The day has come.

On the 31st of December 2023, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has finished its responsibilities for the EDA Helicopter Training Programmes, concerning the activities of the EDA Helicopter Training Centre, located at Sintra Airbase, Portugal. The responsibility for these activities was transferred to the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) and, on the 1st of January 2024, the MHTC declared its Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

Although initially planned for the end of October according to the MHTC Technical Arrangement (TA), due to a number of constraints, the most significant of which was the COVID pandemic, the MHTC participants agreed that the IOC would take place on 1st of January 2024. Therefore, during the 2nd semester of 2023, the permanent staff of the MHTC took up their posts and started preparing the conditions to take over all activities and responsibilities from the EDA.

After facing some challenges and overcoming some difficulties, the conditions were met and on the 1st of January 2024, the MHTC is ready to receive the first course. In fact, the MHTC is currently the continuation of the EDA helicopter programmes. Nevertheless, from a legal and administrative point of view, there were many changes and documents to be taken into account, which was a good challenge for the whole team.

Not to forget the excellent support provided by the EDA, namely the EDA Helicopter Team led by Mr José Pablo Romera.

The next step will be the successful launch of the first Helicopter Tactics Course under the umbrella of the MHTC, on the 8th of January 2024.