In a continuing effort to produce the best-trained flight crews in the regional airline industry, Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (RJETQ/OTC) has taken delivery of a new state-of-the-art Cabin Trainer at the Indianapolis Training Center, where thousands of Pilots and Flight Attendants will use the facility each year.
The 15-ton, 60-foot-long Cabin Trainer is a scaled-down version of an Embraer 170/175 interior, complete with a cockpit, galley, two-class seating, lavatory, emergency escape slide and more. Among the facility’s special features:
- smoke-generating machines to simulate fires throughout the cabin (and extensive ventilation system to clear the entire facility within minutes);
- ultrasonic “fire extinguishers” to point at sensors throughout the cabin to extinguish virtual blazes;
- sound amplification devices under the floor to replicate the noise and vibration of takeoff, cruising and landing;
- An attached inflated emergency escape slide and working cabin doors to practice evacuation logistics and emergency protocols; and
- A cockpit with functional flight deck seats, windows and oxygen masks.
Instructors control the training environment via a computer screen hidden inside the wardrobe closet or a Wi-Fi tablet.
It is the first of its kind in the regional industry and the newest anywhere in the U.S., according to manufacturer RP Aero of England. Only a handful of countries have cabin trainers as complete, including Russia, Australia, Singapore and France. RP Aero has done similar modules for Republic’s codeshare partners American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, but none equals the size or functionality of Republic’s.
“Without a doubt it’s the most advanced piece of aircraft training equipment of its kind in the U.S.,” Republic COO Paul Kinstedt said. “This investment will allow us to simulate cabin functions with incredible detail, from boarding to gallery service to crisis situations like fires and evacuations. Safety and training is the focal point for us, and Republic continues to set the bar high for the industry.”
The Cabin Trainer interior is constructed like an actual aircraft so Flight Attendants can perform their service routine, eliminating heavy reliance on classroom instruction. This includes boarding, galley service with full meal carts, passenger interaction and deplaning, as well as situational opportunities to practice communication coordination.
“This new Cabin Trainer will completely change how we prepare our Inflight team members, allowing us to provide a real-life experience for our new hire and recurrent classes,” said Amy Chiappe, Republic’s Director of Inflight. “We’ll be able to do so many more things, and improve the overall training experience. The timing couldn’t be better, because it aligns perfectly with our plans for a single fleet type.”
The Cabin Trainer will provide crewmembers with the most sophisticated learning environment in the history of the Company, Chiappe added. “This will allow us to continue producing the industry’s best-prepared and best-trained crews anywhere. That’s a high standard, but that’s something Republic is always striving for,” she said.