Emirates, one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines and Canadian-based CAE, a global leader in modelling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defence, formed a joint venture in 2002 to set up and manage a flight training facility. It was the first training centre of its kind in the Middle East to be approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
From its modest beginnings in a small premises in the Dubai Airport Freezone with just two training full-flight simulators (FFS), the business has grown considerably. Now housed in a bespoke training centre adjacent to the Emirates Aviation College in Garhoud, Dubai the centre today boasts 13 bays which together provide training for Airbus, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, Gulfstream and Hawker Beechcraft aircraft types.
The expansion over the past ten years has increased the training capacity to its current position of servicing over 200 aviation clients and training more than 10,000 pilots and technicians a year. Commercial airlines, business aircraft and helicopter operators also train their crews and maintenance staff at ECFT. In addition, management works in close collaboration with more than 20 different National Aviation Authorities to ensure that their specific requirements are also fulfilled.
While around half the current customer base come from the Middle East region, the facility also provides its services to customers in a wide range of countries worldwide, who send their pilots to Dubai for their training. Approximately 30% come in from Europe and the remainder from across Asia and Africa.
Looking toward the future, Emirates and CAE will expand further next year with the opening of a new training centre in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis. The centre, expected to be officially opened before mid 2013, will increase still further the training capacity for both pilots and technicians.