Portugal opens new maritime simulator training facility

Ana Paula Vitorino, Portugal’s Minister of Sea, and Cmdt Rui Cunha, APDL Port Operations and Security Director, testing the Full Mission Bridge simulator

A new training centre run by the Port Authority for the ports of Douro, Leixōes and Viana do Castelo (APDL) has been inaugurated in Portugal, claimed to be the largest and most advanced maritime training facility ever opened in the country.

The centre features a Wärtsilä Full Mission Bridge (FMB) simulator with 360 degree projection, two tug simulators with 360 degree LCD displays, and one VTS simulator. The systems will be used to provide full training and certification for pilots, tug masters, merchant navy offices, and seafaring vessel crews.

The simulator management software allows for the creation of different scenarios, for any port and for differing weather and sea conditions, which will be used to prepare pilots and masters for operations in adverse conditions, crisis situations, and maritime rescue missions.

“The centre will promote both safety and operational efficiency at sea and on inland waterways. By being able to re-create actual operating conditions the training doesn’t need to be carried out onboard, thus saving fuel and reducing pollution,” said Comandante Rui Cunha, Director of Operations and Safety at APDL.

“The River Douro inland waterway has its five locks and corresponding approaches recreated in this simulator, as well as all the scenarios of Porto de Leixões and Viana do Castelo. This allows for intense and continuous training of ships’ crews, and for maintaining the skills of APDL pilots and parties.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

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