New Kissimmee flight simulator trains future pilots

AeroStar hopes to help solve the pilot shortage issue

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - There is a shortage in the skies and more pilots are needed in the cockpit. The City of Kissimmee hopes to fill that need with a new flight simulator that will train future pilots. 

AeroStar Training Services unveiled the new Airbus 320 simulator Friday at Kissimmee Gateway Airport. CEO Deidra Toye said it was a project years in the making that will help future pilots.

"Right now what we're seeing is a pilot shortage, not only domestically, but international as well," Toye said.

Toye said the world needs pilots and they need a place to learn how to fly.

Pilots will get the opportunity to train in AeroStar's 18,000 square foot hangar at the airport. The simulator will be used by the school's pilot trainees working on an A320 or ATP certificate, as well as by airlines and organizations who wish to dry lease simulator hours.

Toye said it is the same flight simulator that many commercial airlines use to train their pilots. 

"This is the highest grade simulator, it's Level D. That meaning the visuals are the exact same thing you'll see when you're flying a real plane, the systems, the controls, everything," Toye said. 

AeroStar said, on average, it can take up to 18 months for someone to become a type-rated commercial airline pilot from their first take off. Toye said they have thousands of graduates a year. 

Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez said the training center will help the city soar as a leader in aviation. 

"There's so much future here. The potential jobs for pilots that is so much in demand right now and this is really going to help us with it," Alvarez said. 

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