Paris-based Défense Conseil International (DCI) has announced the official creation of Helang Flying Academy in a joint venture with local partner Major Flagship Sdn Bhd (MFSB). The new facility will offer training for helicopter pilots and maintenance technicians in Malaysia and neighbouring ASEAN countries.
DCI specialises in training services involved in the transfer of French military know-how to other countries. The JV, a first for DCI in Malaysia, illustrates the company’s growth ambitions in Southeast Asia. In addition to Malaysia, DCI is already present in Singapore, Brunei and India.
DCI has previously been involved in the creation of Malaysia’s submarine force and has provided operational support for the country’s Army and Coast Guard.
Following the initial agreement signed between the two partners in September 2016, the JV can now proceed with initial investments, estimated at €13.6m, covering up-to-date facilities at Ipoh Airport, Perak, and a fleet of single- and twin-turbine helicopters, the first four of which are due to be delivered in 2017. DCI will seek to exploit synergies with its international helicopter crew training centre in Dax, France, which is equipped with Airbus Helicopters EC120s, the same models that will be used by Helang Flying Academy.
The Academy will focus on ab initio training for civil and military operators, but DCI will also offer support for customers’ specific operational training needs.
The French firm expects the Academy to train around 30 trainees from Malaysia and other ASEAN nations in 2017 and 2018. The centre is seen ultimately supplying 50% of the country’s ab initio training needs. Longer-term projects include diversification into simulation and fixed-wing aircraft pilot training.