SA aviators get 3D training

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Transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele this week unveiled a 3D simulator at the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Training Academy.

He explained that the ATNS has the need for the 3D Aerodrome Simulator to allow for the effective and cost-efficient training of air traffic controllers from SA, as well as controllers from other sovereign states within the Africa and Indian Ocean area.

Ndebele further said that, during the Airlines Association of Southern Africa's Annual General Conference last week, skills were highlighted as being essential for the sustainability of the aviation industry.

“The aviation industry cannot be sustainable if the skills that are needed in this sector are not developed in time. The identification of scarce skills within the aviation sector is critical, so that the relevant training is located within the framework of the demanding and technically advanced areas.”

Tech partnership

The ATNS made use of the 3D Aerodrome Simulator for training in the past; however, the simulator stopped working in 2009, due to the hardware's obsolescence.

The minister said the ATNS then entered into a partnership with Airways New Zealand to facilitate the simulator skills and technology transfer.

Under the partnership agreement, Airways New Zealand developed the software to fulfil the user requirements, while the ATNS supplied the hardware manufactured, as well as the hardware procured, in SA.

The communication unit for the simulator is also manufactured in SA.

“ATNS also acquired the enterprise licence that allows installations of additional 3D Aerodrome Simulators at other ATNS sites within SA to allow for additional training.

“ATNS will thus have an option to install large projection simulators and small desktop simulators, depending on the space availability and training requirements, at no additional software cost. Only hardware will be required for the deployment of additional simulators within SA,” said Ndebele.

He added that knowledge transfer was also facilitated through the project. Airways New Zealand provided the project team with all the hardware requirements and circuit diagrams. The project team was responsible for purchasing and installing all required hardware.

Software knowledge transfer is scheduled to take place this month.

“The ATNS 3D Aerodrome Simulator project will make a contribution to the 'Year of Job-Creation and Service Delivery in the Transport Sector', as the collaboration with Airways New Zealand facilitates technology and knowledge transfer, in addition to providing ATNS with sufficient tools to meet the training requirements.”

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