Airways New Zealand and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in Lebanon have opened an advanced air traffic control (ATC) simulation facility in Beirut to help improve the supply of controllers in the region.

Airways International, the commercial unit of Airways New Zealand, installed a TotalControl LCD tower simulator and two radar/non-radar simulators at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport after a 12-month project.

DGCA’s ATC controllers and students using simulated scenarios that mimic the real world will undergo training at the facility, which has been commissioned after the completion of site acceptance testing.

The contract for the construction and installation of the simulator was between Airways International and ICAO on behalf of DGCA Lebanon.

Airways International CEO Sharon Cooke said: “Airways is excited to mark this milestone after leading this strategically significant project for DGCA and the Government of Lebanon.

“We look forward to further developing this partnership as DGCA builds their ATC training capability.”

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The TotalControl simulators at Beirut International Airport imitate the full Lebanese ATC flight information region, using high-fidelity photo-real graphics for the tower and emulation of the ATM system for radar.

Pilots operating the DGCA simulator can quickly create and validate exercises. With minimal training, they can easily manage complex simulated scenarios.

TotalControl simulation technology improves the quality and speed of ATC training, reducing on-the-job training time, while the industry worldwide is under pressure to train enough air traffic controllers to meet demand.

TotalControl simulators, developed by Airways in partnership with New Zealand-based 3D graphics experts Animation Research, can be configured to meet ANSPs’ specific needs.

According to DGCA Lebanon air navigation department director Kamal Nassereddine, the TotalControl simulator was ideal for the DGCA’s key requirements, including photo-realistic graphics and ease of use.

Airways New Zealand has been providing ATC training solutions and consultancy services to the Middle East region for over 20 years.

Over the past two years, it has delivered training for key customers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain. It has recently established a turnkey ATC training course at the Australian College of Kuwait.