Heightened demand from its airline customers has prompted Boeing to invest in a major expansion to its Flight Services Centre training facility near London Gatwick airport.
Opened in 2004, the site in Crawley, West Sussex, will be boosted through the addition of a further four full-flight simulators (FFS), Boeing announced on 13 July. The company has yet to disclose which aircraft types will be supported by the devices, which will be ready for use from next year.
Campus manager Angela Golder says the pending increase to 11 FFS bays will make the Boeing Gatwick training site, in size terms, second only to the company's main facility in Miami, Florida.
Four simulators for the 787 (above) are already in use at the Gatwick site, along with lone devices for the 777 and 737NG. The newest FFS to enter use is for the 737 Max 8, with this – the first of its kind in Europe – and a related fixed training device (below) having been qualified for training last month.
Early users will include Norwegian, which took delivery of its first re-engined 737s in late June and recently signed a training services deal with Boeing to support its operations with the type.
"We can be a one-stop shop for the customer," says Golder.
In addition to its expansion activity, Boeing is continually striving to increase the utilisation rates for its existing FFS to meet demand. Each device is now supporting more than four 4h training sessions per day, Golder says.
Two additional Boeing-owned devices – one each for the 717 and 757 – are located at nearby Burgess Hill.