Eurocopter held the grand opening for its new simulator training center, Helisim, in Marignane, France, in late February. By next year the facility will house two FAA/ JAA level-D simulators with four interchangeable cockpits.
FlightSafety Boeing Training International (FSB) opened its UK training center at London Luton Airport on July 27. The 35,000-sq-ft facility is equipped with a pair of Boeing 737-300 flight simulators, a 737-700/800 unit and a 757 device.
When Nick Leontidis, CAE’s executive vice president of civil training and equipment, tossed down the gauntlet, saying, “We’re going after FlightSafety…we believe we have a better product to offer…” (AIN, July, page 64), his competitor wasn’t about to let that claim go unchallenged.
CAE last month inaugurated its aviation training center near Denver International Airport. The new facility, which specializes in the training of regional airline crews, is starting with three simulators: an Airbus A320 and two Bombardier CRJ200/700 devices. Frontier Airlines and Air Wisconsin are the launch customers. A third Bombardier CRJ200/700 simulator will be added next year.
Technical and operational requirements for simulators and flight-training devices (FTDs) will be updated and consolidated into one new rule–FAR Part 60–if an FAA proposal is adopted. Part 60 would also require simulator and FTD providers to have an FAA-approved quality-assurance program, currently a voluntary item. Comments are due December 24.
With the opening of its new 67,000-sq-ft training center in Orlando, Fla. last October, Pan Am International Flight Academy underscored its intention to further expand into the business of simulator training for business aviation.
With the opening of its new northern Virginia regional airline training center last fall, Pan Am International Flight Academy served notice of its commitment as “a dependable, credible and trustworthy training partner,” said Ralph Leach, director of regional aircraft training.
“We’re going after FlightSafety,” Nick Leontidis, CAE’s executive vice president of civil aviation training and equipment, told AIN. “They may have created the business aviation simulation market, but we believe we have a better product.” He said current customer expectations are “far behind what the commercial airline market has enjoyed for many years in terms of quality of service.”
Simulator maker CAE last month announced that Bombardier has awarded the company the simulation development contract for the CRJ900 regional jet and upgrades to four CRJ700 simulators. In addition, Calgary-based airline WestJet has agreed to purchase a Boeing 737-700 flight simulator for installation at the airline’s training facility.
FlightSafety International said it plans to open a helicopter learning center in Lafayette, La., in the fourth quarter of this year. The first full-motion flight simulator scheduled for installation at the center is a Sikorsky S-76C+/++. The Lafayette learning center will focus on offshore operations training as well as courses targeting most helicopter types operating in the Gulf.