European network of helicopter academies launched

Avatar for Glenn SandsBy Glenn Sands | June 14, 2022

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 32 seconds.

The common goal of raising helicopter training standards by combining their strengths and experience in operating these aircraft has resulted in the announcement on June 14, of the first European network of independent helicopter academies. The Leading Helicopter Academies of Europe (LHA) has been established to raise standards by providing better services, training and support for governments and other helicopter companies. The LHA has set itself the goal of offering superior instruction to both aspiring and experienced pilots. Its aim is not just to develop piloting skills, but to also tailor talents to the professional needs and requirements of the helicopter market.

Anette K. Haldorsen, LHA spokesperson and CEO believes helicopter training will greatly improve through the sharing of knowledge. LHA Photo

“As leading players, we now share our knowledge and experience across academies and national borders,” said Anette K. Haldorsen, LHA spokesperson and CEO of the European Helicopter Center in Norway. “Recognizing each other as suppliers of quality, working together we can now, across the board, offer training for all aspects of helicopter flight. It is first and foremost our students and customers who benefit from this, thanks to our joint experience, exchange and safety practices.”

With a combined fleet of 150 helicopters available, the LHA has cited that it can offer over 16,000 hours of training annually. Across its members, it has more than 80 flight instructors at various academies, including Norwegian-based EHC, which specializes in training pilots for the offshore industry; and HeliBravo, located in Portugal, which offers ideal weather conditions for student pilots year-round. 

So far, 10 training academies have become members of LHA, along with two specialist organizations, Pole-Air and Belgium-based theoretical knowledge center Helicopter Groundschool, which prepares students for their EASA examinations. The full spectrum of specialized pilot training can be catered for, including rating and missions such as IR, MCC, PBN, ME, and SPO. 

Pilot training courses can be customized to specific requirements if requested by the customer. LHA Photo

To date, more than 3,000 helicopter pilots, from ab-initio to customer-specific requests have been trained by members of the LHA. 

All LHA members are EASA Approved Training Organizations (ATO), or expert providers of advanced and specialized training services. Pilots graduating from the LHA’s training have gone on the use the contacts made through the scheme to find suitable openings with governments and large helicopter operators.  

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