Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment achieves Initial Operational Capability of the Engineering Flight Test Rationalization

Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment
Members of the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (Ottawa Detachment) gather in front of a C90A King Air aircraft at the Transport Canada Aircraft Services Division Hangar in Ottawa on 4 December 2020. Photo: Cpl Tori Lake

Defence Stories

On 21 January 2021, the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE) achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of the Engineering Flight Test Rationalization (EFTR) initiative. AETE is in the process of making engineering test and evaluation (ET&E) services more effective, efficient, and sustainable: AETE is relocating to Ottawa, transforming its organizational structure and collaborating with the National Research Council Flight Research Laboratory (NRC FLR) and Transport Canada Aircraft Services Directorate (TC ASD) at Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport.

During the summer of 2020, AETE opened a detachment at 285 Coventry Road, Ottawa, and relocated some of its personnel from Cold Lake to Ottawa. Earlier, AETE ceased its flying operations in Cold Lake with its personnel conducting the last CT114 Tutor flights on 15 May 2020. In September, AETE aircrew began their training on Transport Canada’s Beechcraft C90A King Air simulator and aircraft. TC ASD King Air aircraft will be used by AETE aircrew for flight test proficiency flying.
The EFTR initiative supports Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged initiatives to:

• Balance the optimal assignment of tasks between the military, defence civilians and the private sector;

• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from the 2005 levels by 2030; and

• Create clusters of defence innovators to conduct leading-edge research and development in areas critical to future defence needs.

EFTR was initiated in 2013 as part of the Defence Renewal strategy. In 2015, DND solicited feedback from industry to assist with the formulation and implementation of the EFTR. In 2017, a business case analysis concluded that the most effective and efficient way forward to ensure the
provision of sustainable ET&E operations was to partner and co-locate with NRC FRL and TC ASD at the Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport.

Total EFTR implementation cost is estimated at $70M (base year 2017/2018, taxes excluded). EFTR will allow for the return of approximately 130 military positions to the CAF, valued at around $15M annually. The use of Transport Canada’s fuel efficient aircraft and simulators for proficiency flying, instead of military aircraft, will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 3,000 tonnes. This represents a reduction of AETE’s annual greenhouse gas emissions from proficiency flying by 58%.
AETE conducts developmental and engineering flight test and evaluation projects that are critical to the success of DND and the CAF. In the fall of 2020, an integrated test team from the AETE and the 434 Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron evaluated the multi-fleet Aeromedical Single Isolation Bio-containment Unit (ASIBU): the ASIBU is closer to becoming an integral part of CAF MEDEVAC operations at home and abroad.

EFTR is expected to achieve Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2023, at which time AETE will relocate into its future home, the newly renovated 14 Hangar at Uplands.