The French Institute for Aviation Safety (IFSA) offers courses and training sessions in French and English relating to aeronautical incident and accident prevention. Trainees come from different specialities and different horizons: aircrew, air traffic controllers, engineers and managers, civilian and military personnel, major airlines (Air France, etc.), industry (Airbus, Airbus Helicopters, etc.) and the armed forces (DGA flight test centre, French Air Force, French Army light aviation unit). A new section also offers training for experts in Safety Management Systems (SMS).
The Institute has already welcomed more than 6,900 trainees from around 100 countries.
In January 2008, the French Ministry of Defence launched its first private-public partnership (PPP) under a contract signed with Hélidax. This company is based at the French Army Light Aviation School (EALAT) in Dax, in southwest France. HeliDax is owned by INAER Helicopter France and DCI who each have a 50% shareholding.
The purpose of this outsourcing arrangement is to supply flight hours to the French Army Light Aviation School (EALAT – a joint force, international school) for basic training of helicopter pilots for all three services (Air Force, Navy, Army) and the gendarmerie, plus other organisations. The contract calls for the provision of modern helicopters and associated maintenance services. Signed for a duration of 22 years, this PPP covers the operation of 36 EC120B helicopters modified to a special training configuration (NHE) under the designation Calliope.
The NHE helicopter fleet performs an average of 20,000 flight hours per year.
Alouette Helicopter Worldwide Services
Alouette Helicopter Worldwide Services (ALHWS) was created in May 2014 in a 50/50 ownership structure with SOFEMA.
Under an agreement with Airbus Helicopters, ALHWS supplies support for the worldwide fleet of Alouette and Lama helicopters. ALHWS operates from the SOFEMA logistics platform at La Teste-de-Buch in the Gironde department and can call on a network of more than 100 subcontractors.
NavOcéan is a company created in 2012 which is owned by DCI (70%) and Piriou (30%). This affiliate was created in response to increased demand for DCI’s maritime training courses. NavOcéan is responsible for supplying DCI with a modern, multipurpose ship, the Almak.
Built in Concarneau by the Piriou group, which is responsible for the ship’s maintenance, the Almak was delivered in autumn 2013.
The Almak can accommodate a dozen foreign student officers for training missions. It can operate at sea for 35-40 weeks a year. The ship is also used for diver training, surveillance missions and equipment tests during navigation at sea.