The apron at Weston Airport is buzzing, as Darragh Owens, Head of Training at Ireland’s National Flight Centre Pilot Academy welcomes a new Integrated ATPL class to the flight line.
The Pilot Academy provides professional training to over 50 full time and 200 part time students. With a fleet of seventeen Cessna aircraft, Beechcraft twins, and two helicopters, NFC has selected Trig Avionics for Mode S surveillance and ADS-B Out electronic conspicuity across their fleet.
Darragh explained, “Our base at Weston Airport is located within a complex airspace environment, situated in the Dublin terminal area, southwest of the main city airport. We also have a busy military airfield nearby. Mode S and ADS-B will significantly enhance visibility, both to other aircraft and to three different ATC services, with whom we collaborate in maintaining safe separation and operational efficiency.”
“We fully assessed Trig ADS-B Out equipment in two aircraft, and it delivered excellent results, at a manageable cost”
ADS-B Out reduces the risk of air-to-air collision, but Darragh also shared other advantages of this investment for NFC. “Mode S and ADS-B allows us to track flightpaths further afield, resulting in more accurate estimates of arrival and departure times. This technology enables data generation which will aid the analysis of operational efficiency and allow us to track incidents or other safety-related events, if they occur.”
Having considered various options, NFC selected Trig TT31 transponders each installed with a TN72 GPS Position Source. Darragh said, “This set up uses an external transponder antenna providing a strong, reliable output – it’s simple and just works as soon as the Master Switch is turned on. We fully assessed Trig ADS-B Out equipment in two aircraft, and it delivered excellent results, at a manageable cost. We now plan to dedicate a large screen in flight operations, giving staff overall visibility of the entire fleet, this will integrate with our scheduling software. The published inbound and outbound tracks from our home base are narrow – they require precise flying and excellent situational awareness by our pilots and by ATC. These functions in the Trig equipment will greatly enhance that.”
Coming out of the pandemic the NFC Pilot Academy is already seeing a resurgence in interest in professional careers with their latest ATPL Integrated Class. Darragh concluded, “Young people are coming forward, confident that the airline industry will grow again. I still get a thrill, to fly and assist students on the path towards their own dreams of flight. All staff and students will now benefit from the added safety that Trig equipment provides, on every flight we make.”