Brig Gen Clark Little of the Canadian Forces Air Command reckons that a go-ahead decision on the proposed Nato Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) programme is a mere 60 days away.

A joint project between the Canadian Forces, Bombardier, British Aerospace and Embraer, NFTC plans to put the abundant Canadian air space to use, says Brig Gen Little.

A military operated and contractor supported flying training programme makes considerable economic - as well as operational - sense, he adds.

In addition to interest from the Royal Air Force, the air arms of the Netherlands and Norway are monitoring progress closely, while the USAF is also keeping a close watch on the situation. Brig Gen Little says: "We'll be geared up to train Nato's fast jet pilots from ‘cradle to coffin' and very economically, using around 50 aircraft - split equally between Embraer 312H Super Tucanos and BAe Hawk 100s".

He says the whole NFTC project hinges on the fact that both the Canadian Forces and Nato are likely to lose the use of vast tracts of low level pilot training areas in Canada if military airfield have to close due to lack of use. "The Canadian Forces can no longer justify keeping all these bases open and once they're lost, they'll be gone for ever and that would be a great pity."

Centred on the Canadian Forces bases at Moose Jaw and Cold Lake, the NFTC programme covers a low-flying area the size of much of northern Europe.



Source: Flight Daily News