New helicopter training centre announced for Newfoundland, Labrador
The Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC), the Research & Development Corporation (RDC) and CAE have inaugurated a new helicopter training and research and development (R&D) centre in Newfoundland and Labrador. Fully funded by HMDC and RDC, the centre features the first civilian Level D helicopter simulator with night vision in Canada and hosts five research projects.
The centre is operated by CAE, a leading Canadian provider of training and simulation technologies. The simulator provides unprecedented realism for offshore facilities and local weather conditions. HMDC helicopter service provider Cougar Helicopters has started training its pilots at the centre.
“CAE is proud to offer the highest quality flight and mission training to offshore and search and rescue crews in the province, including Cougar Helicopters. We also look forward to the research and development projects aimed at making helicopter training more efficient and safe,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions, at the inauguration event. “Through this partnership with the Research & Development Corporation, we will develop local R&D expertise to support the needs of the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas industry.”
“This training and R&D centre creates local jobs, builds local expertise, and supports local research that is specifically designed for our regional environment and our offshore needs,” said Len Coughlan of HMDC. “Having this facility in the region increases the level of research related to helicopter operations, which will contribute to improved operations and flight safety.”
“This new world-class facility presents an exciting opportunity for increased R&D and collaboration in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development and Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation. “This investment will focus on human factors research in areas such as aircrew health monitoring and helmet fatigue which are critical operational issues for industry.”
“RDC is excited to partner with CAE to enhance R&D capabilities in this industry,” said Mark Ploughman, Acting Chief Executive Officer of RDC. “CAE is a recognized global leader in training and with the completion of this new facility, together we are enabling research that will further enhance transportation safety and efficiencies for aircrew and personnel working in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore industry.”
“Cougar Helicopters has very high flight crew training standards for our offshore oil & gas and SAR operations and our pilots train multiple times annually to maintain that standard. This simulator provides training for our low visibility and offshore approaches and simulates turbulence and icing conditions accurately to match the conditions in which we operate,” said Hank Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Cougar Helicopters. “A training centre right here in the province provides more efficient scheduling of training, less travelling and therefore less fatigue for our flight crews.”
The centre is located in a new building in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, and is already fully operational.