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ANA to invest $360m in new training facility

Japanese carrier focuses on staff training as international service expands

ANA's current training facility has limited capabilities to simulate emergency situations.

TOKYO -- ANA Holdings will invest about 40 billion yen ($360 million) in new training facilities that can replicate such situations as accidents and inclement weather to improve the quality of its pilots and flight attendants.

Incoming and outgoing flights are expected to increase at Tokyo's Haneda and Narita airports by around 10% as Japan gets closer to hosting the 2020 Olympics. ANA is preparing to expand its international flights and to appeal to travelers with safety and quality service.

The new facility will be built in Ota Ward, Tokyo, and will boast eight floors totaling 60,000 sq. meters of space. Work will begin as early as this summer with plans for completion by the spring of 2019. The 40 billion yen investment will go toward procuring the land and construction costs.

ANA invests about 280 billion yen yearly in items related to fixed assets, most of it involving aircraft and IT systems.

The investment will go toward better machines and equipment for training. For example, the company will consider introducing a movable model aircraft that can simulate evacuating passengers from slides while the plane is tilted. Currently, workers train on a level, fixed-position model, but many real incidents occur in rougher conditions that ANA is working to simulate.

ANA is also moving toward consolidating training for its airport staff, which it currently performs in another location, into its new facility. The airline envisions joint training of airport and on-board staff to enhance cooperation and responses to challenges like poor weather and accidents. It will also consider introducing a simulator for the Japan-produced Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

The current facility, also in Ota Ward, is nearly 40 years old and showing signs of wear. The company will decide what to do with the land and building after the new facility is running.

There are currently 750,000 departure and arrival slots per year for Haneda and Narita airports combined. It is believed that those slots could be increased to 830,000 by 2020 through overhauls like reviewing flight routes. ANA is expanding its international service with such new routes as Haneda to New York in last October and Narita to Mexico City this February, and is aiming to carve out market share in growing markets like Asia. ANA is looking to redevelop its personnel training in anticipation of greater service thanks to increasing slots.

(Nikkei)

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