WATS 2023 in Review
This week, MPS had the pleasure of attending and hosting a booth at the 25th annual World Aviation Training Summit (WATS 2023), organized by Halldale group. The main conference took place Tuesday through today in Orlando, Florida, US and was extremely busy and well attended. Multiple members of our team were present, including Jean-Francois (JF) Tessier, VP of Global Sales, Martijn Niekerk, Chief Technical Officer, and Ana Blanco-Persiani, our Latin America Sales Director.
My week in Florida started on Monday prior to the main conference with the LATAM/CAR Training Leaders meeting organized by ALTA and Halldale. Together with other panelist like Captain Jorge Reyes from Copa, the Panamanian carrier we announced as a partner which will soon be operating an MPS MAX simulator, I presented on one of my favorite subjects, Competency to Tool. This session was followed by the Heads of Training meeting, a first at WATS.
On Tuesday, I was happy to see and catch up with so many of our customers and a lot of industry colleagues.. The conference itself kicked off with an Airline Flight Training Leaders panel which included Brad Lambert, VP of Flight Operations at Frontier Airlines. As we announced at the show, Frontier is one of our newest partners and MPS looks forward to becoming an integral part of flight training at the airline. Other sessions of the day focused on regulatory matters and presenters included Andy O’Shea, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS) and CEO of The Airline Pilot Club, together with Ian Cooper, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Skyborne Airline Academy. Skyborne is a special partner of MPS, as in 2018, they received our first delivery of the MPS B737 MAX simulator for its state-of-the-art training center at Gloucestershire Airport. They use our device for their APS-MCC training course that was part of their presentation.
On day two of the event, topics of sustainability and data were covered. Sustainability is a big focus for MPS, so this is always an exciting conversation to be a part of. The training community can decrease carbon emissions and help achieve global goals by operating greener in many ways. At MPS, we support our clients in reducing their environmental footprint by advising them on how best to satisfy their training and simulator needs and optimize their training using a blend of training tools, of course including our state-of-the-art fixed based simulators.
Our devices have a significantly lower environmental footprint in comparison to full motion devices, both in construction as well as in operation. This allows our clients to experience dramatically lower use of energy and have virtually no maintenance requirements. Not only this, MPS recently invested in a new solar panel roof on our factory which allows us to build our FTDs with green energy only. This is one way we believe we set the example for others in the industry to also become more sustainable.
I had the honor of concluding day two of the conference with a breakout session focused on airline training organizations hosted by Captain Jacques Drappier. My presentation on training the next generation can be found at the following link: Presentation: Flight Training Now and Next
Day three wrapped up the conference and allowed me and the team to finalize our meetings, including providing input through an interview with Marty Kauchack to support a May 2023 CAT e-newsletter article on developments and trends in Flight Simulator Technology
Not only did we host a booth and speak at the conference, we also announced several very exciting partnerships at the show:
- MPS has partnered with RSi Simulations for expanded customer support in the United States as well as installation support across the globe.
- Frontier Airlines has signed for two MPS A320 FTDs with the option of three additional simulators.
- Copa Airlines has signed for one MPS B737 MAX FTD with the option of one additional simulator.
WATS was a great success and we thoroughly enjoyed connecting with current and future MPS customers, industry colleagues and partners. See you at APATS!