LAHORE: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has acquired a state-of-the-art Airbus A320 simulator for pilot training, refresher courses and air safety.
The simulator would lead to safer training and cost savings for the local airlines, as they have to spend a significant amount of money on training their pilots overseas.
The state-of-the-art digital 7E Evolution Airbus A320 Full Flight Simulator, acquired from L3Harris Technologies, will be installed at the PIA Training Centre in Karachi.
Currently, the national flag carrier operates 11 Airbus A320 aircraft. The simulator will not only benefit PIA’s own pilots who fly Airbus A320 but also other Pakistani airlines like Airblue and AirSial that use the aircraft. Pakistan has 670 Airbus A320 pilots.
The simulator will not only benefit PIA’s pilots but also those of private airlines
The acquisition of the simulator “is a wonderful step by PIA, as it will assist all pilots who are flying Airbus A320 in Pakistan”, said Imran Aslam Khan, director of Sky Wings and an aviation expert.
He said Airbus A320 pilots must go through four hours of simulator training every six months. “Now the question is whether one simulator will be sufficient for hundreds of Airbus pilots,” he wondered.
Mr Aslam said that sending a pilot abroad for simulator training costs between $400 and $500 per hour, in addition to the instructor’s fee and other charges. All the expenses are borne by the airline.
He explained that in the early days, the plane manufacturing company would supply simulators to its customers at a lower cost under an agreement, but such arrangements were not considered by the officials concerned.
Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2022