This is an excerpt from an article published in Regional Gateway magazine, Volume 5 Issue 3, 2022, by freelance writer Jennifer Beechener.
One of the first training service providers to deliver remote learning, Airways New Zealand continues to pioneer new technology in this field.
The company launched its mobile “Sim in a Suitcase” at the height of COVID, packaging its TotalControl simulator into a suitcase to provide tailored training modules at regional facilities. The deployable equipment reduces roster disruption, maintains skill levels and, in some instances, has helped engage personnel in the design of new procedures.
Airways Knowledge Online (AKO) Virtual Academy provides aviation students across the globe with access to ICAO-approved basic training and resources. The company’s virtual classroom is among the most advanced, featuring multiple screens, an interactive whiteboard and different viewing options.
Airways International CEO Sharon Cooke says the industry is responding to market change both in terms of cost and carbon footprint, providing remote access to Airways’ instructors, pseudo pilots and examiners. “The virtual classroom replicates the real environment, something I can’t see going away,” she says.
“The technology is familiar to the new generation of students. They expect to learn in different ways.”
Airways is now researching ways to replicate the tower environment remotely, recognising the need to interact with internal and external views, weather events and multiple screens. As well as monitoring the screen, keyboard and mouse, emerging technology includes eye-tracking capabilities on-screen, heart monitoring, and camera tracking with a view to eventually working with a customer to develop the necessary regulatory approvals.