Halldale Group Industry Reporter Amanda Towner and Business Manager for the U.S. Holly Foster attended CAE USA’s groundbreaking of its new state-of-the-art U.S. headquarters facility, which will be located at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Florida.
The new 290,000-square foot facility, which will be leased from Space Florida, is expected to be completed in 2022. CAE USA currently employs more than 500 in the Tampa area, and expects to create an additional 100 jobs at the new facility in areas such as computer and software engineering, program management, training instructors, and corporate functions.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; United States Representative Kathy Castor (D-Fla.); Mayor Jane Castor, City of Tampa; Joe Lopano, CEO, Tampa International Airport; Craig Richard, president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation; General Bryan “Doug” Brown, retired U.S. Army, chairman of the CAE USA board of directors; the Honorable Sue Payton, former assistant secretary of the Air Force and CAE USA board member; and Brian Morra, chairman of the CAE USA Mission Solutions Inc. board of directors. The CAE USA facility groundbreaking was also attended by other local, state, and federal government officials; customers, partners and suppliers; and employees, including 35 employees with more than 30 years of service.
“The legacy of CAE USA is now 80 years old and we have been in the Tampa Bay area for the last 40 years,” said Ray Duquette, president and general manager, CAE USA. The new headquarters will provide employees with a modern facility to attract and attain the workforce needed to develop advanced training solutions that enhance mission readiness, said Duquette.
Guests were able to preview the future facility using tablets, which augmented the building layout. Guests could walk around the property carrying a tablet, which showed the general location of the facility by augmenting it over the current scenery. Interestingly, we were currently standing in the designated future parking lot, and the building was much farther ahead.
Guests were also able to explore one of CAE USA’s trainers using an augmented reality headset. The T-44 Augmented Reality Procedures Trainer, which was created for the U.S. Navy to train its naval aviators, showed the ground control station of a remotely piloted aircraft.
Mayor Jane Castor explained that the new facility will “ensure that our service members have the tools they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently.”
The new facility project was made possible through partnerships between CAE USA, Enterprise Florida, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Hillsborough County, City of Tampa, Space Florida, Tampa International Airport, Tampa Electric, CBRE and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.