Changi Airport to start trial of aerobridge simulator using virtual reality

Mr Sunny Yang, Changi Airport Group's associate general manager of airside management, demonstrating the new simulator on trial that uses virtual reality for training Passenger Loading Bridge operators. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Changi Airport plans to introduce a new simulator in September (2019) that will better train its workers on operating an aerobridge.

Using virtual reality, it will cut down the training time needed on an actual aerobridge by 25 per cent, thus freeing up the facility for more planes to use them, said Changi Airport Group (CAG) on Wednesday (Aug 14).

It will give trainees hands-on experience in manoeuvring on a replica of the physical aerobridge as well as make it very convenient for them to practice what they would need to do on an actual aerobridge, said Mr Sunny Yang, CAG's associate general manager of airside management.

Aerobridge operators have to connect this covered link between an arriving plane and the terminal for passengers to use to board and disembark from the plane. They also have to respond to any problems arising from it.

Currently, aerobridges are all in use during the morning and evening peak air traffic periods.

And since an aerobridge has to be booked for a few hours for the practical training of the would-be operators, the lessons have to be stretched over several days.

With the new simulator, trainees can practice even without access to the aerobridge. The system can also be customised to train them to handle various scenarios such as rainy weather or different plane types.

But the trainees will still be required to spend time practising on an actual aerobridge, and will have to pass their proficiency test on the physical facility.

The simulator was jointly developed by CAG andlocal firm Aviation Virtualsince late last year. CAG declined to disclose the cost.

It was developed to optimise the training of aerobridge operators, said Mr Yang, as demand for such skills is set to grow with Changi Airport potentially handling about 150 million passengers yearly after the construction of Terminal 5 is completed around 2030.

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