The European helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter has shown interest to locate their maintenance training in our Rotary Wing Training Center (RWTC) in Gilze en Rijen, which is opened on Wednesday, April 25 by the Dutch Minister of Defense Hillen.
Eurocopter is following the example of Boeing, who relocated it global Chinook maintenance training to the care of the RWTC since a few days. A team of maintenance technicians of the Royal Air Force therefore has the scoop: they now follow the first Chinook training on "hydraulic systems" at the RWTC.
The world's largest together in one building
Eurocopter and Boeing are the world's largest manufacturers of military and civilian helicopters. At a meeting which both companies attended together with the Royal Air Force, it was decided to develop a business case to offer the courses of Eurocopter and Boeing in one building: the RWTC. In the RWTC, our company works together with Gate2: the aviation cluster of the Midpoint Aerospace & Maintenance.
One stop shop for Royal Dutch Air Force
The combination of both companies results in a complete training center for all military helicopters of the Royal Dutch Air Force: the Chinook and Apache manufactured by Boeing and the NH 90 and the Cougar, manufactured by Eurocopter. The three parties have expressed to share their views and aspirations and to establish long-term cooperation with each other. This is a unique concept because Eurocopter and Boeing are also each other's closest competitors in the helicopter aviation.
Civil use of defense installations
At the opening of the RWTC the Minister of Defense Hillen signed the letter of intent to open up the Air Base of Gilze-Rijen for civil users of helicopters. He agreed on this letter of intent with the Dutch State Secretary of Finance Weekers, Mayor of Gilze en Rijen Osterloh and Chairman of the collaboration of Midpoint Brabant, also mayor of Tilburg, Noordanus.
Strengthening regional employment
Based on this agreement, the Mid-Brabant 'Workgroup for civil use of defense materiel Gilze-Rijen' looks at all concrete possibilities and opportunities to strengthen the regional employment. The program also issues aspects as organization, finance, resources and needed permits.
National policy 'Reinvest Defence Property'
This civil use of military facilities fit into the national policy 'Reinvest Defence Property. By opening up defense materiel to the activities of private enterprises, the Ministry boosts local employment and in the same time creates a third funding to lower its own costs.
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