Airways sells control simulator to S Africa
Airways New Zealand has completed a multimillion-dollar sale of an air traffic control simulator to its South African counterpart, Air Traffic and Navigation Services.
The state-owned enterprise which manages New Zealand's airspace has completed the installation of its Total Control simulator at Johannesburg's OR Tambo Airport, where it will be used to train air traffic controllers in that country.
Dunedin-based computer graphics experts Animation Research helped build the graphics for the simulator, which creates a realistic 360-degree view of an airfield and can replicate any weather conditions, including detail like sun-strike and raindrops on the windows.
It is the first simulator Airways has installed and commissioned outside New Zealand. The sale was a significant achievement for the New Zealand company, Airways research and product development manager Mark Griffin said.
"It means we have a viable technological solution that has been used elsewhere and can be used anywhere in the world.
"We are now in the market and we have delivered internationally to a high level, creating a happy customer, a customer who was rated by IATA recently as one of the top ATC training organisations."
The Total Control simulator improved the quality and speed of air traffic control training at a time when the aviation industry was under increased pressure to train enough air traffic controllers to meet demand, Griffin said.
South Africa was expected to become a "huge" aviation market in the future.
ATNS chief executive Patrick Dlamini said the collaboration with Airways was a step in the right direction for his company, which wanted to become the preferred supplier of air navigation services in Africa.
Airways is working on other sales opportunities overseas.
"These are in the Asia- Pacific and Middle East region primarily, with a couple in Europe and Oceania," Griffin said.
Airways was already using its Total Control simulator in New Zealand to train people from China, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.
Airways' air traffic control operation in Christchurch is the largest in the country, employing about 60 per cent or 450 of Airways' 730 staff.
Christchurch has about 30 students from China, Hong Kong and the Pacific Islands in training and another 60 students were being trained in Palmerston and Auckland.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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