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Sunday, January 1, 2012

ADA, Horizon Establish Training Venture

By Douglas Nelms

Horizon Flight Academy, a subsidiary of Mubadala Aerospace, has entered into a joint venture with Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA), the largest operator of commercial helicopters in the Middle East, to establish a training center in Abu Dhabi. The new training center is part of a plan by Mubadala to create a “local and international aerospace industry in the UAE and surrounding region built on mutually beneficial partnerships,” said Mubadala Aerospace Executive Director Homaid Al Shemmari. The joint venture was announced at the Dubai Air Show in November.

Horizon has also ordered a CAE 3000 Series full flight simulator (FFS) based on the AgustaWestland AW139. ADA currently operates 16 AW139s as part of its fleet of 54 helicopters. (The remaining 38 consist of Bell 412s, 212s and 206s.) The joint venture will own and operate the new CAE simulator, which will be contracted through Horizon. It is scheduled for delivery in late 2013.

The simulator will feature the CAE True six degree-of-freedom electric motion system, as well as a high-performance vibration platform. It will use CAE Tropos-6000 visual system and a direct projection 210-degree by 80-degree field of view dome display. AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini explained that the Horizon/ADA venture has received AgustaWestland authorized training center status “to support type conversion, recurrent and operational role training for our AW139 customers from the Middle East.”

ADA reported earlier this year that net profits had increased by 150.4 percent over the corresponding six-month period compared to last year, reporting a net profit of Dh181.61 million (approximately $49.45 million) from January to June 2011, compared to Dh72.54 million ($19.75 million) from January to June 2010. The majority of ADA’s helicopter operations are in support of the Abu Dhabi offshore oil and gas industry, along with engineering and construction.

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