CLARK FREEPORT -- Philippine Airlines (PAL) has started using Virtual Reality (VR) technology in training cabin crew, as part of its digital transformation program.
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 VR application simulates inflight situations that allow trainees to acquire and practice thought processes and skills under more realistic and vivid conditions, 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.
PAL is the first and only airline in the country to use VR technology for training.
The VR program will be used in all of the flag carrier’s cabin crew training programs, starting with the May 2018 batch of trainees. PAL’s new high-tech cabin crew training course was developed in close coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and has been approved by CAAP in accordance with the regulatory agency’s strict safety standards.
A VR training module for the Bombardier Q400 NG (Next Generation) turboprop will soon be available for succeeding batches of trainees.
“While the use of technology in pilot training has evolved tremendously over the past decades, cabin crew training has largely remained unchanged over the years. 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,” said PAL president and COO Dr. Jaime Bautista.
The use of the new technology will also help reduce logistical requirements and will enhance learning experience by “gamifying” the training modules for easy and interactive navigation of the aircraft equipment. Trainings are self-paced and can be conducted in remote areas with unlimited use.
This VR Training innovation is one of the many initiatives undertaken by the flag carrier to provide its highly regarded professional cabin crew members with world-class training fit for a four-Star airline.
“Whether it’s for enforcing safety or giving our valued passengers the special care and attention they deserve, we want our PAL cabin crew to be the world’s best,” Bautista said.