Safran Helicopter Engines has officially opened a new headquarters and MRO centre in Singapore, with increased capacity to handle the growing helicopter operations in Southeast Asia.

The new centre, located in Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park, is qualified for three Safran turboshaft ranges: the Arrius, Arriel, and Makila.

In a presentation, the company revealed that there are approximately 1,000 Safran helicopter engines in use with 175 users in the Southeast Asian region and India - the centre will also support users in the Indian subcontinent.

Apart from a significant stock of spare parts, the centre also has three repair bays for helicopter engines. At its previous Singapore location, it had just one bay.

Other Safran Group companies, notably its aircraft engine and landing gear businesses, are also likely to set up shop at the centre.

Although the company is optimistic about the growth of the helicopter business regionally, company executives acknowledged that a core part of the region’s helicopter market, oil & gas, is highly challenging.

“We are facing a short-term crisis in the offshore segment," says Franck Saudo, executive vice president of support and services. "That said, we remain very positive about the medium to long-term outlook of the helicopter market. Safran is not in industry for the short-term, we in it for the long-term and we strongly believe in this market. Hence, we still invest even though there is a downturn.”

Safran Helicopter Engines was formerly known as Turbomeca, but this name was dropped when Safran rebranded its units to feature the parent company's name.