SimuFlite, which was recently rebranded as GE Capital SimuFlite to emphasize that it is a subsidiary of General Electric, has begun its third major expansion of its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) training center in just six years. The company recently broke ground on a 70,000-sq-ft north wing that will house six simulator bays, additional classrooms and office space.
Slated for completion in the middle of next year, the expansion will bring the total area at the SimuFlite center to 411,000 sq ft. When finished, the entire complex will be able to house 36 simulators (30 operated by SimuFlite and six operated by Bombardier for its own training programs).
Meanwhile, the training company’s level-D simulator fleet expansion continues on schedule, with Gulfstream V, Citation Ultra/Bravo and Citation Excel sims coming online earlier this year. Two more sims–a Beechjet 400A device and a King Air 350 unit–are scheduled to arrive before the end of the year.
Three more simulators are expected to arrive next year–CitationJet, Hawker 800XP and Sikorsky S-76, which will be SimuFlite’s first helicopter simulator. Two additional sims are on order for 2003, one for the Falcon 900B/C/EX and another for the Falcon 2000.
CAE of Montreal manufactured the Gulfstream V, Citation Ultra/Bravo and Citation Excel devices, and will also build the Hawker 800XP and Sikorsky S-76 sims. NLX Corp. of Sterling, Va., will fabricate the Beechjet 400A, King Air 350 and CitationJet machines. Crawley, UK-based Thales will produce the two Falcon simulators.
Besides each simulator being certified to FAA level-D standards, all training programs will be approved under FAR Part 142 and submitted for Joint Airworthiness Authorities (JAA) Type Rating Training Organization (TRTO) approvals. Thus far, SimuFlite has earned TRTO approval for five pilot-training programs spanning the Challenger 601, Falcon 50, Gulfstream IV, Hawker 700 and Learjet 35/36 classes. The company expects to obtain similar approvals for its remaining programs by the end of the year.
As a result of the approvals, European operators who train at SimuFlite can receive type ratings approved by the JAA TRTO. SimuFlite’s courses also satisfy the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s condition for the approval of an aircraft type-rating course and Joint Aviation Regulations-Flight Crew Licensing (JAR-CFL) requirements. Each course provides integrated ground school, simulator and aircraft training. At the completion of the training at SimuFlite, the operator returns to his or her own country to complete a minimum number of in-aircraft landings with a JAA examiner before being awarded the appropriate type rating.
In other news at SimuFlite, the company announced that it has added special personalized features on its Web site (www.simuflite. com) exclusively for its clients. Registered customers can now make airline, hotel and car reservations, review training manuals and practice aircraft-specific emergency procedure drills. Access to all personalized Web services is available to clients who have trained at SimuFlite within the last two years or those who have pending training reservations.