Airbus officially broke ground for a new state-of-the-art training centre for future C295 aircraft crews and technicians at CFB Comox in British Columbia, Canada, on Jan. 25, after having celebrated last December the first anniversary of the Canada’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) contract award.
The training centre will prepare aircrew and maintenance personnel to operate Canada’s 16 C295s and will house a full flight simulator, a range of procedures trainers, maintenance training devices, and classroom space.
Montreal-based CAE is leading the design and building of the centre under a contract managed by AirPro, a joint venture between Airbus and PAL Aerospace (St John’s, NL) created to provide long-term FWSAR in-service support.
CFB Comox will serve as the main training centre for C295 crews, with Airbus operating the facility over the 20-year life of the steady-state contract supported by CAE.
Simon Jacques, head of Airbus Defence and Space in Canada said: “Just more than a year into the programme we are on schedule and making excellent progress towards the entry into service of the C295 backed by a robust support infrastructure that will serve Canada well for the decades to come.
“Search and rescue is a highly challenging mission with little room for error. We are confident that this superb facility at 19 Wing Comox will provide current and future Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) personnel with the skills and knowledge they need to perform their role to the highest standards.”
“CAE is proud to partner with Airbus as the training systems integrator to lead the overall design and delivery of the C295 aircrew and maintenance training system,” said Joe Armstrong, Vice President and General Manager, CAE Canada. “This state of the art training facility in Comox will serve as the centre of excellence for training the men and women of the RCAF and prepare them to carry out critical and challenging search and rescue missions.”
Canada will receive the first C295 in late 2019, with remaining aircraft being delivered over the following three years. In addition to training services provided by CAE, Canada’s C295s are powered by engines made by Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) and have electro-optical sensors from L3 Wescam.