Aircraft flying training enters a new dimension in Sri Lanka, with the opening of SriLankan Airlines’ Flight Academy, with its first Airbus A320 full flight simulator, located in the Bandaranaike International Airport BIA), offering a total flying experience on ground, to facilitate training for pilots not only in Sri Lanka but in the region of South Asia.
The President, Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the facility on 20th October, 2011 continuing his visionary drive towards the government’s target in turning Sri Lanka into a regional hub for knowledge and education, envisioned in the 5-phased programme of the Mahinda Chinthanaya.
Joining the President was the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines’ Board of Directors, the Management team and staff, in support of developing an Aviation Training & Knowledge hub in Sri Lanka.
SriLankan Airlines’ Chairman, Nishantha Wickremasinghe in his welcome address to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, expressed his gratitude for the vision, direction and support extended to the national carrier to expand and move forward, as part of a futuristic national plan to develop the aviation sector for the future generations in Sri Lanka.
The Chairman said “Today, we begin a new phase in Sri Lanka’s Aviation sector and we look forward to being a centre of training excellence to the current and future pilots in the region.”
SriLankan Airlines signed a 10-year lease agreement with SIM Industries Netherlands to promote the training capability in the region.
The Airbus A320 Simulator will be able to provide the required flying training for SriLankan cadet pilots, First Officers and Captains as well as provide training time to guest pilots from other airlines in the region.
Frank Uit den Bogaard, CEO of SIM Industries, said: “SIM Industries is delighted to partner SriLankan Airlines in this long-term venture. We have been looking at opportunities in South Asia for some time, and there is no doubt that Colombo is an excellent strategic location to serve the region’s airlines.
We will provide a sophisticated flight simulator that will reduce training costs for airlines in South Asia, and even neighbouring regions such as the Middle East and Far East.”
“As the airline expands, we are determined to maintain the highest standards of pilot proficiency.
The new simulator will be of enormous benefit in our drive for operational excellence” said the airline’s Head of Flight Operations, Captain Navin De Silva.
“The Simulator will work in four hourly slots, 24-hours a day making excess time available for guest pilots from the region to undergo training” the Captain added.
As with all of SIM Industries’ simulators the A320 simulator is of ‘Level D’ standard, the highest level of certification which makes it identical to that of an aircraft.
Whilst saving time, energy and money, it enables a total flying experience on ground, qualifying the pilots to take on a direct ‘Simulator to aircraft’ capability.
SIM Industries BV (www.sim-industries.com) is a manufacturer and operator of flight simulators with a global reputation for full flight simulators that have the most advanced components from aircraft manufacturers.
SIM Industries simulators deliver unsurpassed realism, user friendliness, safety, reliability and performance.
The second phase of the academy will see the installation of a SIM Industries Airbus A330 Simulator, towards the second quarter of 2012 which will further widen the scope of the training facility at BIA.
The Academy will also include all other support services within a purpose-built three story construction.