Airways New Zealand
Dean Urquhart, ATS Manager Planning & Performance for Airways, says remote sim piloting enables Airways and other ANSPs to take a much more agile approach to training ATCs.
Airways is now utilising a TotalControl mobile simulator to deliver training to ATCs in regional towers throughout New Zealand and will shortly extend remote piloting from a centralised location to increase sim training efficiency and frequency. Airways plans to deploy two more mobile simulators for use in training ATCs in regional towers, which will enable simultaneous sim training across multiple locations.
“I’m really excited about introducing remote piloting into our mobile simulator training – this will provide us with many more training opportunities for ATCs needing to refresh their skills, and for our ab-initio students working towards their ratings,” Mr Urquhart says.
“Having the ability to pilot exercises from a centralised location allows us to plan training more efficiently. During these times of the Covid-19 pandemic, this means we can continue training safely with less disruptions in the event of any further restrictions or lockdowns,” he adds.
Avinor Air Navigation Services, Norway – fast ramp-up of sim training
Airways International Ltd recently remotely installed six large TotalControl tower simulators (four with dedicated surveillance sims), six mobile simulators and 17 aerodrome environments at 12 sites throughout Norway.
A centralised simulator pilot hub has been established at Værnes, one of the six sites with a tower simulator. Sim pilots are trained at this hub and run exercises remotely for each of the six main sites, as well as the sites where the six mobile simulators are deployed.
One major benefit of remote piloting for Avinor is the ability to quickly ramp up sim training when the need arises. In the simulator at Gardermoen Airport in Olso, simulator exercises involving 80-100 movements an hour are often required – with sim pilots operating remotely, this can be resourced quickly and efficiently.
The ability to utilise a small pool of pilots to run consecutive sim exercises across multiple locations is another benefit – creating efficiencies around sim pilot rostering and scheduling of sim runs.
“To be able to use pilots from the centralised pilot centre either solely or in combination with local pilots was our ambition when we started the procurement process, and to see this concept work even better than we expected is very satisfying,” says Ragnvald Godø, Avinor ANS Project Leader for the Airways-Avinor simulator project.
SAERCO, Spain – ease of planning & coordination
SAERCO, a private air navigation service provider which delivers services across Europe, runs TotalControl desktop simulators in Madrid, Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), and Kjevik in Norway – all managed from a central sim piloting hub in Madrid.
The number of simulator pilots fluctuates depending on SAERCO’s needs – up to 20 pilots can be deployed to run exercises for the remote desktop sims as well as the two tower and six radar simulators at the Madrid training centre.
In addition to reducing costs and minimising time off the roster and away from home for ATCs, SAERCO has discovered other benefits to remote piloting, says Jorge Avila, SAERCO Managing Director.
“Having our pseudo pilots in the same place helps to improve the quality of simulations,” Jorge says. “And in Covid times another advantage becomes obvious - despite travel restrictions within regions we’ve been able to keep running simulations and these are more important than ever due to the low traffic situation.”
Jorge adds that running simulation exercises remotely also makes for easier planning and coordination. It’s much easier to organise sim sessions at short notice, and travel time for ATCs has reduced significantly, especially in the Canary Islands where five SAERCO towers are situated.
Airways Training Instructor Patrick Coyle will be a familiar face to many of our previous students who have undertaken ATS training over the years. Patrick has been instructing with us since 2005 – with the Covid-19 travel restrictions in place, he’s now teaching students virtually, via our Airways Knowledge Online virtual academy.
Patrick tells us a little bit about himself…