, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – Kenya Airways has formally initiated commercial use of its Boeing 737 Flight Simulator.
The B737-800 Next Generation simulator is a synthetic trainer which offers a replicate to the actual flight deck layout and functionality combined with both a visual and three-axis motion system.
It is used for training on aircraft standard operating procedures and also for training pilots on emergency procedures which cannot be done on an actual aircraft.
The simulator is located within the airline\’s new training complex known as Pride Centre II which was put up at a cost of Sh1.05billion following the unprecedented success registered with the first phase.
The flight simulator will save on high training costs and improve on crew utilization.
Prior to the simulator cockpit crew had to travel to Europe, Dubai, South Africa and Addis Ababa for the simulator training.
The Flight Simulator concept is based on an intensive use of non-motion training devices and equipment in initial and recurrent training, prior to training in a full motion environment.
The Kenya Airways B737 flight simulator is the only one of its kind in East and Central Africa. It is available for 20 hours a day, translating to training five sets of crew per day. The Kenya Airways trainers at the facility have received training from the aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni said during the official launch that the completion and commissioning of the training centre and the flight simulator marked a major step in the airline\’s training foray into Africa\’s capacity development for the aviation industry.
"Airlines in Africa have traditionally relied on training programs developed and offered in other parts of the world; this flight simulator commissioning shows that we have come of age to develop our own relevant programs. It also allows us to manage the turnaround time during refresher courses for pilots," he said.
Mr Naikuni added that expanding the training complex had been borne of the success that the airline had registered and rising demand for aviation related courses that Pride Centre offers.
"The aviation business requires a huge investment in training and development due to many industry regulations. This facility will therefore serve to accrue huge savings for us. We are also witnessing a surge in training demand from other airlines in Africa for whom we will also avail the training services at a fee," he noted.
With its route network expansion and the fleet upgrade and growth on course, Mr Naikuni said that Kenya Airways was working fervently to meet its own crew and pilot requirements.
He explained that the Flight Simulator had received regulatory approval of both the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and the UK\’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) following a successful Technical Evaluation and assessment of the Simulator Quality System.
The Pride Centre was formally opened in July 2007 as world class learning and development facility equipped to at least host 500 students at any one time. Beyond airline-specific training tools the Pride Centre also serves to develop skill sets at the managerial and executive level through specialized course training.
The launch of Pride Centre II and the Flight Simulator commissioning is part of Kenya Airways Pan African business strategy to grow its prominence as an African Aviation hub and make a sustainable contribution to the continent\’s social and economic growth.
"As Kenya Airways we are committed to delivering our service offering by ensuring pleasant experience for passengers and will train, recruit and develop quality personnel to deliver the KQ brand essence," Mr Naikuni concluded.
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