November 29, 2015

Australia funds Simulator supports for safer skies in PNG

Australia has funded a new state-of-the-art air traffic control training simulator at PNG Air Services at a cost of K13 million.

The simulator is part of a joint PNG-Australia funded initiative to modernise PNG Air Services.

A delegation from the Australian High Commission and key PNG aviation stakeholders was recently taken on a tour of the new facility which boasts a Control Tower simulator with a 240 degree screen and the latest virtual reality technology.

The simulator provides a realistic experience of both Jacksons and Nadzab air traffic control towers and their respective operating environments.

Tokua, Madang, Goroka and Hagen environments will be added in due course.

The simulator has the capability to simulate a wide range of air traffic scenarios.

For example, the technology can vary weather and light conditions and simulate ground and airborne emergencies.

 Air traffic controllers across the country will be better prepared for a variety of different eventualities with access to the new high-tech simulator.

Two new classrooms also form part of the investment.

These flexible learning spaces will support the training of staff in PNG.

For control tower training, staff previously had to travel to New Zealand or Singapore for training.

This new facility will reduce costs and make training more accessible for air traffic controllers in PNG.

CEO of PNG Air Services Limited, Captain Ted Pakii, is proud of the new facility and highlighted the benefits as PNG’s air traffic gets busier.

“PNG is welcoming more and more international flights, and in the lead up to APEC this is only going to continue. Our team will be better prepared with rigorous training to deliver a safer and more efficient air traffic management service within PNG’s international and domestic airspace”.

All aspects of the new simulator are tailored to PNG’s unique operating environment. As well as the standard training syllabus, the new facility will allow PNG Air Services to develop practical scenario based training programs based on real scenarios.

The investment will improve the readiness of PNG Air Services to respond to future growth in the aviation industry and support improved aviation safety.

The Australian High Commission’s Minister Counsellor, James Hall, highlighted the benefits of the new system.

“This is an exciting time for PNG’s aviation sector, which is moving forward rapidly. The new Mount Hagen International Airport in Western Highlands Province opened in November 2015, and Nadzab Airport in Morobe Province is also scheduled for a major redevelopment.

The PNG-Australia partnership to modernise PNG Air Services is a vital complement to these developments to ensure PNG can harness connectivity and trade opportunities”.

Hall said, “this cutting edge 3D simulator puts PNG Air Services at the forefront of air traffic control training in the Pacific. Businesses and the travelling public rely on the aviation sector and preparedness is vital for the continued strengthening of aviation safety”.