The MPS A320 FTD: Air Macau Flight Training Manager Experience
Air Macau received the MPS A320 FTD in 2020 as a replacement for an old FTD which served us well but was well past the end of its lifetime. Full Flight Simulator training is performed outside Macau in various locations with our own instructors and examiners. Apart from the absence of our own FFS, the main motivation to acquire a fixed base simulator was to reduce the costs of our training program.
As a result of COVID, the MPS FTD turned out to be a “lifesaver” for our company. Due to travel restrictions, we could not send our crews to FFS training and our authorities approved the recurrent training on our FTD enabling us to operate our (very limited) flight schedule. In many places, COVID is no longer an issue, but we still have significant restrictions affecting airline operations in Macau which causes prolonged no-flight exposure for our pilots. With the MPS FTD, we can perform a low-cost requalification program to have crews available for flight operations.
For obvious reasons, most of our training is suspended. Our Cadet program is very much affected by the current situation. Due to the availability of the FTD, we can keep our cadets exposed to flight operations and, hopefully, motivated until we can continue their training. For the regular crew, right now, a small part of the FFS recurrent program can be performed on the FTD. Pending regulatory approval in the future, we are targeting to offload up to 30% of FFS training to the FTD. For initial training, we hope to reduce FFS hours by 40%.
We had some issues in the early stages of operation, but they have been solved. We are happy with the support from MPS. Instructor experience is good but, most importantly, the trainees love the machine!
About Air Macau:
Established in 1994, Air Macau is a regional international airline based in Macau SAR, China, which is strategically well-situated to locate in the fast-growing Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. As the airline operating the whole fleet with Airbus aircraft, Air Macau’s 22 aircraft fleet serves 29 destinations in China and Asia.