Airlines have begun training pilots and aircraft for summer flights. This is not as easy as it seems at first glance, reports The Associated Press.
The pandemic has contributed to a sharp decline in flights, and many airliners around the world have been put into hibernation. The gradual lifting of restrictions indicates that international flights will soon resume in full.
The preparation of the aircraft, which the airlines have embarked on, is quite complicated. To do this, they must go through control and tests that require hundreds of hours. Simon Michaud, Technical Team Leader for Brussels Airlines, explains:
“The plane behind me spent a year in a mothballed state. We will take him to the hangar to begin the return to service procedure. Various procedures must be followed and a thorough inspection is required to bring the liner into working order and is found to be completely safe to operate. Every component and every system is inspected, tested in accordance with the instructions. This will make it possible to return the aircraft to the operating fleet with confidence ”.
Of course, at the moment, the number of flights is far from what it was before the pandemic. But civil aviation is waking up. In April, for example, the intensity of flights over Europe was 62% lower than in the same period two years ago, before the pandemic. This is an excellent indicator considering that passenger traffic practically stopped last year.
In order to return to the previous schedule by the beginning of the summer tourist season, airlines are not only restoring air liners – pilots must also undergo retraining. In this they are assisted by special electronic simulators, which create similar conditions to those found in real aircraft cockpits. Jeremy Rooms, flight instructor for the Belgian airline, says:
“The time spent at the helm of the computer simulator coincides with the real time on the real routes. At each stage of the flight simulation, we test how the pilots are recovering their skills to meet standards. That is, we do not release a single pilot on the line without making sure that he is able to fly the plane completely safely. Without confirming this, they will not be able to fly. “
Summer is approaching rapidly, but the main European airlines are confident that by the beginning of the tourist season, most of their liners will take off.