A leading aviation firm has filed plans with City of Orlando to build a 95,263-square-foot office and training facility in Lake Nona Town Center.
SIMCOM Aviation Training plans to consolidate its two Orlando flight training centers and corporate headquarters into the new facility on Nemours Parkway. The company currently operates two centers in Orlando, one on Lee Vista Boulevard and the other on Parksouth Court, near the S.R. 528 - Florida’s Turnpike interchange.
The proposed facility will house a dozen simulators accurately designed to represent aircraft operations in order to provide training that is as realistic as possible, according to the the project narrative submitted by Ralph Ireland, vice president of Tavistock Development Company. Simcom simulators are constructed using actual aircraft and avionics components and are certified by the FAA, as well as other international aviation authorities.
Founded in 1989, Simcom operates in Orlando and Scottsdale, Arizona, and provides training to approximately 6,500 pilots each year. The company was acquired in 2018 by Directional Aviation, a Cleveland-based conglomerate that focuses exclusively on business aviation. In 2019, DAC entered a 15-year strategic partnership with CAE (formerly Canadian Aviation Electronics) which included the sale of a 50-percent share of Simcom for $85 million.
Marc Parent, CAE’s President of CEO, referenced the Orlando project in the November announcement. "Our customers and SIMCOM customers will have access to a new state-of-the-art training centre, currently under development in Lake Nona, Florida, which will house five new CAE full-flight simulators.”
The building itself is designed to fit the shape of the 4.9-acre parcel in the southeast quadrant of the town center, featuring a large courtyard at the rear of the building. It will be just east of the Wave Hotel, now under construction. Richard D. Hebard is the project architect.
The facility will also contain an auditorium, classrooms, and meeting/conference rooms to provide highly advanced pilot and maintenance training, as well as specialty courses in upset recovery, crew resource management, high altitude, and avionics. The conceptual site plan shows room for future expansion, but the first phase alone would be valued in the tens of millions.
Officials with Simcom were not immediately available for comment.
Tavistock declined to speak about the project, but in the master plan documents filed with the city it noted that “great consideration was given to the overall compatibility of the site within the Loop Road and to how the project would affect the pedestrian experience in the Town Center.
Tavistock is seeking approval for a Specific Parcel Master Plan for the project, which was not outlined in the previous approvals for the town center. The developer and Simcom will submit architectural plans and elevations for appearance review by the city’s Southeast Town Design Review Committee.
In December Tavistock submitted plans for an 800-space parking garage to serve Phase 2 of the Town Center, which includes a new office building, the Wave Hotel, wellness center and medical office building, as well as multiple buildings still slated for future development. The Simcom building, which is on the opposite end of the development, would utilize surface parking.