Published on : Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Regional Express (Rex) today celebrated the official opening of its SAAB 340 Full Flight Simulator (FFS). The opening ceremony was held in Wagga Wagga at its cadet pilot academy, the Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA), in conjunction with a Rex Cadet graduation ceremony.
The simulator was acquired from FlightSafety International in May 2013. A purpose-built training facility has been constructed at AAPA where the simulator is installed. It obtained certification from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on 16 April 2014.
The new simulator centre is a further investment by Rex in its pilot training academy in Wagga Wagga. Rex has invested $28.5 million in its academy, making it the most modern pilot training facility in Australia.
The Hon. Warren Truss MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure for Regional Development officiated at the opening ceremony before a crowd comprising government, airline, community and business leaders as well as proud parents, relatives and friends of the graduating cadets.
“Rex is an integral part of the regional aviation sector and plays a pivotal role in servicing regional areas,” Mr Truss said.
“This is the most modern pilot training facility in the Asia Pacific region, not only because of the standard of instruction, but also the access students have to state-of-the art equipment.”
“The simulator we are opening today will also augment training by providing a seamless transition from Cadet to Regional Express SAAB 340 First Officer all at the one facility.”
Commenting on the official opening, Rex General Manager Flight Operations and Chief Pilot Neville Howell said, “This is a significant milestone for the Rex Group and an achievement we are immensely proud of. With a fleet of 50 SAAB 340 aircraft in the Rex Group, the additional simulator will greatly add to the training system, bringing greater efficiencies and flexibility to crew training management.”
“The SAAB FFS is the ultimate training tool and allows for more effective training and prepares the pilot for a raft of abnormal and emergency scenarios in a safe and controlled environment. This demonstrates the commitment Rex has for safety and to ensuring the highest possible training standards.”
Regional Express (Rex) is Australia’s largest independent regional airline operating a fleet of more than 40 Saab 340 aircraft on some 1,300 weekly flights to 36 destinations throughout New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. The Rex Group comprises Regional Express, air freight and charter operator Pel-Air Aviation and Dubbo-based regional airline Air Link, as well as the pilot academy Australian Airline Pilot Academy.