Sri Lanka flight academy opens with simulator

Oct 21, 2011 (LBO) - State-run Sri Lankan Airlines has opened a flight academy commissioning its first Dutch built flight simulator for Airbus A320 aircraft as it ramps up activity as part of the island's ambitions to become a regional aviation hub. It already has an engineering unit that is attracting third party work.

"Today, we begin a new phase in Sri Lanka’s Aviation sector and we look forward to being a centre of training excellence to the current and future pilots in the region," an airline statement quoted chairman Nishatha Wickremasinghe as saying.

The academy was opened by Sri Lanka's president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

SriLankan Airlines signed a 10-year lease agreement with SIM Industries Netherlands to promote the training capability in the region.

The Airbus A320 Simulator will be able to provide the required flying training for SriLankan cadet pilots, first officers and captains and regional airlines.

"We have been looking at opportunities in South Asia for some time, and there is no doubt that Colombo is an excellent strategic location to serve the region’s airlines," Frank Uit den Bogaard, chief executive of SIM Industries said.

"We will provide a sophisticated flight simulator that will reduce trainin

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