Virgin America announced on May 22 that it is opening up a new flight training facility near its San Francisco International Airport headquarters with a state of the art Required Navigation Performance (RNP) Airbus full-flight simulator.
This simulator is part of Virgin America's new flight training center, which the airline invested $11.7 million in. The flight simulator is aimed at reproducing tactile, visual and operational challenges and experiences for the company's new pilots.
"Virgin America has been one of the few growing airlines in the current economic climate, and to date we've created 2,600 jobs, expanded to 18 destinations and welcomed more than 17 million guests," said Virgin America president and CEO David Cush. "Despite our rapid growth, our teammates continue to build a different kind of airline and deliver a product that sweeps the awards every year. In the very best sense this airline represents the innovative spirit of the Bay Area – and we're pleased to invest in a next generation training facility that positions us for the next five years of growth and beyond."
Virgin America estimates that RNP training may reduce fuel usage by as much as 400 pounds per flight while also training pilots to engage in more efficient runway use during low visibility conditions.
While Virgin America may be using industry specific technology, it still represents a movement toward technology based training tools by most companies. Other businesses may benefit from the use of technology with employee training, which can be done by using an online training software that improves both technological skills with new hires as well as job and industry specific training.
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