Qatar Airways is leading the adoption of virtual reality (VR) into aviation ground operations training as IATA’s global launch partner of RampVR.
The system utilises the latest VR technology to simulate real airside conditions for ground handling and ground service operator training. The RampVR system is being used by Qatar Airways’ Talent Development department to train its ground operations teams.
In a major innovation in aviation ground operations training, the airline’s Talent Development decision-makers have taken the global lead by being the first to implement the new technology at their Doha-based training headquarters.
The new system is being used to train airside operational and management staff through immersion into a real-time, live experience, while being in a safe and controlled training environment.
In another major innovation the specialised training division is launching a newly developed ‘Airport Managers Performance Programme’ to all of the airline’s airport managers across the globe, where the RampVR system will be utilised to enhance aircraft turnaround checks to maximise efficiency and ensure optimal safety of aircraft on the ramp.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “As the world leading innovative airline, we are always looking at new technology that will keep us ahead of our competitors. Utilising RampVR, we are the worlds’ first airline to partner with IATA in launching this Virtual Reality system, which brings an immersive and safe way of training our staff to the highest standards.”
IATA’s senior vice president, airport, passenger, cargo and security, Nick Careen, said: “Talent Development is essential to making our industry safe, secure and sustainable. Innovative technology is the key. VR in the learning context increases knowledge retention by as much as four times while improving motivation and engagement.
“VR is here to stay and we are already considering expanding its use in different training areas. We value the guidance and expertise that Qatar Airways bring to this strategic tools future development and applications.”
Ramp VR can be programmed to simulate all light, weather, hazard and operational conditions in which staff members can find themselves, and create an endless variety of problem-solving opportunities while trainees are immersed in a ‘real’ ramp environment.
The technology allows for the immediate practical application and embedding of theory while staff are still in the training environment, eliminating any safety risk to staff and aircraft.
Qatar Airways is using the ‘Aircraft Turnaround Check’ and ‘Marshalling’ training modules, the first of a suite of modules that covers a wide range of aviation training needs with reduced time and training costs. IATA project staff meet regularly with Qatar Airways Talent Development’s team to review training results and plan future developments.
RampVR is a key tool in IATA’s ‘Ramp of the Future’ initiative, recognising the need for rapidly increasing the knowledge and skills of all ground operations staff as well as providing a global standard of safety and operational best practices. This aims to accelerate the modernisation of processes aligned with a common vision for the future of ground operations, and relies on increased collaboration from all stakeholders.