Air Malta and Indian airline IndiGO have signed up for Airbus’ new “cloud-based” platform for pilots to continue their training while at home.
The European planemaker has called its 3D interactive virtual software, designed for pilot recurrent and initial type training, the Mobile Airbus Training Experience (MATe) Suite.
“The solution, which offers multiple benefits; better knowledge retention and significant time savings on higher-level training devices and simulators,” said Airbus in its press release.
“MATe is the future of ground training. It has been a very useful enabling tool for our instructors to train our pilots. Individual tracking and cloud- based app are the USPs,” said Captain Ashim Mittra, senior vice president flight operations, IndiGo.
“It fits synergistically with our lean clean flying machine philosophy and allows us to continue providing an on-time, affordable and hassle-free flying experience to our customers.”
As the pandemic began, thousands of pilots from all airlines were stood down, and to this day, many are yet to be recalled.
World passenger traffic dropped 60 per cent in 2020 and flights per day decreased drastically, according to an ICAO report.
“The key to flying safely is frequency,” said Richard McSpadden, senior vice president at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Air Safety Institute in the US. “You are not as sharp if you haven’t flown for a while.”
Pilots who have been grounded for a long time are required to re-train.
Airbus developed MATe for pilots to train “whenever and wherever they want”, the planemaker said.
Trainers are able to monitor and follow the pilots progress through the cloud technology.
The technology was based off Airbus’ Cockpit Experience (ACE) Trainer, a simulator used in training centres for Flight Crew Licensing courses.
The mobile simulator is made for the A320 family and in the future will be available for the A330 and A350 by 2022.
The MATe champions the flight “competency-based” philosophy and Flight Training Reference (AFTR) standard and can be accessed on any IT device.
Airbus is the first large plane manufacturer to develop a mobile training device, while other smaller companies have created similar cost-efficient simulators.
Spanish simulation specialist Indra developed a virtual reality-based simulator for military and commercial pilots, launched a few weeks ago.
Known as the SIMCUI, the mobile training device incorporates AI algorithms that can also measure pilot performance, similar to the MATe.