• New program addresses increased need for business aviation pilots while enhancing safety

CAE and Sun Air Jets announce a collaboration on a new pilot development program (L-R) K. Strassburger (Sun Air Jets), B. Hogg, T. McCarthy and J. Kenworthy (CAE), E. Fares (Sun Air Jets), J. Billington (CAE), M. Brehm and J. Evans (Sun Air Jets)

CAE (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) and Sun Air Jets today announced at the National Business Aviation Association Conference and Exhibition that they are collaborating on an innovative Pilot Development Program (PDP) to enhance safety and address the increased need for business aviation pilots. Launched in Morristown, NJ, in July 2023 with courses developed for King Air’s 350 pilots, this new Sun Air Jets program allows young pilots to gain flight hours and experience by operating flights as second-in-command (SIC) on aircraft that do not require more than one pilot.

The program allows pilots to obtain invaluable on-the-job experience as they build their hours and progress to becoming a pilot-in-command (PIC). Several pilots have already graduated to PIC thanks to their participation in the CAE program, and many more will have a similar opportunity at Sun Air Jets.

“We are very excited to implement this pilot development program at Sun Air Jets to enhance safety within our operations and to meet the demand for pilots and workforce challenges”, says Ed Fares, Director of Operations at Sun Air Jets. “This Pilot Development Program will help provide additional qualified pilots while increasing overall safety. The program is designed to bring beneficial operating experience to our young pilots allowing them the opportunity to grow into bigger jet aircraft and build a strong foundation as a safe and professional pilot.”

“With the increased demand for business aviation pilots, CAE is committed to working in partnership with operators like Sun Air Jets to ensure they have the highly trained pilots needed to maintain safe and efficient operations,” said Alexandre Prevost, CAE’s Division President - Business Aviation and Helicopter Training. “We are thrilled to bring this innovative pilot development program to life with the Sun Air Jets team as it not only gives young pilots a way to build their hours and gain experience, but it also allows them to fly with more seasoned colleagues and benefit from their knowledge, resulting in safer operations.”

According to the National Business Aviation Association, the SIC PDP, found in amended Federal Aviation Regulation (“FAR”) Part 135.99, allows a pilot employed by a FAR Part 135 air carrier and serving as second-in-command in a multiengine airplane or single-engine, turbine-powered airplane to log SIC flight during operations that do not require a second pilot. The revised rule also allows flight time gained in a SIC PDP to be used to meet certain aeronautical requirements of FAR Part 61 for an ATP certificate and certain aeronautical experience requirements of FAR Part 135. Part 135 operators that have been issued Operation Specification A062 are permitted to assign a qualified SIC and the SIC will be eligible to log the flight time if participating in the operator’s SIC PDP.

Click here for more information on the Sun Air Jets PDP.

A photo is available at CAE’s Multimedia Centre.


Sun Air Jets operates one of the safest rated private jet fleets in the nation with a flawless safety record spanning over 20 years. Serving the greater Los Angeles area and locations nationwide, Sun Air Jets provides aircraft management, maintenance, private luxury hangars, and private charter jet services on a diverse fleet including Gulfstream, Bombardier, Embraer, Citation, Hawker, and King Air aircraft. Along with maintaining the highest safety standards in the industry, Sun Air Jets remains dedicated to serving clients with the highest levels of operating expertise and personable client care. With bases located in Van Nuys and Camarillo, California, including a full-service Fixed Based Operator (FBO) at the company’s KCMA headquarters, Sun Air Jets is a fully certified Part 145 repair station and 135 charter operator. To learn more about Sun Air Jets, visit SunAirJets.com.


At CAE, we equip people in critical roles with the expertise and solutions to create a safer world. As a technology company, we digitalize the physical world, deploying software-based simulation training and critical operations support solutions. Above all else, we empower pilots, cabin crew, airlines, defence and security forces and healthcare practitioners to perform at their best every day and when the stakes are the highest. Around the globe, we’re everywhere customers need us to be with more than 13,000 employees in approximately 250 sites and training locations in over 40 countries. CAE represents more than 75 years of industry firsts—the highest-fidelity flight, mission and medical simulators and training programs powered by digital technologies. We embed sustainability in everything we do. Today and tomorrow, we’ll make sure our customers are ready for the moments that matter. Read our FY23 Global Annual Activity and Sustainability Report.

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