JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first Airbus A320neo simulator, used to train pilots and first officers at its headquarters in Jeddah, aims to develop and grow aviation talent by offering the latest state-of-the-art facilities and full-range training services.
The simulator, which was recently inaugurated by the Prince Sultan Aviation Academy (PSAA), comes ahead of the arrival of 65 Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft, and will ensure that the PSAA is prepared and well positioned.
The new aircraft deliveries have already commenced and are being inducted into the Saudia and flyadeal airline fleets.
With the new simulator, the PSAA now operates a total of nine simulators, including Airbus models (A320neo, A320, A330 and A340), and Boeing models (B777-200, B777-300, B747-400 and B787).
Each year, the new A320neo simulator, manufactured by L3 Harris Technologies, is scheduled to train 3600 pilots and first officers.
The launch of the new simulation device will enhance the PSAA’s world-class training and capabilities, and comes in line with the newly announced National Transport and Logistics Strategy and its mission to develop the country’s transport system, said Ibrahim Al-Omar, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
The Transport and Logistics Strategy announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier in June aims to position the Kingdom as a global logistics hub connecting three continents, and is expected to generate SR550 billion ($150 billion) in investment by 2030.
Moreover, the crown prince also announced plans to launch a second national airline as part of a broader strategy to catapult Saudi Arabia into the fifth rank globally for air transit traffic.
“A year ago, we started an important project to integrate all the training activities of the General Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation and all its strategic units and companies within the tasks and responsibilities of the PSAA,” said Captain Mohammad Waqas, general manager of air operations and training at the academy.
The merger helped to identify the right direction of growth for the PSAA, Waqas said, adding that the academy aims to become a center for knowledge in all areas of the region’s aviation industry and provide full-scale training in aviation safety and security, ground operations, customer services, aviation science, English language in aviation, air service, training and aircraft maintenance.
Since its inception 60 years ago, the PSAA has helped support best practices in the aviation transport industry in accordance with both local and international safety standards.
Its training courses cover all aspects of the flight deck and aircraft maintenance, and offer the latest fixed and mobile simulators, as well as training systems.
“The PSAA plays a vital role in qualifying pilots and air navigators in Saudi Arabia, which has helped to achieve 100 percent localization of co-pilot jobs, and we will celebrate localizing all pilot jobs soon, too,” Al-Omar said.
Furthermore, the PSAA has also achieved complete localization of its training staff.
The launch event was attended by esteemed guests including British consul general Seif Usher, the General Authority of Civil Aviation, CEO of L3Harris Hogan Wilson, managing director of PSAA Captain Ismael Al-Koshy, as well as Saudia executives and members of the media.
The PSAA is a strategic business unit of Saudi Arabian Airlines Cooperation and the only advanced aviation training center in the Kingdom. It is a round-the-clock training facility with 14 airline clients and 255 trainers and administrators, and has trained more than 14,000 pilots and air navigators.
The academy is certified by the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organization.