CAE’s joint ventures are taking off

 - November 14, 2008, 10:22 PM

Two joint ventures of simulator manufacturer CAE (Stand No. 530) made key announcements in the run-up to this week’s MEBA show. First, initial customers for Embraer’s Phenom 100 very light jet have passed the FAA practical test at the Embraer CAE Training Services (ECTS) facility at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas. Second, Emirates-CAE Flight Training (ECFT) of Dubai announced two offshore helicopter contracts.

James Frost, a real estate and mineral executive, has become the first Phenom 100 customer to be authorized to fly the type. “The conclusion of the training program made me feel even more excited to fly my own Phenom 100 jet,” said Frost, whose wife has also successfully completed the program.

The ECTS general pilot training program will have two CAE 5000 Series full-flight simulators (FFS), one in the U.S. and the other at Burgess Hill, UK, covering flight training for both the Phenom 100 and the larger Phenom 300.

Meanwhile, at last week’s Helishow Dubai, ECFT signed a three-year contract with Caverton Offshore Support Group to be its exclusive training provider for the Bell 412 helicopter. Caverton has acquired five Bell 412EPs for offshore operations in Nigeria. “We will be reducing our costs and increasing the safety of our pilots…The program will reduce the financial burden of training pilots on our new helicopters or having to send them to a remote location,” said Caverton managing director Sola Falola.

The training will include simulator sessions in ECFT’s Bell 412 full-flight simulator, the only level-3 FFS with both JAA and FAA approval in the Europe,  Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. It will also include enhanced classroom-based training and crew resource management and will take place at ECFT’s Dubai facility.

ECFT has also announced a new five-year deal with Gulf Helicopter Co. for Bell 412 training, taking advantage of the certification of the facility by the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority as a type rating training organization.

ECFT’s Dubai center now has 10 of its 14 simulator bays occupied. As well as the Bell 412 simulator, the other FFSs now in place are: two Airbus A320/ACJs, an Airbus A330/340, a Boeing 777, two Boeing 737NG/BBJs, a Gulfstream IV, a Gulfstream GV/G550 and a Hawker 800/800XP.

Finally, Montreal-based CAE last week announced that its second-quarter revenues grew by 15 percent to C$406.7 million. For the same period, profits were up by 25 percent to C$48.9 million.