The U.S. aviation giant Boeing opened a state-of-the-art training and research centre at the Skolkovo innovation city outside Moscow on June 3, during the annual Startup Village.

The Boeing centre is already home to two flight simulators, and is due to get two more. Photo:

The centre will be used for training pilots, technical and engineering personnel, while its research department will work on designing new training technologies and innovative simulators.

It’s the first one out of more than 10 training centres where research activity will be carried out as the same time as training commercial pilots, Boeing Flight Services vice president Sherry Carbary, who is responsible for the centres, said at the opening.

On the eve of the opening, Sergei Kravchenko, president of Boeing in Russia and the CIS, said at the Startup Village that the new centre would use big data technology gained from flight simulators to analyse all possible situations in the cockpit and allow the company to reduce even further the risk of human error during flights.

At the opening ceremony, Kravchenko said the centre was no ordinary facility.

“We have joint enterprises here – we built the International Space Station together,” he said. “But this centre is special. We wanted to bring a really big tech business to Skolkovo. Today, civil aviation is the safest form of transport. But disasters still happen. The aim of the centre is to reduce even further the probability of that happening.”

The Boeing centre is already equipped with Boeing Next-Generation 737 and Boeing 777 full flight simulators, and is set to get two more.

Skolkovo vice president Alexander Chernov hands cosmonaut Yelena Serova a model of the new Gagarin monument (left). Photo:

The opening ceremony was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Skolkovo Foundation president Viktor Vekselberg and U.S. ambassador to Moscow John Tefft.

Dvorkovich said the opening of the centre showed that there are some things that are outside the scope of any differences countries may have on other issues.

Space and civil aviation are areas of cooperation for Russia and the U.S., he said, adding that these areas were immune to external fluctuations in relations.

Also present at the ceremony was Sergei Generalov, head of the Industrial Investors group that invested in the centre.

“Many people didn’t believe that we could build something like this in two years. But we went ahead and did it,” he told He estimated that Industrial Investors had put about $25 million into the project.   

The centre will be used to train pilots working for Russian airlines, including Aeroflot, Deputy Transport Minister Valery Okulov told

Just before the training and research centre was officially declared open, a monument to Yury Gagarin, the first man in space, was unveiled in front of it in a ceremony attended by cosmonaut Yelena Serova, who returned from a six-month stay in space last March.

Next to the new monument is a reentry capsule from a spacecraft, presented to Skolkovo by United Rocket and Space Corporation.