A helicopter training venture from Toll sees the company further diversifying its business. Toll Group has signed a deal with one of the world’s leading helicopter companies, Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland, to build and operate Australia’s first AgustaWestland-authorised training centre.
This announcement follows on from the 10-year aeromedical contract Toll signed with the NSW Health to service the southern half of NSW and the ACT. The work involves buying eight purpose-built AW139 helicopters, as well as Toll building and operating an aeromedical training centre of excellence at Bankstown Airport in southwest Sydney, a first for Australia.
The centre will include a $15 million CAE 3000 Series AW139 Level D Full-Flight Motion Simulator, the most advanced civil helicopter simulator available and one of only eight in the world.
“This massive investment by Toll and NSW Health will redefine best practice in pilot training and safety,” said David Jackson, Toll Resources & Government Logistics CEO. “The simulator will train all Toll pilots working on the NSW Health aeromedical contract and other AW139 operators in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, and it will have capacity to support any new government agency and private operator AW139 operations that commence in the coming years in the Australasia region.
“Being an authorised AgustaWestland training centre means Toll staff working for NSW Ambulance will be trained to international standards utilising the latest training programs, techniques and technology. Currently, the closest authorised AgustaWestland simulator is located in Malaysia so new pilots-in-training have limited opportunity to gain the approximately 80 hours of training required.
“Having this authorised training centre in Australia will allow us to deliver world’s best training to our people, so they can deliver the world’s best helicopter emergency retrieval service for NSW Ambulance.”
The centre will also include advanced underwater escape training complex and wet and dry winching practice towers, and is expected to be operating mid-to-late 2016.