Défense Conseil International (DCI), the reference operator of the French ministry of defence for the international transfer of French military know-how, has created Helang Flying Academy, the first regional helicopter training centre in Malaysia, in a joint venture with Major Flagship Sdn Bhd (MFSB).

The joint venture, the first involving DCI, is a "win-win" business model and underlines DCI's growth ambitions in Southeast Asia. Following the signature of the joint venture at the end of September 2016, DCI, with its partner MFSB, can now undertake the initial investments, estimated at €13.6 million.

In developing Helang Flying Academy, DCI is responding to a strong Malaysian need for helicopter training, while respecting local legal constraints. The creation of a joint venture offers Malaysia a national solution: the instructors will deliver high-quality training in accordance with the highest safety standards and consistent with the operational context of their customers.

The first investments - more than 13 million euros - will be allocated to modern installations, based at Ipoh, Malaysia, and a fleet of single- and twin-turbine helicopters, the first four of which will be delivered in 2017. DCI will promote collaboration between Helang Flying Academy, and its International Helicopter Training Centre, which is co-located with Helidax and equipped with the same single-turbine helicopters: EC 120 from Airbus Helicopter.

DCI estimates that Helang Flying Academy will train around 30 trainees from Malaysia and ASEAN countries in 2017 and 2018. Ultimately, the centre should supply more than 50% of demand for ab initio training in Malaysia. Subsequently, alongside its core business, Helang Flying Academy will diversify into simulation and fixed wing aircraft pilot training.