Middle East, Asia A ‘Safe Port In A Storm’, Says CAE President

  • Bindiya Thomas
  • 03:24 PM, February 19, 2013
  • 2367

With uncertainty over defense spending in the U.S and abroad, defense giants like flight simulator-maker CAE are looking to the Middle East and other countries as a safe haven for growth.

CAE’s group president, Gene Colabatistto, identified Asia, the Middle East and India as areas for sustaining growth at a time of sequestration and budget cuts. He called them “a safe port in a storm” and added, “Not all countries are facing fiscal constraints. Those governments have been very public about simulator training because its cost effective.”

“Militaries are methodical and organized, they don’t change overnight. We’re looking at Asia, Middle East and India, in that order, to provide synthetic training,” he said.

CAE has sold 30 full-flight simulators, including six new devices in the quarter, including orders from COMAC of China for its new C919 passenger aircraft this fiscal years. In 2012, the company sold 37 units around the world.

Although CAE’s civil simulator and training division profits grew 12 per cent to $47.1 million as revenues surged 41 per cent to $287.2-million, its military segment profits dropped nearly 27 per cent to $27-million on a 7 per-cent drop in revenues to $206.2-million.

Meanwhile, CAE plans to expand its operations in the Middle East with the opening of a new training centre in Dubai later this year. This is in addition to the existing Emirates CAE Flight Training (ECFT) Center which is among the largest in the world.

The joint venture, worth $260 million, was set up in 2002 was the first training centre of its kind in the Middle East to be approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

The centre today boasts 13 bays which together provide training for Airbus, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, Gulfstream and Hawker Beechcraft aircraft types.

“The UAE is a terrific place for us to base our operations from because its so easy to travel to other parts of the region,” Colabatistto added. 

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