His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, accompanied by the UK Aviation Minister and leading figures from the UK aviation industry, have officially marked the opening of L3Harris Technologies' new $100 million London Training Centre for commercial airline pilots.
The state-of-the-art facility, located close to London Gatwick Airport, employs 350 people and is designed to meet the increasing airline demand for new pilots and to address the worldwide shortage of commercial pilots. The facility, which also design, develops and builds the company's RealitySeven full flight simulator (FFS), will further strengthen the UK's position as an epicentre for the commercial aviation industry.
The training centre is already seeing strong demand, with 15 international airlines training pilots at the site. The facility will also support the company's Airline Academy cadet training programmes.
During the official opening, The Prince of Wales met young people who are soon to start on the Prince's Trust Flying Scholarship, which was created by L3Harris as part of the RAF100 legacy. The scholarship was launched earlier this year and has the potential to support three young people each year for the next ten years. It will deliver a streamlined training course at L3Harris Airline Academy in Bournemouth on single-engine aircraft. The scholarship aims to support L3Harris' and the Prince's Trust shared goal of increasing diversity within the aviation industry and supporting more people to achieve their dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot.
Parlimentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, who spoke with employees and guests during the opening ceremony, said, "This training centre will boost the local economy, helping our aviation sector continue to cement its place as one of the world's very best. As we seek to build a fairer society, improving access to pilot training goes hand in hand with our work to increase diversity and female representation across the industry."
The London Training Centre includes a range of RealitySeven FFS, high-fidelity flight training devices, flat panel trainers, classrooms and briefing rooms. The production facility has a combined volume of more than 150,000 square feet with the capability to manufacture 30+ FFS a year.