23 June 2017: Fiji Airways today confirmed the acquisition of a CAE Boeing 737 MAX aircraft full simulator for the Fiji Aviation Academy. The Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed in Suva today by Fiji Airways and Canadian simulator manufacturer CAE, in the presence of Fijian Attorney General, Minister for Economy and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation, the Honourable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Plans for Fiji’s first ever Aviation Academy were announced by the Government in the 2016 National Budget.
CAE is a world renowned aviation training provider. It has the largest network of civil training locations in the aviation industry, with more than 230 full-flight simulators in 50 civil training locations worldwide. CAE is also the world's leading supplier of civil flight simulators, with more than 1,000 simulators and flight training devices sold to more than 130 airlines, aircraft manufacturers and training centres.
Mr. Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer said: “This is one of the most important developments in Fiji Airways’ and Fiji’s aviation history. We are setting up a world-class aviation training academy which will have two full flight simulators installed during Phase 1 of the project. Today’s signing for a B737 MAX full flight simulator with CAE shows that we are progressing well with our plans. The next step will be the selection of a full simulator for widebody aircraft, followed by the development in Phase 2 of an 'ab-initio' cadet pilot training school with state-of-the-art fixed training devices.”
The new simulator will bring the highest level of civil simulation technology available in the world today to Fiji, enabling pilots from Fiji Airways and the region to train here at Nadi Airport instead of flying to other countries. The simulators’ latest visual systems will convincingly replicate all the important destination airports in the Fiji Airways’ network, allowing pilots to familiarise themselves with the airports before actually flying there.
Mr. Viljoen added, “Not only will Fiji Airways benefit from improved operational efficiencies and cost reduction, it will also accelerate the development of command-quality Captains in line with our standards and requirements. In the long run, the Academy will reduce the need for as many expatriate pilots and bring earnings to the country from selling simulator time.”
Both simulators for Phase 1 are planned to be installed by late 2018.
Speaking on behalf of the Fijian Government, Attorney General, Minister for Economy and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation, Honourable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said: “It has been our long term vision to provide an all-encompassing, end-to-end world-class training facility for aviators. Today is a step towards making this Fiji Aviation Academy a reality. Once the whole project is complete, Fiji will have the first such academy in the Pacific Islands, adding new economic opportunities and consolidates Fiji’s hub status. It will also provide employment opportunities and deliver state-of-the-art training not only to Fijians but others outside Fiji.”
The Honourable Minister added: “Having such elite partners like CAE and Boeing in this project proves once again that Fiji continues to attract credible and reputable investors who are confident in the Fijian Government’s policies and vision. The Fiji Aviation Academy will be a lasting legacy for the future of Fijian aviation”
Fiji Airways is currently working with Government to secure a location for the Academy in Nadi and concurrently selecting its management team.