A company that has made a name for itself developing flight simulators is now helping to keep people safe in more ways than one.

CAE, formerly known as Canadian Aviation Electronics, has partnered with PYURE to assemble air sanitizers to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Montreal-based company expects to produce 55,000 units this year, which will be used in hospitals, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, among other companies and schools in the United States, according to a press release.

Pascal Grenier, vice-president of CAE’s global affairs told CTV News that the manufacturing facilities previously used to build flight simulators have been retrofitted to produce air sanitizers.

“The reality is we have the facility, we have the expertise, we have the machinery to make it happen so for us, it is continuing in that level,” said Grenier.

Unlike an air purifier, CAE’s air sanitizer replicates the way sunlight sanitizes the outdoor environment by safely generating and diffusing hydroxyls and organic oxidants indoors. The technology’s sanitization products and solutions don’t only purify the air, they also clean it.

“The technology is at a very high level to recreate what happens every day outdoors in the sun and has the cleansing effect of the sun indoors,” said PYURE chief executive officer, Jean Francois Huc.

The Canadian aviation company has been in business since 1946, according to its website. Among manufacturing flight simulators, CAE also works in the areas of defence, security and healthcare.

“CAE is a company that sells safety, we are in the safety area, the air sanitizer is all about the safety for the people,” said Grenier.

In 2020, CAE was awarded a contract from the Canadian government to manufacture 60,000 ventilators for hospitals across the country, however the company’s contract expired in January leaving 500 employees jobless.

Since then, more than 100 employees have returned to work.

“This is work we can actually do and at the same time, we can fight this virus and other viruses that may come afterward, so we are pretty excited,” said Sophie Albert, a union representative for CAE.