CAE begins operations at N.J. facility

 - March 7, 2007, 6:23 AM

CAE’s training facility in Morristown, N.J. is now open for limited use, according to the flight simulator manufacturer and training provider. The new business aviation training center has been in operation since the end of January, using Gulfstream IV and Sikorsky S-76 simulators transferred from its Dallas facility. The six-bay training center is expected to be fully operational this spring. Plans for the facility call for the addition of simulators for the Dassault Falcon 900EX, Falcon 2000EX and Falcon 7X. Training for the 7X is expected to begin next month.

According to Jeff Roberts, group president for innovation and civil training and services, planning for the Morristown center began about two-and-a-half years ago and was based on the feedback of clients. “The customers indicated that we needed to have something in the Northeast part of the United States,” said Roberts. At the same time, the company was in talks with Dassault, trying to win the entitlement training program in support of the 7X. “We told them that if they would select us, then we would put a training facility in the Northeast.”

The six-bay facility is smaller than the company’s other business aviation installations, such as the centers in Dallas, near Gatwick Airport in London and in Dubai, but Roberts says the company plans to expand the center as required.

Central Location
The company feels the Morristown location, near Newark Liberty International Airport, is well situated. “Seventy percent of the business aviation fleet is in North America, and within 400 miles of Morristown there’s probably 35 to 40 percent of the business aviation fleet in the United States, so I think overwhelmingly this center will support that community,” said Roberts.

CAE takes pride in the fact that its simulator training program for the 7X at the Morristown center precedes the fly-by-wire trijet’s certification. “It’s a first in the industry that this [7X] simulator is actually up and flying on its original schedule,” says Roberts. “The coursework is done on its original schedule, and the instructors are trained on their original schedule, so we’re going to adhere to and meet the original schedule that we agreed to with Dassault.”

Officials from the company expect the center’s formal inauguration will be a primarily customer-based event to be scheduled for the end of next month or the beginning of May.