VR training will become the new normal, says IATA

22 February 2018
IATA believes in the potential of virtual reality technology for training airport personnel. Source: IATA

Airports, airlines, and other stakeholders recognise the potential of virtual reality for training their staff

Augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) technology is more than just a marketing stunt for aviation organisations, as potential applications are being realised, notably in training and developing employees. ABI Research, a leader in emerging technology intelligence, forecasts that the enterprise VR training market will boom from USD216 million in 2018 to USD6.3 billion in 2022.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) sees the benefits that immersive learning could bring to operational training. Since late 2016, it has developed RampVR as a virtual reality training solution for ground operations.

RampVR allows the trainee to be immersed in a safe, virtual airport environment to experience multiple scenarios, aircraft types, and weather conditions while conducting safety inspections or marshalling. The complexities of accessing the airport and having an aircraft available for training are eliminated by realistically simulating the environment in VR.

Learning impact

Innovative technology is the key, according to Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice-President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo, and Security. “VR in the learning context increases knowledge retention by as much as four times while improving motivation and engagement. VR is here to stay,” he said.

In addition, unlike traditional onsite training, VR allows tracking of behaviour and interactions (such as eye gaze and movement), and it gives immediate feedback. Information such as how long it takes the trainee to complete tasks, which areas they pay more attention to and which ones they miss, and how they interact or react to the environment are examples of data that can be extracted from VR. With the collected data, analysis can be extrapolated to provide a more personalised and customised training appropriate for trainee needs.

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