ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—The Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) and the Research & Development Corporation (RDC) are investing approximately $16 million in a new helicopter training and research and development (R&D) centre in Newfoundland and Labrador.
HMDC will contribute $13 million to the centre and its helicopter simulator system, and Crown Corporation RDC will contribute $3.3 million to the cost of the helicopter simulator system and the completion of five research projects.
The centre is being developed and will be operated by CAE, a Canadian-based provider of training and simulation technologies. The simulator will provide unprecedented realism for offshore facilities and local weather conditions, and will feature the first approved helicopter simulator with night vision capability in Canada.
“Our investment in CAE helps bring critical new R&D capacity to Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Darin King, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. “Supporting CAE brings a world-class researcher and collaborator to the province and promises economic benefits from applied industry R&D.”
“The training and R&D centre will create local jobs, build local expertise, and support local research that is specifically designed for our regional environment and our offshore needs,” said Jamie Long, President of HMDC. “Having this facility in the region will increase the level of research related to helicopter operations, which we believe will contribute to improved operations and flight safety.”
“This state-of-the art facility will stimulate increased R&D activity and collaboration,” said Glenn Janes, CEO of RDC. “It will provide a platform to develop and test new products and services that further enhance safety, improve transportation efficiency, and drive economic benefits from industry R&D expenditures.”
“CAE is proud to receive this investment from HMDC and RDC to set up this new training and R&D centre in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE President of Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “We look forward to offering the highest-quality flight and mission training to pilots working offshore in the province.”
HMDC helicopter service provider Cougar Helicopters will train its pilots at the centre and is actively involved in research and development projects.
“We have very high flight crew training standards for our operations offshore Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Hank Williams, General Manager of Cougar Helicopters. “A training centre right here in the province will give our pilots and crews the opportunity to train locally, and that means more training and less traveling.”
The centre, which will be located in a new building on Topsail Road in Mount Pearl, is expected to be operational by early 2016. Spare training capacity will be offered to other organizations outside the province.