Atlantis Systems International is set to launch a programme allowing airlines to lease flight training devices (FTDs) and is due to deliver its first low-cost crew training device (CTD) to Air Canada.

The Canadian simulator company will formally launch the programme at a trade show in Dallas, Texas later this month. Atlantis has secured support from a Canadian government export group and will offer already developed Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 FTDs, says Laurence Esterhuizen, Atlantis director of marketing.

Airlines may only need an FTD for two or three years, says Esterhuizen, adding that such devices have at least 10-year lives. Atlantis will take the residual value risk and is confident it can place FTDs with new customers as the simulators come off lease. "The A320 and 737 are the largest part of the FTD market," he says.

Meanwhile, Atlantis has developed a stripped-down CTD that provides 75% of the capability for 25% of the cost of a traditional device, he says. The initial CTD device is for the A320 family and uses the full capability software but with pared down hardware. For instance, costs are reduced by removing the sidestick and throttle quadrant. Atlantis expects Transport Canada to certificate the device as equivalent to the US Federal Aviation Administration's Level 4.

Around 75% of Atlantis business is for military trainers, and it is eyeing a maintenance trainer for the Bombardier CRJ regional jet based on a system under development for the Royal Australian Air Force and Canadian Forces' Boeing F/A-18 fighters.

Source: Flight International