The Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC), the Research & Development Corporation (RDC) and CAE today inaugurated a new helicopter training and research and development (R&D) centre in Newfoundland and Labrador. Fully funded by HMDC and RDC, the centre features the first civilian Level D helicopter simulator with night vision in Canada and hosts five research projects. 

The centre is operated by CAE, a leading Canadian provider of training and simulation technologies. The simulator provides unprecedented realism for offshore facilities and local weather conditions. HMDC helicopter service provider Cougar Helicopters has started training its pilots at the centre.

“CAE is proud to offer the highest quality flight and mission training to offshore and search and rescue crews in the province, including Cougar Helicopters. We also look forward to the research and development projects aimed at making helicopter training more efficient and safe,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions, at the inauguration event. “Through this partnership with the Research & Development Corporation, we will develop local R&D expertise to support the needs of the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas industry.”

“This training and R&D centre creates local jobs, builds local expertise, and supports local research that is specifically designed for our regional environment and our offshore needs,” said Len Coughlan of HMDC. “Having this facility in the region increases the level of research related to helicopter operations, which will contribute to improved operations and flight safety.”

“This new world-class facility presents an exciting opportunity for increased R&D and collaboration in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development and Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation. “This investment will focus on human factors research in areas such as aircrew health monitoring and helmet fatigue which are critical operational issues for industry.” 

“RDC is excited to partner with CAE to enhance R&D capabilities in this industry,” said Mark Ploughman, Acting Chief Executive Officer of RDC. “CAE is a recognized global leader in training and with the completion of this new facility, together we are enabling research that will further enhance transportation safety and efficiencies for aircrew and personnel working in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore industry.” 

“Cougar Helicopters has very high flight crew training standards for our offshore oil & gas and SAR operations and our pilots train multiple times annually to maintain that standard. This simulator provides training for our low visibility and offshore approaches and simulates turbulence and icing conditions accurately to match the conditions in which we operate,” said Hank Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Cougar Helicopters. “A training centre right here in the province provides more efficient scheduling of training, less travelling and therefore less fatigue for our flight crews.”

The centre is located in a new building in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, and is already fully operational.

About Hibernia 

Management and Development Company Ltd. Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) is the operator of the Hibernia field which began petroleum production offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in November 1997. HMDC is owned jointly by ExxonMobil Canada (33.125%), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor Energy (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%) and Statoil Canada Ltd. (5%). Find out more about HMDC at

About RDC 

RDC is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s research and development performance. RDC works with research and development stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments to make strategic investments in highly qualified people, R&D infrastructure and innovative research. Find out more about RDC at or on Twitter @RDCNL. 

About CAE CAE (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) is a global leader in the delivery of training for civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare markets. We design and integrate the industry's most comprehensive training solutions, anchored by the knowledge and expertise of our 8,000 employees, our world-leading simulation technologies and a track record of service and technology innovation spanning seven decades. Our global presence is the broadest in the industry, with 160 sites and training locations in more than 35 countries, including our joint venture operations, and the world's largest installed base of flight simulators. Each year, we train more than 120,000 civil and defence crew members, as well as thousands of healthcare professionals. Follow us on Twitter @CAE_Inc

Photos of the inauguration event are available at

Media contacts:

Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd.

Contact: Margot Bruce-O’Connell


margot.p.bruce-o’[email protected]

Research & Development Corporation: 

Ashley Russell 

Marketing and Communications Specialist 

709 758-0308, 709 730-0652 

[email protected]

Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development 

Tansy Mundon 

Director of Communications 

709-729-4570, 693-1865 

[email protected]

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General Media
Hélène V. Gagnon
Vice President, Public Affairs and Global Communications