Denel, through its Denel Technical Academy (DTA), is still pursuing the establishment of a national simulation training centre and has invested money in the DTA to further increase training services.
In September 2014 Denel, simulation provider CAE and South African services company Elisa announced plans to set up a simulation-based training facility in South Africa. The South Africa National Training and Simulation Centre (SANTSC) would offer pilot and technical training for military and commercial aviation as well as emergency and disaster management training. The envisaged phase one of the multi-phase project was the upgrade of the facilities at Denel Technical Academy in Kempton Park.
Denel Aviation CEO Michael L Kgobe told defenceWeb that following the signing of the memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the establishment of the national simulation centre, “the parties proceeded to establish a Steering Committee to do a feasibility study and identify pilot projects for implementation. This work is ongoing in…consolidating South Africa’s simulation training needs which spans across various government departments and SOCs [State Owned Companies]. A teaming agreement is intended by the parties as a next logical move to which will be specific to projects and enable execution.
“Parallel to this, Denel has in the past 18 months invested about R20 million in the DTA to enhance capacity and expand services offered which is now expanded to cover general engineering trades other than the aviation trades.
“This has enabled current DTA intake of above 350 learners. The plan is to take the DTA into the e learning and simulation space through the partnership established with CAE and Elisa which is work in progress.”
It was expected that phases of the project would see the SANTSC facility equipped with state-of-the-art flight simulators to expand the offering to include pilot training programmes, as well as establishing training programmes based on modelling and simulation tools to support other market segments such as emergency and disaster management, Denel said last year.
The state owned company said the envisaged SANTSC would contribute to the transformation of the South African aviation industry, retention of skills and the empowerment of women and youth from the disadvantaged community.
The rapid growth in the African aviation industry will see the imminent delivery of 1,800 new aircraft to meet the continent’s economic growth demands. The establishment of a $100 billion US-Africa Infrastructure Development Fund will further support industrialisation in Africa and regional integration, Denel noted.
The envisaged SANTSC would cater to the South African Air Force, South African Airways and South African Express, amongst others, for a consolidated training centre. Other African customers could be drawn into what would be the first such training centre in Africa.