Flight school adds realistic 737 simulator for tourists

A realistic 737 flight simulator which provides a fun experience for tourists and could one day help train pilots will open in Blackpool Airport in the New Year.

Commercial pilot Daniel May first had the idea to bring the simulator to Blackpool. The simulator is the result of two years of development in partnership with Westair, the fourth-generation aviation business based at the airport.

From January 2, customers will be able to experience the cockpit and controls of a B737-800NG, the world’s leading twin-engine passenger aircraft.

The new venture will bring several additional year round jobs to the airport and employment will grow again when the business expands further into commercial pilot training.

Daniel said: “Blackpool Airport was the perfect choice for the launch of the 737Pro. Not only is Blackpool known worldwide for its excellent visitor attractions, Westair runs a successful flying school and has a long and established relationship with Blackpool Airport, making Hangar 8 the ideal location for launching the new simulator.

Westair has been extremely supportive and we have been working in close collaboration to ensure that the experience is as close to the real thing as possible. We have made sure that every button and dial is fully functional, just as it would be in a real 737 flight deck.”

John Westoby from Westair said: “We are launching the 737Pro simulator to the tourist market as there is nothing like this anywhere locally.

"The visual effects make it very realistic and our team of experienced staff and instructors will guide customers through all aspects of the journey, whether they have flown before or are a complete novice.

"Future plans include team building courses and with the correct accreditation in place, we can provide multi-crew courses and supplementary courses for our flying school training packages, for both private and commercial pilots looking to gain experience.”

He added: Final preparations and quality testing are being made currently to the simulator to ensure a seamless, unique and fun experience all round. A dedicated team of operators and support staff are also undergoing vigorous training ahead of the January opening date.”

Cllr Mark Smith, Blackpool councillor and cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and economic development, said: “It’s really important to see new enterprises like this take off at the airport and to support them wherever possible.

"Blackpool Airport is very much open for business and it’s great to see how businesses at the airport are diversifying, embracing new technologies and encouraging a wide variety of visitors, not just from the world of aviation, but people who never thought they could have a fun day out at a working airport."

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