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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2012

Airport loses firm that trains pilots

FlightSafety has 57 full-time employees

The Beech Hawker 400 XP flight simulator at FlightSafety International.
The Beech Hawker 400 XP flight simulator at FlightSafety International.
THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge | Buy This Photo

FlightSafety International is shuttering its pilot-training center at Toledo Express Airport and is working with its 57 full-time employees to determine if they will remain with the company, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The Detroit Metro/Toledo center is set to close by May 31, said Steve Phillips, vice president of communications for FlightSafety.

“We are really taking a close look at services and programs across the network,” he said. “By consolidating the program in Toledo into other centers, it would allow us to run our operation more efficiently and better serve our customers.”

FlightSafety operates 42 centers around the world and provides training to licensed pilots. It has operations in Columbus and Cincinnati, but none in Michigan.

It’s unclear if the 57 employees will be offered positions at the other centers in Ohio or if they will be offered a severance package.

Mr. Phillips declined to comment further than “I really don’t want to get into what we’re doing for them, but you can be assured they are well taken care of. Whether they are going to stay with the company, and we hope they are, they are being well looked after.”

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, which has rented space to FlightSafety for more than 30 years, was informed of the closing Tuesday.

“This news is particularly disappointing as the Port Authority has worked diligently with FlightSafety on opportunities to strengthen and grow their presence at Toledo Express,” Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Paul Toth said in a statement.

Port Authority representatives wouldn’t comment beyond the statement.

New York-based FlightSafety is privately held. The company also gives flight lessons and manufactures flight simulators.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.

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