Monday, October 03, 2005

Aviation institute up soon at Clark ecozone

By Ding Cervantes The Philippine Star

CLARK FIELD, Pampanga — The Clark Development Corp. (CDC) announced that it has linked up with an international aviation company to put up an aviation institute here with P19.6-million state-of-the-art flight simulation facilities for the training of commercial pilots.

The institute will be the first of its kind in the country, said Clark Development Corp. (CDC) president Antonio Ng.

The CDC signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Aviation Group Development Corp. (IAGDC), led by its director Eduardo Dayot, which will install at least four flight simulators for the Aviation Technical Institute to be put up at the Clark Polytechnic Foundation Inc.

"A flight simulator is a system that simulates the actual flying of an airplane as closely and realistically as possible," Ng said.

"The different types of flight simulator range from videogames to full-sized cockpit replicas mounted on hydraulic or electromechanical actuators, controlled by state-of-the-art computer technology," he added.

The aviation industry and the military extensively use flight simulators for pilot training, disaster response simulation and aircraft development.

The IAGDC, according to the CDC marketing department, will initially invest about $350,000 or P19.6 million for the flight simulators at the Aviation Technical Institute.

IAGDC officials said the institute will train not only student pilots, but also those who want to become aviation engineers, cabin crewmembers, and aviation operations support personnel, CDC information head Sonny Lopez said.

"Once pilots become familiar with the operations of flight simulators, they will shift to cockpit procedure trainers or CPTs, which are fixed, exact replicas of an aircraft used to train flight crews in normal and emergency procedures," he said.

Lopez said the CPTs "duplicate the atmospheric environment," simulating wind, temperature and turbulence, as well as the sounds produced by the aircraft’s engine and landing gear, with visual systems.

CDC marketing officer Benedict Rivera said a flight simulator costs about $12 million to $16 million. Four such systems will eventually be installed at the Aviation Technical Institute, he added.

Ng said the aviation institute, which will offer "extensive modules," is expected to attract not only Filipino student pilots, but also foreign students.

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