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3 LEONARDO FACTOIDS


Leonardo trained more than 11,000 students from 43 countries in 2017, with more than 6,000 at its flagship facility in Sesto Calende, Italy. That includes 40,000 hours of simulator training worldwide, with half of it at Sesto Calende. It also includes 7,500 flight hours. Highly skilled instructors are the key for Leonardo; it employs 150 ground instructors and 80 pilot instructors. “What makes us different is the people,” Petrosso said. “We have instructors from virtually every part of the world, because our students come from virtually every part of the world.”


With so many multinational students who speak so many languages, Leonardo also employs translators to enhance communications, especially for those who do not speak English. Leonardo sets aside extra training time to avoid language barriers. Time also is set aside for students who want to practice their religion and pray at specific times.


During Leonardo’s 12 years of operations at the Alessandro Marchetti Training Academy in Sesto Calende, the annual student population has increased from a few hundred to more than 6,000. More than half the training focuses on the AW139, but training for the AW169 and AW189 is picking up.


The AW139, AW169 and AW189 models all are part of the Leonardo family of new-generation helicopters. Leonardo uses the same training approach for all three models. The AW169 is Leonardo’s “latest-generation 4.6 (metric) tonnes twin-turbine helicopter.”


Follow-up distance training is a new emphasis. When Leonardo upgrades its helicopters with new technology to provide superior situational awareness, especially mobile and digital technology, it notifies customers about its new distance training courses that customers can use by logging on to Leonardo’s distance learning portal. These distance learning programs deliver course materials in digital formats for use on PCs and tablets. “It’s such a great thing,” Petrosso said. “We can reach everybody around the globe.”


Recognizing the value of training in person as well, Leonardo is planning a network of regional training centers in the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Future training expansions include AW169 training with simulators in North America. “In the future, we’re certainly looking to expand our footprint and our presence around the globe,” Petrosso said. “One of the key areas where we’re looking is AW169 training in the U.S.” The AW169 has been FAA-certified and U.S. deliveries already have begun.


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