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A NEW Multi-Purpose Training Centre (MPTC) with modern infrastructure for military and civilian training, including a high-tech flight simulator, will be completed next year.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the joint venture involving Brunei's Ministry of Finance, the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) and the CAE a Canadian company that specialises in civil and military simulators and training devices was held at Rimba Digital Junction.

The construction of the MPTC is expected to be completed by the end of next April. It will house several classrooms, including simulator bays to provide flight training for Sikorsky S-70i Blackhawk and S-92 helicopters and Pilatus PC-7 piston-powered trainer aircraft.

"They will be the first flight simulator bays in Brunei and equipped with high technologies. This facility will be used to train pilots in impossible situations in real life," said CAE Group President Gene Colabatistto.

He said that once the infrastructure was in place, the company would look into "decades of partnership at least for the next 20 or 30 years" with Brunei Darussalam.

"The simulation facility where pilots will be trained is part of our service. In the future, these facilities can be branched out to provide simulation training for medical and safety as well," he said, adding that the Health Ministry and oil and gas companies could also benefit from simulation training.

Colabatistto said the MPTC would be staffed and operated by Bruneians and that it would provide training for professionals across a number of segments, including defence, aerospace, emergency management, health care and energy.

"Local technology experts are needed especially in creating a database specifically for Brunei's need. We also aim to make the MPTC a world-class success so it will attract external parties including countries in Southeast Asia to this expertise," he said.

"Our simulation-based technologies and proven learning methodologies will provide the foundation for high-quality training that will ultimately help enhance safety, security, efficiency and productivity in Brunei Darussalam and its neighbouring (countries)."

Colabastistto said Brunei Darussalam was chosen for the training centre not just because of its strategic location but also because the project is in line with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's vision of providing high-quality and high-tech employment opportunities for locals in the future.

"Apart from that, we can also help create opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises through knowledge and technology transfer," Colabastistto said

The ceremonial pouring of concrete yesterday was carried out by the guest of honour, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim.

Once completed, the building will feature a range of "green" initiatives, such occupancy sensors for lighting and high frequency ballasts in electrical circuits to consume 30 per cent less energy and an energy-efficient air-conditioning system to save 17 per cent energy.

The building will also utilise low volatile organic compound paints to reduce indoor air pollution and improve air quality and sun louvres to allow for abundant natural light while reducing glare from direct sunlight.

Also present during the ceremony were Deputy Minister of Finance Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office BEDB Chairman Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong and Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Major General Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin.