Virtual reality takes ground handler training to a new level


The International Air Transport Association has launched its RampVR virtual reality training module for ground handlers at the IATA Ground Handling Conference in Bangkok.

This VR training module supplements the book-training ground handlers usually receive.

Better ground handling is essential to flight safety, results in fewer flight delays, and reduces airline losses from aircraft damage.

Frederic Leger, IATA director for airport, passenger, cargo and security products explains:

“Improving ramp safety and reducing damage to aircraft and ground equipment through better education and training is an industry priority, but training in this extremely active environment can be a challenge.”

The idea behind RampVR was to improve the training process while avoiding the risks and logistical complications of training ground handlers during normal airport operations. IATA says virtual reality practice fosters better retention of key information and best practices.

The training module uses both visual and aural immersion to give trainees a real sense of live working conditions during day and night shifts and in varied weather.

Trainees can practice a number of standard operations scenarios. With hand-held controls, they can “mark” foreign objects on the tarmac which need to be removed, or highlight damage on the aircraft fuselage. They can also pause the action to review notes, forms and reference materials.

RampVR tracks trainee performance for effective reporting on areas for improvement as part of the qualifying coursework.

Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president, airport, passenger, cargo and security says:

“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.”



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