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Multi-million euro flight simulator replicates approaches to Donegal Airport

Pilots using ATR aircraft will use new facility in Dublin

Multi-million euro flight simulator replicates  approaches to Donegal Airport

ATR aircraft use Donegal Airport

A new state-of-the-art pilot multi-million euro training simulator at Dublin Airport features the unrivalled scenery of Donegal Airport in Carrickfinn.

The flight simulation artificially re-creates and replicates an aircraft in flight for the purpose of pilot training. 

Many of the pilots who will be using the simulator will belong to Stobart Air which operates the Aer Lingus Regional services, including those from Dublin to Donegal.

Carrickfinn airport in Donegal, voted the most scenic in the world for the third year in a row, has been replicated in the ATR simulator. 

This is a first for Carrickfinn and any simulator in the world where pilots will see the Atlantic on one side and Errigal on the other, when viewing the outside world from the visual displays of the simulator.

The announcement means that Irish pilots can train, refresh and develop their skills on an ATR aircraft specifically - the aircraft flown by Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus regional routes, in and out of Carrickfinn.

The new simulator is based at Simtech Aviation, at the Dublin Airport Logistics Park, and is the first ATR 72-600 simulator in Ireland or the UK. The new training simulator represents a $10 million investment in Irish aviation

Previous to this, pilots underwent ATR simulator training in Madrid and other locations across Europe. A new pilot conducting ‘type rated’ training – training on the particular aircraft type – on the ATR would spend 44 hours of training and checking in the simulator.

In addition, each pilot spends 16 hours per year in a simulator on recurrent training while pilots upgrading to Captain spend 36 hours training in the simulator for their new role.

This new training facility comes at a key time when pilots are experiencing significantly reduced hours due to Covid travel restrictions and means that pilots can continue to log flying hours to meet flying time requirements.

Commenting on the launch, Director of Flight Operations at Stobart Air, Donal Young said: “We look forward to welcoming our pilots on board the simulator to further their training on what is a remarkable replication of Carrickfinn in Donegal. 

“Maintaining skills and talent in the industry is a key consideration now. We cannot risk a situation where we lose talent due to a very prolonged lockdown and an aviation industry that is essentially shut down as many may look to other industries.”

Captain Sé Pardy, Accountable Manager, Simtech Aviation said: “Our team will support and facilitate the training of pilots who we anticipate will complete hundreds of training hours in the new ATR simulator in Dublin Airport. This is a key part of training and skills development for Irish pilots and having this new ATR simulate in Dublin is a huge opportunity for pilots and the aviation industry in Ireland.

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