PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) has announced it will start using virtual reality (VR) technology for all its cabin crew training, beginning with latest batch of trainees.
“Using a VR program developed by PAL in collaboration with the startup company Veer Immersive Technologies, Inc., the innovative training modules include aircraft familiarization and cabin door operations for Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft,” the flag carrier said in a statement.
PAL said the VR technology will simulate “realistic and vivid conditions” that are experienced when flying an aircraft, but in a “safe and virtual environment.”
“The VR-enhanced training is expected to help future PAL cabin crew members acquire stronger skills to respond more effectively under pressure to real-world challenges,” the statement added.
The development also effectively cuts the logistical requirements for training, PAL said, as it can now be done even in “remote areas with unlimited use.”
The flag carrier is the first local airline to enhance its training program with the VR technology. The modified training course was formed with the help of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to ensure that it follows industry standards.
“We are excited to pioneer a truly practical application of VR technology. Our solution not only provides a more efficient training process, but more importantly, it enhances the learning experience of our crew members by making it more immersive, interactive, and fun,” PAL President Jaime J. Bautista was quoted in the statement as saying.
While modified cabin crew training for the Airbus 320 and 321 are the only ones available now, PAL said modules for the Bombardier Q400 Next Generation turboprop are also in the pipeline.
The listed operator of PAL, PAL Holdings, Inc., reported a bigger net loss in the first quarter at P1.1 billion. In a regulatory filing, it said bigger expenses on fuel and oil drove the company’s financial turnout. — Denise A. Valdez