Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) has introduced a Virtual Reality (VR) training environment, enabling new staff to gain experience before working on the ramp.
The COSAC-VR provides users with an interactive, fully immersive, 360 degrees, four-dimensional experience, with the first phase covering aircraft cargo compartment operations, and other areas of Hactl operations will be included in future modules.
COSAC-VR overcomes the limitations of on-the-job-training in preparing new staff for working in ramp handling, the fast pace of work, and the restricted opportunity to practice on real aircraft and ramp equipment.
The system is not dependent on a high technology, fixed location training suite, but is fully portable and can be quickly set up in any location.
The VR is expected to speed up the learning process, enable trainees to experience a wider variety of scenarios such as handling odd-sized cargo pallets and special loads, and enhance safety awareness.
Hactl senior manager for learning and development, Simon Yap says: “In the past, newly-recruited ground service staff had to undergo extensive classroom training before experiencing the real-life aircraft cargo handling environment.”
“COSAC-VR has reduced the reliance on real aircraft availability and suitable weather conditions for training, and trainees meanwhile can undergo work simulations in a totally safe environment.”
Hactl chief executive, Mark Whitehead says young recruits are well versed in VR technology due to using computer games, so VR should help them and turn learning into an enjoyable experience.
He says: “This is just the beginning: we will add progressively to COSAC-VR’s scope, and look at other ways to deploy VR, such as staff induction and internal communication. We are very interested in exploring collaboration with our airline customers on the VR training concept, for our mutual benefit.”