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Directional Aviation acquires SimCom
An Ohio business aviation private equity firm has bought a flight simulator training company, SimCom, to add to its portfolio of business aviation investments.

Cleveland, Ohio-based Directional Aviation, a family of companies whose singular focus is business aviation, has purchased SimCom Holdings and its affiliated companies from Massachusetts private equity firm JW Childs Associates. SimCom provides training services at centres in Orlando, Florida, and Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as in the UK, and is an independent provider of flight simulator-based training services to the global general aviation, business aviation and regional airline markets.

“Our family of companies provides a full range of services to the private business aviation industry,” says Directional Aviation principal Kenn Ricci. “Simulator-based training is a huge part of our industry, one that touches every single pilot and flight provider and we are very excited about the opportunities this will bring for SimCom to play a leading role in helping to hone the skills of aviators across the world.”

Directional Aviation has a global network and reach that will enhance SimCom's operational stability and provide industry best practices. From fractional jet ownership to jet cards and charter, to open and closed fleets, jet remanufacturing, maintenance, aviation parts distribution centres and more, Directional brings to SimCom a specialised knowledge of the financial, operational and technical needs of the private aviation industry.

The demand for SimCom's training services is robust and is projected to grow significantly because of the shortage of pilots worldwide. According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, world air traffic is set to grow by approximately 4.6 per cent annually until 2030, resulting in a need for almost 70,000 new pilots a year. In addition, projects that the global simulators market, including military, commercial and private aviation, will grow from $16.62 billion in 2017 to $20.99 billion in 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 4.78 per cent.

“With this acquisition we now can provide access to one of the world's most highly respected brands in our industry, one known for its state-of-the-art proprietary technology and advanced flight training capabilities,” adds Ricci. “At the same time we look forward to serving a growing market that is critical to the continued safe operation of aircraft around the globe.”

SimCom Aviation Training provides initial and recurrent pilot training for jet, turboprop and piston aircraft using high-fidelity, fully immersive, FAA qualified flight training devices and full-motion simulators tailored to meet the needs of the individual customer. SimCom also offers maintenance training and specialty training including upset recovery, crew resource management, hypoxia awareness and avionics.

Eric Hinson will continue to lead SimCom as chief executive officer. “Our promise has always been delivering training solutions that allow our customers to become safer, more proficient pilots,” he says. “Having an owner whose dedicated focus is the safe operation of aircraft around the world puts us in a position of strength to further deliver on that promise.”

JW Childs chairman John Childs adds: “We always have believed SimCom offers something truly unique in the private aviation field; dedication to improving flight training through growth and innovation, and we believe that the pairing with Directional Aviation could not be a better fit.”

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