Entry Point North Ireland (EPNI) officially opened a new air traffic control tower simulator at its Dublin Air Traffic Control Centre (ATCC) at Dublin Airport today (Tuesday, 27 June 2017). The new high-technology simulator, the second such installation in Europe, will be the platform in respect to all future aerodrome training for Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) Dublin-based air traffic control officers.
This installation enhances the expansion of EPNI operations in Ireland, whose core training centre is in Shannon Co Clare. The expansion will serve to manage the increased training demand from Dublin ATC operations to handle the ever increasing airport traffic. It will also provide an upgraded state-of-the-art tower simulator to support the most intricate extra training requirements and procedure evaluation for the proposed new runway for 2020.
The new simulator consists of twenty-two 65in UHD displays that are driven by a similar total of high performance image generators incorporating top quality graphics cards. The display system gives a 270° horizontal field of view, and has a diameter of 8m with a height of 1.5m. It is also possible to show a 360° field of view on the physical 270° screen. The system provides an ultra-sharp picture, as 47,500px x 3,840px are projected onto a 19m x 1.5m screen. The setup provides room for five tower controller positions and up to eight pilot positions. Some of these positions are also suitable to use for approach or area control training.
Speaking at the launch, Entry Point North CEO Anne Kathrine Jensen said: "Today marks another great milestone for Entry Point North Ireland; we are a world-leading Air Traffic Management training provider and this technologically advanced tower simulator in Dublin positions us well in the years ahead."
IAA CEO Eamonn Brennan added: "This innovative system is supporting our growing needs at Dublin Airport. Traffic at Dublin Airport has grown significantly over the past few years and work is underway to develop a new parallel runway by 2020. As a shareholder in Entry Point North we are delighted to see this state-of-the-art infrastructure in Dublin."
Outlining the benefits the new tower simulator will deliver, EPNI’s managing director Austin Hallahan said: "It can simulate the planned new runway and required procedures to ensure a safe efficient operation and can be configured vertically or horizontally using a single or multiple visual channels to accomplish the desired field-of-view. The simulation creates a realistic, immersive environment for training including a wide variety of ancillary equipment commonly found in control towers.
"It’s a significant addition to our ATC training capability. EPNI has delivered over 3,000 student weeks of cost-efficient ATC training to over 350 air traffic control officers since its inception three years ago serving all training requirements of the following Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) business units: Shannon Enroute, Dublin Terminal, Shannon and Cork Business Units and the North Atlantic Communications Centre.