SriLankan Airlines has begun operations at its first flight training academy at Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport.
The academy will start its programme with an Airbus A320 simulator to provide training for SriLankan's cadets and pilots, the airline said in a statement. An Airbus A330 simulator will be added in the second quarter of 2012, the statement added.
Netherlands-based SIM Industries is supplying the simulator and equipment on a 10-year lease agreement.
The SIM Industries A320 simulator is of a 'Level D' standard, which is the highest level of certification, the airline said.
In addition, the academy aims to train pilots from other airlines in the region.
"The simulator will work in four-hourly slots, 24-hours a day, making excess time available for guest pilots from the region to undergo training," said Captain Navin De Silva, the airline's head of flight operations.
Colombo's location means that a training school there will serve the region airlines, said Frank Uit den Boggard, CEO of SIM Industries.
den Boggard added that the simulator will reduce costs for airlines in south Asia, the Middle East and east Asia.