Swiss AviationTraining (SAT) has put its new Bombardier C Series full flight simulator into service at its Zurich Airport training base. The simulator, which is the first in Europe to be certificated for pilot training, will be primarily used to train the C Series flightdeck crews of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS).

The new simuator was built and installed to a tight timetable that was made all the more challenging through the changes to which it was subjected. The short-notice software updates in particular which are both customary and essential in the introduction of any new aircraft type had to be constantly integrated and trialled. Indeed, the new simulator's configuration was not finalized until 1 May, after which it was installed on site and underwent its extensive acceptance tests.

The Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) formally approved the new simulator for pilot training use on Friday 17 June, thereby confirming that the device fully meets all official requirements. The certification coincided with the first flight of the first SWISS Bombardier CS100 and - one year to the day - with the first landing in Zurich of a CS100 in SWISS livery.

A total of 64 SWISS pilots will be conversion-trained onto the Bombardier C Series at SAT this year, on a course that consists of some 35 days of training spread over two to three months. In addition to theory and integrated procedure trainer (IPT) sessions, the trainees will collectively spend some 3,000 hours on SAT's new C Series simulator.