March 25, 2014, Santiago, Chile - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today announced the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further explore Sikorsky’s potential participation in the Trinidad and Tobago Aviation Institute, scheduled to open in September. Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., made the announcement during the FIDAE International Air and Space Fair here in Santiago.
By Carey Fredericks
Under the MoU, Sikorsky’s participation may include providing expertise in maintenance training and technical know-how, including “train-the-trainer” proficiency, as well as exploring future partnerships with operators for student internships and on-the-job training.
Eight Sikorsky S-76 rotorcraft currently operate in Trinidad and Tobago, with plans for expansion in the near future. This includes Sikorsky’s newest commercial helicopter, the S-76D aircraft. National Helicopter Services Ltd. (NHSL) flew the first-ever revenue service flight for this type of aircraft in February.
On March 10, the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training in Trinidad and Tobago hosted a ground-breaking celebration marking the start of construction for the country’s first aviation institute. The Institute will leverage the country as a regional leader in the aviation industry.
Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky Deputy Regional Executive for Latin America, said, “Sikorsky is proud to have been a part of Trinidad and Tobago’s helicopter operations for more than 30 years. We have a tremendous partner in National Helicopter Services, and we are extremely pleased to be able to further explore with them this exciting new chapter in the country’s continued development of its aviation industry. This Institute will provide expert training of technical personnel in the areas of maintenance and engineering, and Sikorsky is eager to discuss the potential opportunities for support.”
“A centre of excellence in the entire Caribbean and Latin America, the Trinidad and Tobago Aviation Institute will offer our students, and those throughout the region, an opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for a career in aviation. Our vision is to make Trinidad and Tobago the Regional Hub of Aviation,” said Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim, Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training.