International Helicopter Training Centre: DCI reinforces training capacities through infrastructure refurbishment and helicopter acquisitions

Défense Conseil International (DCI), the reference operator of the French ministry of defence for the international transfer of French military know-how, is inaugurating new facilities at its International Helicopter Training Centre (CIF-H), in the presence of senior military officials from France and Kuwait. DCI is also reinforcing its fleet through the acquisition of three EC120 helicopters. The CIF-H is the second pilot school created by DCI, and the first in France. The French armed forces can thus respond to the strong demand for helicopter pilot training from friendly countries .

Innovative teaching methods, 100% success rate

The overall refurbishment of the CIF-H infrastructure, carried out over the past year, enables the integration of e-learning tools, simulators, serious games and real-time flight monitoring screens. This modern, comfortable and functional setup offers a quality environment for foreign trainees and helps to boost the success rate. The first CIF-H graduating class scored a 100% success rate in obtaining their French military helicopter pilot qualification.

The CIF-H offers courses ranging from initial pilot training to operational missions. Patrick Tanguy,  Director of DCI-COFRAS, comments on the excellence of DCI training: “It requires constant adaptation, in order to offer our trainees a high-quality environment and a course content necessary to achieve their training goals and thus to maintain friendly and effective military cooperation. Thanks to the French Army light aviation unit (ALAT) school, the French armed forces are among the most effective in the world.”

Close relations with the French armed forces: a win-win partnership

The CIF-H is located within the French military pilot training schools at Dax and Luc-en-Provence. The new buildings are provided by the Dax school base. Henri Rouby,  Director of DCI-AIRCO, remarks: “Since it started its aeronautical activity in May 2015, the CIF-H has worked in close cooperation with the French Army’s ALAT light aviation unit to transfer its know-how to friendly countries. We are very pleased to witness the inaugural flight of the first three helicopters in DCI colours in the presence of friendly countries and our long-standing partners on the occasion of the new facilities inauguration.”

The helicopters – EC120s modified for pilot training by DCI subsidiary HeliDax – are equipped with latest-generation avionics and are identical to the machines used by the ALAT. They are suitable for advanced training thanks to the integration of “glass cockpit” technologies and the use of night vision goggles (NVGs).

CIF-H requirements in 2016 amount to around 3,000 flying hours. This fleet offers a potential 1,650 additional flying hours per year, thus limiting the need to use HeliDax machines.