Algerian military helicopter training halted as UK CAA close airfield

Algerian military helicopter training halted as UK CAA close airfield 11 Mar, 11, Source: HeliHub.com

The UK CAA this week visited Shobdon airfield and were so alarmed by what they found that they issued a NOTAM there and then, closing the airfield.  However, exactly why such this action was taken is not yet known, although it has been the subject of plenty of speculation on the Flyer forum frequented by British private pilots.  The NOTAM states that the airfield is “STRICTLY PPR BY TELEPHONE FOR SLOT ALLOCATION”

Resident helicopter operator Tiger Helicopters has a contract with AgustaWestland for ab initio training of Algerian student pilots.  On successful completion of their training at Shobdon with JetRangers, they then moved on to Newquay where AW’s Operational Flight Training Centre then allows them to progress to A109s and ultimately Lynx and Merlin helicopters – the two types that Algeria has bought from the Anglo-Italian manufacturer.

We are awaiting details on what actions need to be taken for the Algerian military pilots to get back in the air.  We expect to post a further article on HeliHub.com about this situation in the very near future.

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