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Latin America’s first Airbus helicopter academy to open in Mérida

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Yucatán Gov. Vila Dosal inspects the interior of an Airbus Helicopter which will be used to train new pilots. Photo: Courtesy

An Airbus helicopter pilot academy is setting up shop in Mérida’s international airport.

The academy will be the first of its type in Latin America and is slated to begin operations in January 2022.

The announcement was made in a joint press conference with Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal and the CEO of Airbus Helicopters, Ricardo Capilla. 

“With this step, Yucatán continues to consolidate itself as a leader in the fields of aerospace and highly specialized training and education,” said Gov. Vila Dosal.

The Director of the Escuela de Aviación México, Alfredo Velázquez Jiménez, said the academy is expecting to attract aviation students from all over the country and Latin America. For its first class, enrollment will be limited to 20 students. 

Though no information was provided regarding tuition and other associated costs, helicopter pilot training costs an average of $200 USD per hour for flight time with an instructor and $150 to $175 per hour for solo-flying time. Training on the ground costs $30 to $40 per hour

Earlier: NASA selects, for the 2nd time, Mexican youth for international program

Airbus Helicopters is the largest in its industry in terms of revenues and turbine helicopter deliveries. Its head office is located at Marseille Provence Airport in Marignane, France.

Yucatán has seen growing investment from the international aerospace sector in the last couple of decades. In 2001, PCC Airfoils opened a factory in Mérida’s industrial park where it produces aircraft components such as engines and turbines.

A company called Merida Aerospace has expressed its intent to develop a space-faring vehicle and launch facility in Yucatán, but the ambitious project appears to be far off schedule

Even simple space-faring rockets can take years to build, research and development aside.

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