Leonardo celebrates Festa della Repubblica at Essendon Airport

Essendon Fields is home to many proudly Australian-Italian businesses, from LaManna Melbourne’s celebration of family and food to Ducati’s brand new showroom, and Italian born Leonardo Helicopters – the world’s leading manufacturer of civil helicopters.

Fittingly Leonardo, which operate a service centre and logistics facility at Essendon Fields to serve the company’s growing fleet of Leonardo helicopters in Australasia, was selected to play host to a special event on Thursday 2 June that celebrated everything that is authentically Italian. The reception was organised by the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne in occasion of the Festa della Repubblica or Italy’s ‘Republic Day’, which is considered the ‘birthday’ of the Italian Republic.

The event was designed to celebrate the Italian business community in Melbourne and its defence, automotive, and innovation cluster, with a focus on promoting the strategic partnership between the governments of Lombardy and Victoria and reinforcing the sister city relationship between Milan and Melbourne.

The 2022 edition of Festa della Repubblica incorporated the True Italian Taste project that promotes authentic Italian products and quality Italian food service across the world, with a particular focus on food and wine products certified to have their origin or geographic location in Italy guaranteed or Italian wines meeting only the highest quality standards. The project is being promoted globally by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Leonardo was particularly proud to be given the honour to host the event within their 3828.2 sqm facility. Hangar 19 at Essendon Fields was completed in 2017, as one half of a pair of state of the art hangars, and was designed to fit up to eight AW139s at once. The impressive space, complete with an AW169 and AW109 GrandNew on display, was certainly on show throughout the celebration as the perfect event backdrop.

Both Victoria Police and Ambulance Air Wings operate Leonardo aircraft out Essendon Fields Airport. In June 2020 three Leonardo AW139 helicopters arrived at Essendon Fields for the Victoria Police air wing, as well as a Beechcraft Super King Air 350ER – a welcomed upgrade to the fleet.

Earlier in the year Leonardo also announced its Essendon Fields based service centre had received Part 145 approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Maintenance organisations that hold a Part 145 Approval provide services that meet the requirements of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR). Leonardo said the approval demonstrates its commitment to providing the highest level of quality management and service excellence to its customers and further expanding its capability.

“We are proud of this achievement, which demonstrates Leonardo Australia’s commitment to the highest safety and training standards for its customers and employees,” said Giorgio Mantegazza, managing director of Leonardo Australia.

“This approval is the result of hard work and efforts of the Australian team and represents further evidence of the in-country investments of Leonardo,” he said.

Photography by Dean Trajkovski from Another Photographer.