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New aviation training center opens in Las Vegas to aid pilot shortage

By Jaclyn Schultz

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    LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — A state-of-the-art pilot training center has opened near Harry Reid International Airport to help thousands of pilots take to the skies every year.

The CAE Las Vegas Training Center opened last fall and can train 2,500 pilots every year.

Pilots can come straight from work at any local Las Vegas airport, and train inside the 50,000-square-foot facility on eight different simulators that mimic different kinds of aircraft. Each simulator can digitally replicate runways and various conditions at airports across the world. The FAA approves simulator training for pilots, and also requires regular training.

“Vegas is a very strategic location. It’s very easy for pilots to get in and out of Las Vegas,” said Ash Zare of CAE. “Whether for airlines or business operators, you need to go to a training center like this where we will teach you how to fly this particular aircraft that you’re going to be flying,” he said. The center caters to training on business jets.

Pilots can seek training on new types of aircraft to take on different jobs and assignments.

Zare said Las Vegas is also a hub for employees of different specialties: simulator instructors, aircraft technicians, and engineers. The Valley also has plenty of veterans from the military with such skills.

“I retired from the Air Force. [CAE] provided opportunities for me to transition in the role of IT and aviation expertise,” said pilot Jim Chittenden. “Most veterans have a passion to serve and to live a meaningful life of purpose. And as they transition out of the military, CAE’s mission of aviation safety is a perfect landing spot for them,” he said.

The CAE Las Vegas Training Center has hired 70 employees and plans to hire more than two dozen others.

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