Thales Training &Simulation (TTS) is building an Airbus A320 full-flight simulator for a new Canadian company which hopes to establish itself as an independent supplier of training time to Star Alliance airlines. Canadian Aviation Simulator Services (CASS) is setting up a facility close to Calgary Airport in Alberta and plans to have its first A320 simulator ready for training in October.

Tom Edmison, one of the two ex-Air Canada pilots who have founded CASS, says the company is targeting the Star Alliance as its key customer. Several of the Star partners operate A320s, including Air Canada and United Airlines. "Our goal is to support the airlines by augmenting their in-house training. We will not do the training, just provide the facility," he says.

With the accelerated retirement of older aircraft types post-11 September, Edmison says carriers like United are having to ramp up A320 conversion training. CASS aims to be a quicker and cheaper alternative for airlines to ordering more simulators. The company's first device is a duplicate of the last of five TTS-built A320 machines supplied to United's training centre. Edmison says a second A320 simulator will be ordered from TTS once the first machine is certificated and in service.

Although there are no contracts in place yet, Edmison says CASS's proposal has received a good response from Star Alliance pilots unions "because we're not there to take over". Contracting with an alliance like Star will make it easier for the airlines to share time on the simulator, he says.

Source: Flight International