Allied Wings and Bombardier set to respond to request for proposals due in coming weeks

The Allied Wings consortium and Bombardier Aerospace Defense Services will respond to the Canadian Department of National Defence's (DND) Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) programme request for proposals (RFP), expected to be issued in the coming weeks.

The CFTS contract will cover ground training, flight training and support services for Phase I primary flying training (PFT) as well as support services and ground training for Phase III helicopter and multi-engined aircraft training. A contract with Bombardier to provide the service has already been extended and expires in August 2005. Any replacement service must be in place the following November, requiring a DND selection early next year.

Allied Wings includes team leader Kelowna Flightcraft as the fixed-wing aircraft provider; Atlantis Systems International providing the ground school, simulators and training materials; Canadian Base Operators to provide buildings and facilities; Canadian Helicopters; and Coastal Pacific Aviation.

Bill Weston, Allied Wings CFTS project co-ordinator, sees no disadvantage in not being the incumbent. "Each bidder has got a whole new fleet of aircraft and the new courseware will be the major issue. It's going to be very complex and very comprehensive," he says.

Bombardier has the advantage of running the NATO Flying Training in Canada programme, which will be closely linked with the CFTS programme. Bombardier says commonality between these programmes could be key for external customers, which could eventually provide 30% of CFTS business.

The DND has prescribed the Grob 120 and Aermacchi SF260 for PFT, while the Beech King Air C90B is the only aircraft considered suitable for multi-engined fixed-wing training. For rotary-wing training the DND's Bell CH-139 Jet Rangers and CH-146 Griffon helicopters could be made available, but bidders are also considering new AgustaA109s and Eurocopter AS355 Twin Squirrels.

The contract includes instructors and training materials, aircraft, airfield services and facilities to support training and student accommodation. The school will operate from Southport Aerospace Centre's former CF airbase at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

Allied Wings and Bombardier have already cleared DND pre-qualification, a process which would make it difficult for latecomers to enter the competition. CAE, Lockheed Martin and Vertex Aerospace are thought to have studied CFTS, and may yet respond to the RFP.

Source: Flight International