A combination of growth from new business aviation markets such as the Middle East and Asia and recovery in the more mature markets of Europe and North America has inspired flight-training provider CAE to triple investments in facilities. Half of all investment is going into new simulators. The group has been adding these at a rate of two to four each year and expects to install another 25 new units at its worldwide locations over the next five years.
Bombardier Aerospace announced Tuesday at the Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis that it has appointed CAE as its authorized training provider for its entire line of CRJ regional jets. Under the ATP agreement, which has already taken effect, CAE instructors will deliver CRJ aircraft flight training courses at eight locations around the world.
CAE operates 10 CRJ aircraft full-flight simulators (FFSs) in Charlotte, Minneapolis and Phoenix in the U.S; Copenhagen, Denmark; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Madrid, Spain; and Toronto and Montreal in Canada.
CAE and Brazilian helicopter operator Lider Aviaçao launched a helicopter pilot training program in São Paulo for the Sikorsky S-92. The CAE-Lider Aviaçao joint venture purchased the S-92 simulator late last year, though it was identified at the time only as an undisclosed customer. The S-92 training program under the joint venture will support flight training for all of Lider’s S-92 pilots, as well as those from other helicopter operators in the region.
Business aviation continues to grow in China and the rest of the Asia region, and the demand for pilots and technicians is stronger than ever. With a generally accepted ratio of five qualified pilots required for each business jet in service, supplying training for those pilots–and the technicians who will service the aircraft–remains one of the industry’s more profound challenges.
The upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) provided by Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) has played a key part in countering loss of control in flight (LOC-I), now the most significant cause of transport-category aircraft accidents. APS recently launched an ambitious plan to take its UPRT expertise to airlines and business aviation operators around the world, as well as to military air wings, as professional pilot manual-flying skills move increasingly center-stage.
While the safety and practical benefits of simulators are well known to the airline industry, they are still relatively new to civil helicopter pilots, instructors and operating companies. First, the student and instructor do not have to spend time flying to a particular place–for example, a hilly area, an offshore platform and so forth. With one click of a mouse at the instructor station, the helicopter and the crew find themselves teleported.
The civil helicopter industry is, at last, taking advantage of simulators in pilot training decades after the fixed-wing aircraft industry began to do so. Simulators are proliferating around the world and, after having been concentrated in the medium-twin segment, now also include light turbine singles. The emergence of rotorcraft simulators in recent years was prompted by a combination of factors: technology, cost, insurance and a realization that the industry must improve a poor safety record.
CAE has been named by Dassault as the exclusive training provider for the recently launched Falcon 5X. The agreement, announced yesterday, covers advanced pilot, maintenance and cabin crew training for the new long-range twinjet. CAE has developed the first full-flight simulators for more than 40 new aircraft from 16 manufacturers. The Montreal-based company declined to say when it will deliver the first pair of simulators for the $40+ million 5X, which is expected to fly next year and enter service in 2017.
CAE announced yesterday that it will start accepting Avcard, an aviation charge card from World Fuel Services, as a form of payment at its business aviation training centers in Dallas and New York. Avcard acceptance allows CAE customers to earn FlyBuys Rewards when they pay for training with the card. CAE plans eventually to expand this payment option to its other business aircraft training facilities, including those in Amsterdam, São Paulo, Shanghai, Dubai, London and Phoenix. The company offers training on more than 80 business aircraft platforms.
CAE said last week it had received Level D qualification of the world’s first simulator for the Boeing 747-8 freighter, a full-flight simulator (FFS) sold to Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International. Luxembourg’s national aviation authority awarded the simulator EASA Level D qualification. CAE also announced November 12 that it had received Level D qualifications from the FAA for its first two Boeing 787 FFSs for undisclosed North American customers.