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HNZ Topflight presented with Airbus Helicopters Canada’s 2016 ‘Innovation in Safety Award’


HNZ Topflight and Don Wall, President & CEO of HNZ Group named as the recipients of the 5th Annual ‘Innovation in Safety Award’

  • Airbus Helicopters Canada recognizes HNZ Topflight for their outstanding contribution to safety and innovation
  • Don Wall recognized for his leadership and dedication to improving the safety of helicopter pilot training at HNZ Topflight

Helicopter Association of Canada, Edmonton, AB, 12 November 2016 – HNZ Topflight and Don Wall, President & CEO of HNZ Group, have been awarded Airbus Helicopters Canada’s 2016 ‘Innovation in Safety Award’. HNZ Topflight and Mr. Wall have been selected for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to safety and passion toward ensuring the next generation of helicopter pilots have access to cutting-edge educational technology that teaches the skills, knowledge and experience required for safe flight operations.

“Safety is and will always be our number one priority. We ensure this by honouring those whose innovations and dedication to safe flying practices propel our industry forward,” said Romain Trapp, President, Airbus Helicopters Canada, and COO, Airbus Helicopters North America. “We are proud to recognize HNZ Topflight and Don Wall for his leadership through the presentation of this award.”














From left to right: Don Venturi, General Manger – HNZ Topflight, Romain Trapp, President & CEO – Airbus Helicopters Canada and COO – Airbus Helicopters North America and Don Wall, President & CEO – HNZ Group, Photo Credit: Dave Hiebert


Mr. Wall’s vision to provide single engine operators with the same level of synthetic training tools that have been essential to the quality of twin/multi-engine training programs for many years is a testament to his commitment to safety. Convinced of the benefits, Mr. Wall spearheaded a tremendous effort to make flight simulator training accessible to single engine VFR operators at HNZ Topflight, Canada’s world-renowned advanced flight training school.

Since its origin in 1951, HNZ Topflight, formerly known as the Canadian Helicopters School of Advanced Flight Training, has established a world‐renowned reputation for the caliber of its training programs and has help shape industry standards in specialized and altitude flying. The techniques developed by HNZ Topflight are known as the gold standard industry wide. Over the past 60+ years, the school has trained thousands of military, police, corporate and civilian pilots from all over North America and around the world. Clients include the Royal Canadian Air Force, the United States Navy Special Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Royal Danish Air Force.

“We are honoured to accept this award. I am grateful for the support and talents of our team at HNZ Topflight whose hard work and persistence are responsible for making this vision a reality,” said Don Wall, President & CEO of HNZ Group. “Safety is fundamental to everything we do at HNZ and we are strongly committed to developing technologies to improve it.”

HNZ Topflight has long demonstrated a capacity for innovation and a commitment to the continuous improvement of its pilot training programs. Recognizing that Flight Training Devices (FTD) would greatly enhance the quality of its single engine training programs, under Mr. Wall’s determined leadership, HNZ’s flight standards team embarked on a mission to adapt Canadian regulations to fit new FTD technology and build a case for Transport Canada’s Certification of its EC30 (H125/AS350 B3e) simulator. The introduction of a Level 7 Flight Training Device at HNZ Topflight in Edmonton, AB, will undeniably enhance safety for single engine VFR helicopter operators.

Members of the ‘Innovation and Safety Award’ selection committee include; Robert Erdos – Chief Experimental Test Pilot, National Research Council of Canada; Fred Jones – President and CEO, Helicopter Association of Canada: Matt Nicholls – Editor, Helicopters Magazine and Wings Magazine and Mike Reyno – Photojournalist and Group Publisher, MHM Publishing.

This award is presented to an individual or organization whose business initiatives have demonstrated a great impact on the overall goal of safe flying operations, including; skill development, training and committing additional resources to safety programs. The winner, determined by an award selection committee, receives a $10,000 CAD prize.


About Airbus Helicopters Canada (

Airbus Helicopters Canada is a subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters and a leading supplier of helicopters in Canada. Our helicopters are used across the country in key parapublic and civil roles which include: law enforcement, emergency medical services, oil & gas, mining, firefighting, hydroelectric utilities, environmental surveys, tour and corporate transport. Airbus Helicopters was established in Fort Erie, Ontario in 1984 and has additional operations in Richmond, British Columbia and Mirabel, Quebec as well as a support and customer service network in place to support a fleet of over 690 helicopters in the country. The company recently celebrated over 30 years of success in Canada.

About Airbus Helicopters (

Airbus Helicopters, a division of Airbus Group, provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions worldwide. Its in-service fleet includes nearly 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 154 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 22,000 people worldwide and in 2015 generated revenues of 6.8 billion euros.


For more information, please contact:

Laura Senecal

Tel: +  613 230 3902

Mob: + 905 321 7738

Guillaume Steuer

Tel: + 33 (0)4 42 85 98 92

Mob: + 33 (0)6 73 82 11 68

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