Eurocopter inaugurates its new North Sea Service Centre at Aberdeen
Eurocopter officially inaugurated its new North Sea Service Centre in Aberdeen today. A focal point of the Centre is its new EC225 helicopter full-flight simulator.
Eurocopter selected Aberdeen for the new facility because of its location at the heart of UK oil and gas exploration. As the hub of North Sea helicopter offshore operations, Aberdeen is Europe’s busiest heliport, and the EC225 simulator will respond to the training needs of the hundreds of pilots based there. In anticipation of future expansion for the North Sea Service Centre, sufficient space is available to add another simulator at a later date, potentially for Eurocopter’s new EC175 helicopter.
The Aberdeen Service Centre is managed by Eurocopter’s fully-owned subsidiary, Eurocopter UK Ltd., and represents a £10 M investment, with future expansion envisaged in the context of massive wind farm operations that are developing in the North Sea.
Eurocopter’s new North Sea Service Centre addresses the provision of top-level support. With technical and logistics support offered around-the-clock, the facility meets operators’ requirements for continuous support capacity – especially as their helicopter maintenance is done systematically during night-time hours.
In addition, the facility’s repair and overhaul resources ensure fast turn-around times for complex and bulky dynamic components, such as the EC225 rotor head and mast assembly. Jim Mather, the Scottish Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, stated: “Eurocopter’s welcome new facility will create new highly skilled jobs and a first-class training environment for helicopter pilots working in the North Sea, helping improve further the safety of our oil and gas industry.”
Currently, 100 Eurocopter helicopters are operated in the North Sea, generating more than 100,000 flight hours a year. A total of 45 are based at Aberdeen, another 11 are located at other UK bases, along with 31 across Norway. There are a further eight in the Netherlands, and five in Denmark.
The EC225 simulator features a full-motion system with six degrees of freedom, an instructor station, simulation of all systems and optional equipment solutions, avionics system and full replica of the EC225 cockpit, sound and vibration, system and a visual system field of view of 210° horizontal and 80° vertical, which exceeds the highest Full Flight Simulator Level B requirements. The simulator was built in cooperation with INDRA/Spain.