces, and is talking to a North Sea offshore operator.

Source: Flight International