Bell Helicopter Receives EASA ATO Certification

January 26, 2015

Organization is the first ATO approved outside EASA’s member states to provide Part-FCL training courses for the Bell 407 and Bell 429

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (January 26, 2015)Bell Helicopter a Textron Inc. company, (NYSE: TXT), announced it has received an Approved Training Organization (ATO) certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

With this approval, the Bell Helicopter Training Academy (BTA) is authorized to provide Part-FCL training courses for European customers, including the use of Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTD) for the Bell 407 and Bell 429 aircraft models.

“The EASA ATO certification is a significant milestone for Bell Helicopter,” said Ray Lamas, general manager, Global Customer Training for Bell Helicopter. “This certification enhances our ability to provide in-region pilot initial and recurrent training for our Bell 429 and Bell 407 customers in Europe, and is a critical next step towards the opening of our joint training facility with TRU Simulation + Training and Textron Aviation in Valencia, Spain.”

Bell Helicopter is the first organization outside EASA member states approved as an ATO to provide Part-FCL type training courses, including the use of FSTDs for the Bell 429 and Bell 407 aircraft. The two organizations recognized the event with a formal signing ceremony at the EASA headquarters in Cologne, Germany.

“The guidance and support the EASA certification team provided us in navigating through the ATO certification process was outstanding,” said Charles Fisher, senior manager, Domestic Training Operations for the BTA. “We are honored to receive our ATO approval and look forward to furthering our relationship with EASA.”

The ATO approval is a significant step in the company’s plans to open a regional training center in Valencia, Spain in Q1 2016. Announced in October 2014, the Bell Helicopter training center is a partnership with sister companies TRU Simulation + Training and Textron Aviation. The facility expects to open with a Bell 429 full flight simulator certified to Level D FAA and EASA/JAA requirements.TRU Simulation + Training plans to build the simulator at its facility in Tampa, Fla., and the training academy will be housed in Textron Aviation’s Customer Service Center located in Valencia, Spain.

The new center furthers the collaboration initiated at Farnborough where Bell Helicopter and TRU Simulation + Training announced their collaboration on the full flight simulator on the Bell 525. It also furthers Bell Helicopter’s commitment to increase resources and regional support in Europe, starting with the announcement that its facility in Prague, Czech Republic would serve as its official customization, delivery and aftermarket service center for Europe.


(L-R): EASA’s Flight Standards Director, Trevor Woods; Bell Helicpter’s General Manager, Customer Training, Ray Lamas; Bell Helicopter’s Senior Manager, Domestic Training Opportunities, Charles Fisher at the signing ceremony.

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About TRU Simulation + Training Inc

TRU Simulation + Training Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, delivers innovative solutions to the civil and military markets while providing the superior technical support and customer service. Headquartered in Goose Creek, S.C., the company is known for its Air Transport Simulation, Business & Military Simulation, Mission & Maintenance Training, and Training Centers & Services. More information is available at

About Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit

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