MANILA – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Wednesday launched its new Aerodrome Tower 3D Simulator, taking air traffic control (ATC) training in the country to a new level.
In a virtual launch ceremony, CAAP Deputy Director-General for Operations Captain Donaldo Mendoza said the new simulator — the first of its kind in the country — will aid air traffic controllers in training, testing, and maintaining proficiency in handling aerodrome control operations.
These, he said, without involving any risk to property or lives and “at a much lower cost than training in actual air traffic control conditions.”
“It costs PHP84.9 million — the supply, installation, and testing of the aerodrome tower simulator was completed last March 30, 2021,” Mendoza said.
The simulator, located at CAAP’s Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC) in Parañaque City, has six airport scenarios installed in the simulator program — the airport environments of Manila, Clark, Mactan, Plaridel, Davao, and a generic single-runway airport.
The new training facility simulator allows three ATC working positions, a supervisor, and three pseudo pilots.
From the previous training method where instructors use miniature model airplanes placed on an airport printed on tarpaulin, Mendoza said the 3D simulator will instead provide a 315 degrees horizontal field-of-view of the installed airport scenarios.
“The aerodrome tower simulator will eliminate the rudimentary training methods applied in the aerodrome laboratory training module of the CATC,” Mendoza said.
He said the simulator is planned to be used in training new air traffic controllers through a six-week air traffic service course offered at the CATC — including two weeks for a lecture phase and four weeks for a laboratory segment.
“The course aims to promote not only the aviation industry as a career option but also to support the International Civil Aviation Organization’s ‘Next Generation of Aviation Professionals initiative,” Mendoza said.
He noted that an air traffic service program for the training of other ATCs in key aerodromes in the country will also be developed.
The virtual inauguration of the simulator was led by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco, along with other key government officials. (PNA)