In a milestone ceremony held in Beirut yesterday, Airways New Zealand and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Lebanon officially opened an advanced air traffic control (ATC) simulation facility – future-proofing ATC training in Lebanon for decades to come.
Airways International, the commercial arm of the New Zealand air navigation service provider, has completed installation of a TotalControl LCD tower simulator and two radar/non-radar simulators at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport after a 12-month project. The facility, to be used to train DGCA’s ATC controllers and students using simulated scenarios that mimic the real world, is now fully commissioned after the completion of site acceptance testing this week.
Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transport Youssef Fenianos officially opened the simulation facility in a ceremony attended by Lebanese Government and DGCA Lebanon delegates, as well as International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Airways and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise officials who travelled to Lebanon to mark the significant milestone. The contract to build and install the simulator was between Airways International and ICAO on behalf of DGCA Lebanon.
Airways International CEO Sharon Cooke says the organisation is proud to support DGCA through provision of its world-class simulation technology. “Airways is excited to mark this milestone after leading this strategically significant project for DGCA and the Government of Lebanon. We look forward to further developing this partnership as DGCA builds their ATC training capability,” Ms Cooke says.
DGCA Lebanon’s Director of Air Navigation Department Kamal Nassereddine says Airways’ TotalControl simulator was the best fit to meet DGCA’s key requirements, which included leading edge, photo-realistic graphics and ease of use.
“We have been very impressed with Airways throughout the project. They have been honest and flexible, and have partnered with DGCA to provide us with the best fit-for-purpose simulator. Airways has a strong reputation as a global specialist in ATC simulation and training – the training we have received is exceptional,” Mr Nassereddine says.
The TotalControl simulators installed in DGCA’s facility at Beirut International Airport imitate the full Lebanese air traffic control flight information region, using high fidelity photo-real graphics for the tower and emulation of the ATM system for radar. DGCA simulator pilots can quickly create and validate exercises, and with minimal training can easily manage complex simulated scenarios.
Airways’ Total Control simulation technology enhances the quality and speed of ATC training, significantly reducing on-the-job training time while the industry worldwide is under increased pressure to train enough air traffic controllers to meet demand. Developed by Airways in partnership with New Zealand-based 3D graphics experts Animation Research Ltd, TotalControl simulators can be configured to meet ANSPs’ specific needs.
Airways has been delivering ATC training solutions and consultancy services to the Middle East region for more than 20 years. In the past two years the organisation has delivered training for key customers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain.