Use of the Airways New Zealand Total Control simulator in Spanish universities gives air traffic control students a level of realism equivalent to the ATC environment they will eventually work in, according to a senior Spanish ATC pilot.
A second Total Control simulator has been introduced at the University of Catalonia (UPC), in addition to the one already in use at Ciudad Real.
Yuri van den Bongard, a senior pilot and UPC simulator technician, believes the Airways simulator is at the top of its class.
“The highly realistic graphics are unparalleled in my opinion, and they give the trainees a real world experience,” he says.
“During our training, I quickly realised I had never operated a simulator that is so user friendly without needing to remember pages of commands,” he said. “The exercise builder really surprised me, as after half an hour of training, we tried it ourselves and were able to create simple exercises without any help.”
“I was also really impressed with the weather scenarios, as we could create our own situations which were relevant to our own environment, and the weather then dynamically changed over time. This is so beneficial when training students to anticipate the outcomes of sudden changes in the weather,” continued Mr van den Bongard.
The Total Control simulator is designed for portability as well as ease of use, enabling it to be transported between training institutions or ATC organisations as required. Mr van den Bongard provides technical support for UPC and has decommissioned and relocated the simulator several times.
“I’ve used many simulators in the course of my job over the years, and this one is particularly simple to move around, which is undoubtedly a real advantage,” he says.
Jordi Berenguer, Director of the UPC Aeronautical Campus, says the Airways simulator now forms an integral part of ATC training at the university.
“Our students benefit from a highly realistic experience which mirrors their actual operating environment, and we’ve enjoyed our partnership with Airways through the introduction and use of this technology,” he says.
Developed by Airways in partnership with New Zealand-based 3D graphics experts Animation Research, the Total Control software includes a full 360° simulator, an LCD simulator for use in towers and a desktop simulator. It features a user-friendly interface, high quality graphics, and easily adaptable exercises that can be edited by the ANSP to suit their existing traffic and potential scenarios.