South African simulation and training specialist TMI Dynamatics (Hangar 4, Stand E11) is developing a technology demonstrator of a full-mission bridge simulator to train and assess marine pilots. The initiative was taken by the company as part of Operation Phakisa, which was launched by the government in 2014 as a fast-results programme to implement the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP identified the ocean economy as an important stimulant for growth.
As part of Operation Phakisa, TMI Dynamatics undertook a detailed analysis of the port of Durban, in which it identified that there were major skills gaps in both port workers and marine pilots. The company then received research funding to develop a bridge simulator in a programme that also involves the National Aerospace Centre, Wits Enterprises and Walter Sisulu University. The Technical University in Delft, the Netherlands, is providing hydrodynamic and vessel dynamics research.
Transnet’s Maritime School of Excellence is involved to test and evaluate the simulator, the school’s instructors advising the research team on the effectiveness of training modules, and the quality of the immersion in the technology demonstrator compared with that experienced in the current imported simulators.