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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Major defense contractor doubles size of training facility in Arlington

Pilots. Everybody needs pilots.

According to a recent study by Boeing, over the next 20 years, the world will need 790,000 new pilots, with the Asia Pacific region leading the way with a requirement for 261,000 new pilots, followed by North America requiring 206,000.

So when L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) celebrated the opening of its expanded L3 Arlington Training Center facility in Arlington on Oct. 6, it faced a ready market for newly trained military and commercial pilots.

The multi-purpose training center provides simulation and instruction for both military and commercial pilots and state-of-the-art classroom facilities.

The center’s expansion adds about 40,000 square feet, more than doubling the size of the high bay facility. The new facilities include room for six additional full-flight simulators, classrooms incorporating augmented and virtual reality, and customer dedicated spaces. The center serves both domestic and international customers, and its location near the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport give it easy access for students.

“We are excited to offer this expanded multi-purpose facility to greatly enhance our training capability in Arlington,” said Leonard Genna, president of L3 Link Training and Simulation in L3’s Electronic Systems business. “L3 is investing, at the right time, in the advancement of flight training for aircraft, helicopter and unmanned vehicle pilots. New training and simulation technologies combined with a well-designed infrastructure provide an ideal environment to provide the best flight training experience for our customers.”

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said the city provided some incentives for the expansion, but that L3 is the perfect type of company for the city.

“They will be bringing in customers who will take the experiences they’ve had in Arlington back with them,” he said. “That’s perfect for us.”

There are more hotels coming to accommodate those future pilots training, Williams noted, pointing just down the street to the new $150 million flagship Live! by Loews hotel and convention center at Texas Live! that is under construction. Set to open this year, the 14‐story, 302‐room hotel is being built by a joint venture partnership of Manhattan Construction Co. and Arlington‐based Con‐Real.

In addition to the training, L3 designs and builds flight simulators in Arlington that range in price from $1 million to upwards of $15 million, depending on size, features and options.

Contractor for the project was Cadence McShane and the architect was Dallas-based Merriman Anderson Architects.

“The L3 Arlington Training Center provides state-of-the-art facilities and training for pilots,” says Merriman Anderson/Architects’ Project Architect, Jarod Fancher, AIA, LEED AP. “We are happy to see the center expanding and are proud to be involved with this project.”

The training center has added approximately 42,000 square-feet, more than doubling the size of the existing high bay facility. The expansion includes space for six additional full-flight simulators, a demonstration room, and classrooms incorporating augmented and virtual reality. The design of the expansion replicated the existing design, which MAA developed in 2014.

“This facility is an example of L3’s commitment to deliver to our customers the best training options available and help industry meet the growing, world-wide demand for highly trained aviation professionals,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s chairman, president and chief operating officer. “Increasingly, our domestic and international military and civilian customers are looking for first-class operations to outsource their training and simulation needs. We are meeting those requirements with the best facilities and training solutions available.”

L3 Link Training and Simulation is a leader in providing platform operators and maintainers with total training that improves training effectiveness and efficiency and lowers life-cycle costs in a secure cyber environment. L3 Link provides a full spectrum of state-of-the-art training technologies, including high-fidelity immersive simulations, as well as distributed academic and interactive courseware. The company has delivered military and commercial training systems to customers throughout North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

In addition to the Arlington expansion, L3 Technologies has also announced it will open a commercial airline training center on a five-acre site near London’s Gatwick Airport.

L3 estimates it will have sales of $10.1 billion in 2018. It employs 31,000 people worldwide, with about 10,000 in Texas.


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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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