Hawaiian Airlines unveiled its new $10 million flight simulator that will be used to train pilots flying the carrier's new Airbus A330 aircraft.
The high-tech system will provide on-site training for about 250 pilots at Hawaiian's corporate headquarters and will help save the carrier about $3.6 million a year.
"This means that Hawaiian Airlines pilots can now complete their qualifications at our facilities here in Honolulu and our company can manage our cost as we continue to expand our business and sustain our position as a world-class airline," said Hawaiian Airlines' CEO Mark Dunkerley.
Currently, the company's pilots fly to Florida for training at Airbus' Miami offices.
"It's a tremendous savings. It allows us to pay back the expense of the simulator over a three to four year period," said Ken Rewick, vice president of flight operations at Hawaiian Airlines.
The new system, which weighs about ten tons and is about 50 feet tall, simulates flights to hundreds of destinations around the globe.
The interior of the flight simulator is identical to the cockpit of A330 down to the nuts and bolts. The screens use top-of-the-line display technology and image generators to provide 3-D simulations of flight and weather condition.
It allows pilot to practice emergency scenarios such as flying through storm weather and snow conditions.
"It's going to be much simpler for pilots," said Kirk McBride, system chief pilot at Hawaiian Airlines.
"The problem we've always had is we've always had to go to a location on the mainland."
Hawaiian uses its A330 aircraft for long-haul flights to the Mainland, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The carrier currently has 13 A330s and plans to add another nine of these jets to its fleet.
Hawaiian says it will train about 250 pilots using the new flight simulator. Over the long term, the carrier will likely expand the program to train pilots who fly for other airlines.
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