AVIAA Adds Citation Simulator Training Through LOFT Partnership

Noel Yantos, LOFT CEO (right), and Rich Pickett, a LOFT client, in the LOFT Cessna Citation simulator. LOFT

AVIAA, a business aviation group purchasing organization formed in 2017, recently announced a partnership with Carlsbad, California-based LOFT as another strategic partner to provide Cessna Citation simulator training for AVIAA’s membership. The partnership taps into LOFT’s 15 years of training experience on the Citation business jet line, providing experienced flight instruction to Cessna Citation and CJ pilots through the entire training process. LOFT’s Part 142 simulator training program will now be offered to the growing number of AVIAA members operating Citation C Series business jets.

“AVIAA is the only global group purchasing organization working across all aspects of fleet purchasing,” said Matthew Smith, chief business development officer at AVIAA. “We strive to create a culture of safety within our community and therefore working with trusted training partners is key. Our fleet has a substantial number of Citation jets, so it was a perfect fit to partner with LOFT and their Citation training specialists. This partnership will ensure that our operators are getting the crucial training they need at the best value possible.”

LOFT recently added a new Cessna 560 Level D simulator at its location in southern California, adding to the wide variety of training courses and scheduling options they offer. All training at LOFT is conducted by flight instructors that are both career aviators and professional pilots. The LOFT headquarters is across the street from McClellan-Palomar Airport (KCRQ) and is only three miles from the beaches of the Pacific Ocean.

“We pride ourselves on specialized CJ and Citation initial and recurrent training at LOFT, and partnering with AVIAA will allow us to offer its members pilot instruction in a relaxed and professional environment,” said Collin Yantos, LOFT Marketing Director. “All of our courses are taught with a proprietary curriculum and state-of-the-art technology to ensure the best training experience for pilots whether they are seeking initial type ratings, ATP certificates, SIC training, or insurance-approved recurrent training.”

The Cessna Citation simulator bay at LOFT in Carlsbad, California. LOFT

AVIAA organizes their business aviation services into “seven core pillars” or categories, a strategy that they feel delivers high value to their global membership. They work with leading fuel suppliers to gain access to competitive rates, and coordinate with insurance market leaders to provide hull, liability, employee benefits, and other insurance products. They have secured partnerships with maintenance suppliers for planned or unplanned work, and trains both pilots and crews. Additionally, they work with FBOs and field operators to negotiate the best member rates for ground services including hotels, cars and drivers, and provides data services both in the cabin or on the flight deck. Last, AVIAA supports their members “beyond the aircraft” with flight department services such as employee insurance, payroll, hardware/software, and crew recruiting.

“As our community grows, we understand the importance of offering our members training partners that have the ability to deliver the highest level of training and adapt to an operation’s specific and ever-changing needs,” Smith added. “LOFT is a natural partner to add to our portfolio with its track record of experienced simulator pilot training, as well as the significant number of AVIAA members operating the Citation jet. Insurance and crew training are critical operational pillars where AVIAA delivers economies of scale to members.”

AVIAA saw significant growth in 2019 with an expanding supply network now supporting a fleet of more than 1,000 aircraft. That fleet was increased substantially in January 2019 when AVIAA added more than 150 aircraft with its acquisition of Convolus, which brought in several EU operators to the AVIAA fleet, further expanding AVIAA’s global presence.

Dan Pimentel is an instrument-rated private pilot and former airplane owner who has been flying since 1996. As an aviation journalist and photographer, he has covered all aspects of the general and business aviation communities for a long list of major aviation magazines, newspapers and websites. He has never met a flying machine that he didn’t like, and has written about his love of aviation for years on his Airplanista blog. For 10 years until 2019, he hosted the popular ‘Oshbash’ social media meetup events at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

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