Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Technology Enables Ground Support Equipment Training

Airside International article: Technology Enables GSE Training.

This article discusses the 3D training simulator ForgeFX developed for Global Ground Support. Airside International is a quarterly magazine aimed at airport authorities, airlines, equipment providers, and infrastructure developers. The article includes an interview with Jeffrey Walsh, Vice President of Sales and Service for Global Ground Support, Greg Meyers, President for ForgeFX, and Adam Kane, Technical Director for ForgeFX.

Global Ground Support offers the market the 3D simulation software developed by ForgeFX as part of a package with their equipment. The first simulator was delivered in December 2007 to JetBlue. The deicing simulation has been a huge success and has generated an incredible amount of interest. Global has a simulator with a customer who does not even have any of their trucks, but because the controls are very similar between competitors’ vehicles and their vehicles, they get a lot of the benefit from the 3D simulator.

It is possible to train a ground support operator to use a deicer correctly through simulation-based training in just 30 minutes. In the past, companies would take their new employees, put them through 8, 12, or 16 hours of classroom deicing training, then they would put them in a truck for one, two, or four hours depending upon the customer to teach them how to use the truck. Unfortunately, most of this training took place in August, September, or October. Those new employees might not actually spray an aircraft for several months, they then get into a very complicated piece of equipment in which to perform difficult tasks in a timely fashion. The only piece of equipment on the ramp that is more complicated to operate than a deicer is an aircraft, this clearly demonstrates the need for high quality training.

The training simulation goes beyond just teaching an employee how the controls of the truck work. It gets into the whys of the actual deicing process. It trains not only on truck operation but also on the processes and procedures involved in deicing an aircraft correctly, safely, and cost effectively.

Jeffrey Walsh, Vice President of Sales and Service for Global Ground Support, was able to take his 20 years of airline, airport, deicing, and flying experience; couple it with ForgeFX's simulation development expertise, to create a new deicing training program that brought deicing and simulators to the next level. Global Ground Support is striving to make this simulation equipment increasingly real every day. The next update to the simulator will show the fluid flowing off the wings. It will also have wind speed and wind direction and all sorts of other components that make it even more real. Simulations can never be too real.

Full article
: Technology Enables GSE Training
Project case study: Interactive 3D deicing training simulator.

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