Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia's regional training academy at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is undergoing a massive expansion that sees it more than doubling the size of its premises and adding three more flight simulators.

The expansion includes construction of several new buildings, which were completed in August, and the expanded area will open at the end of this year or early next year, AirAsia Academy auditor Francis Bateman told ATI,'s premium sister news site, during a tour of the academy.

Bateman says the new buildings house classrooms, a graduation hall, a smoke-house for aircraft fire and smoke drills and two evacuation trainers which are mock-ups of the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 interior cabins.

AirAsia's academy trains the flight crew, cabin crew and ground personnel for AirAsia in Malaysia and its Thai and Indonesian affiliates.

For pilot training the academy has six flight simulators, including one for the 737, four for the A320 and one for the Airbus A330.

It received one of the A320 simulators last month and another earlier this month and in recent weeks received the A330 simulator.

The A330 simulator and one of the A320 simulators are electric whereas the others are hydraulic.

While AirAsia manages the academy, the simulator centre housed inside is managed by simulator manufacturer CAE.

CAE Flight and Simulator Services general manager in Kuala Lumpur, Martin Williamson, says CAE maintains all six simulators. AirAsia owns two of the A320 simulators and leases the 737 simulator.

CAE owns the two A320 simulators that have just been added and it owns the A330 simulator, he says.

The simulator centre operates 24hr per day and spare time is used by third-party airlines, says Williamson. Third-party customers include Bangkok Airways, Batavia Air, Kingfisher Airlines, Mandala Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.

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Source: Air Transport Intelligence news