Despite the collapse of the aviation sector in the Covid-19 pandemic, the ambitious Axarquía Aviation Park project continues to take shape on the business estate next to the light-aircraft aerodrome just outside Vélez-Málaga.
The new facility aims to become the only aeronautics school in Europe that offers training for pilots, crew and maintenance technicians on the same site.
The complex, which covers around 62,000 square metres, will also have six aircraft hangars and a residence for its students. It is expected to have cost around ten million euros once finished.
The jewel in the crown of the new technology being used so far is a Simloc A320 flight simulator, recently installed and certified by regulators. The training school acquired it last year for 1.5 million euros and it replicates the cockpit of a fully functioning Airbus A320 passenger plane.
The live view system has three ‘Full HD’ projectors and a three- metre-high semi-cylindrical screen, allowing a field of vision of 210 by 40 degrees for each pilot. It also includes an integrated control panel which lets instructors and students fully interact with the needs of the aircraft.
On a visit by SUR to try out the simulator, it was easy to imagine that the half-spherical fibreglass machine was really flying at 10,000 metres above sea level and not sitting on the ground in the Axarquía.
The sound of the passing air was reproduced perfectly as were the changes in the control panels on board and the conversations with the imaginary control tower using advanced artificial intelligence software - just as if it were a real flight.
The flight model systems of the new A320 are based on the Airbus data package. “With which we can achieve a dynamic behaviour like with a real aeroplane,” manager Juan Manuel Martín said.
Over 100 students
The A320 simulator will allow the school to increase its training offer and adds to two existing flight simulators.
The centre, on the Parque Tecnoalimentario business park, already has 120 students this year, Martín explained.
On the nearby aerodrome runway the firm has a fleet of 15 planes and plans to build hangers to store them.
Also within the expanding training centre is an area with doors to simulate the entry and exit of different types of plane and an area to train people in the health and safety risks on board passenger jets, such as a fire in the galley.
“Although the situation of the aeronautics sector is difficult due to Covid-19, we are very excited and pleased with the Vélez-Málaga project,” Martín concluded.