Global training provider and simulator manufacturer CAE (Chalet V87) lands at the Singapore Airshow amidst the company’s expansion in Asia Pacific, a hotspot for the anticipated global pilot shortage. “Asia is set to have the strongest demand for pilots over the next two decades,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s group president, Civil Aviation Training Solutions.
At the Asia Pacific Airline Training Summit in Singapore last September, the Montreal, Canada-based company announced new training facilities in Bangkok, Thailand; and New Delhi, India. The Bangkok facility, located near Don Mueang International Airport, will support Thai AirAsia’s growth under its long-term agreement with the carrier, as well as third-party regional airline operators. Set to open this year subject to regulatory approvals with two CAE 7000XR Series Airbus A320 full-flight simulators equipped with the CAE Tropos 6000XR visual system, the center has space for up to four additional simulators.
In Gurugram, in India’s National Capital Region, CAE is partnering with InterGlobe enterprises in a joint venture, also slated to open this year: the CAE New Delhi Gurugram—CAE Simulation Training Private Limited. Located near Indira Gandhi International Airport, the center will provide a local base for airline customers and regional third-party operators, and like the Bangkok facility, initially, be equipped with a pair of CAE 7000XR Series Airbus A320 full-flight simulators.
Call for Pilots
Asia-Pacific will need some 266,000 new pilots over the next two decades, according to Boeing’s latest forecast, with South and Southeast Asia absorbing 90,000 of them, and China 124,000. A partnership with UK low-cost operator easyJet that CAE announced in October illustrates one possible way to meet those needs by boosting the number of pilots the training company can produce.
Under the agreement with easyJet, CAE will train 1,000 of the airline’s new cadet pilots with its Multi-Crew Pilot license (MPL) program and provide Airbus 320 type rating training for graduates of its Integrated Airline Transport Pilot License program and place them with the airline. CAE will recruit and train aspiring pilots through the launch of a new ab-initio Generation easyJet Pilot Training Program. Incorporating the latest competency-based training innovations and easyJet Standard Operating Procedures, it will be the first MPL course to include air traffic control simulation in the training devices.
Selected cadets will begin MPL training this year, and the first graduates will be serving as easyJet copilots by the end of next year. Leontidis called the agreement “a resounding endorsement of CAE’s leadership in the pilot training industry."
CAE is also using digital intelligence to enhance training effectiveness. Its RISE (real-time insights and standardized evaluations) program, launched in 2018, objectively analyzes data collected by simulators and aircraft, with the goal of improving the overall training program. AirAsia was the first RISE customer, and CAE is now offering RISE to military customers for pilot training programs; military and security forces are major customers for CAE’s training solutions.
In December CAE introduced the CAE TRAX Academy, which uses a Learn, Practice, Perform training continuum in combination with RISE to accelerate and improve military student pilot training. In tandem, CAE launched the Sprint Virtual Reality trainer, a self-contained training apparatus and integral part of the CAE TRAX Academy. It includes a virtual reality headset, haptics, physical flight controls, CAE Medallion image generator, and CAE virtual coach, enabling self-paced learning in an immersive, high-fidelity virtual environment.
CAE has also embarked on a global expansion of its business aviation pilot training, announced at NBAA-BACE in the U.S. in October, including the renewal and launch of new training programs for Bombardier, Dassault, Gulfstream, and Embraer platforms. CAE currently provides business aviation pilot training in eight locations worldwide: Shanghai; Abu Dhabi, Dubai; Amsterdam; London; and three locations in North America: Montreal; Dallas, Texas; and Morristown, New Jersey.
Founded as Canadian Aviation Electronics in 1947, today CAE manufacturers more than 100 full-flight simulators per year and graduates 1,500 new pilots trained “ab initio” (from the beginning) to airlines all over the world, and trains 135,000 pilots in its own simulator training facilities at more than 50 locations.