Officers of the U.S. Southern Command on Wednesday delivered a flight simulator to the Public Security Ministry’s Air Surveillance Service (SVA) to help train pilots.
The simulator, the first of its kind in Costa Rica, copies the cockpit of a Piper Seneca III aircraft and runs training programs in great detail. It cost $305,000 and was delivered to Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa, who thanked the U.S. government for the donation.
The gift will help supplement SVA training and lower operational costs. Previously, SVA pilots were trained in actual planes on actual flights. But budget restrictions meant the SVA could send only two pilots per year to other countries at an average cost of $30,000 each. Those trips also were funded by the U.S. government.
Pilots now will become better prepared in responding to emergencies without the risks associated with live training.