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Rex moves its 737 simulator to Sydney

written by Jake Nelson | March 25, 2024

Rex’s 737 full flight simulator (FFS) is now located at its Mascot headquarters. (Image: Rex)

Rex has reopened its 737 full flight simulator (FFS) in Sydney after receiving the go-ahead from CASA.

The simulator, which was moved to Sydney from Ansett Aviation Training’s (AAT) facilities in Brisbane, can be configured for either 737-700 or 737-800 variants and is approved for Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT).

Rex says it moved the simulator to the purpose-built facility adjacent to its headquarters in Mascot after AAT declined to extend its lease last year.

The carrier said it was given the option of removing the simulator or selling it to AAT and “chose not to give in to coercion”, though indications, when it purchased the FFS in 2021, seemed to be that relocation to Mascot was always the plan, as noted at the time by Australian Aviation.

“This is an important milestone in supporting the growth of our 737 fleet and clearly demonstrates the commitment of the Rex Board and Management to safety by investing in this critical piece of training infrastructure,” said Rex’s general manager of flight operations and chief pilot, Paul Fisher, in a press release on Monday.


“As well as adding synergies to our own training requirements, the simulator also provides training opportunities for external operators both inside and outside of Australia.”

It announced the construction of the Mascot simulator facility in 2022, having secured financial support under the NSW government’s $250 million Jobs Plus program. At the time, then NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Stuart Ayres, said supporting domestic aviation was a “crucial step” in the state’s pandemic recovery.

“This support will mean jobs right across the board, from construction and maintenance, catering and office staff through to new flight attendants, pilots and engineers who will also benefit from the new training facilities,” he said.

“All of these roles combined will play a big part in strengthening our economy over the next couple of years.”

The relocation follows the arrival of Rex’s tenth 737-800, VH-8ZL, in December. VH-8ZL is the third 737-800 that Rex has received this financial year, following VH-8KH in July and VH-8JS in September. The carrier, which currently operates its 737 fleet on 10 domestic routes, expects to take delivery of another of the aircraft before the end of FY24, subject to availability.

“This steady growth allows us to build more depth into our schedule by adding additional frequencies on our most popular routes while at the same time allowing us to look at how we might also add more capital cities to our network,” said Rex deputy chairman John Sharp at the time.

Rex signed the lease for VH-8ZL in October to have it ready for the end-of-year peak.

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