May 17, 2011 14:30 ET

BCIT Launches World-Class Marine Training Simulation Centre

Digital Facilities Provide Competitive Advantages for British Columbia With Marine Simulators of the Highest Standard in North America

NORTH VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 17, 2011) - The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), in conjunction with the Government of Canada and Transport Canada, and with marine industry partners from coast to coast including BC Ferries, Kongsberg Maritime Simulation, Kinder Morgan Canada, Pacific Pilotage Authority, Port Metro Vancouver, Seaspan, and the Council of Marine Carriers have launched a multi-million dollar leading-edge marine simulation centre at the BCIT Marine Campus in North Vancouver.

The completion of the simulator project gives BCIT the highest degree of simulation response in the world and the capacity to serve the training and research needs of the marine industry in British Columbia and across North America.

The centre boasts seven new ship's bridges, North America's only 360-degree tug towboat bridge simulator, a ship's main bridge simulation environment, and an engine room simulator complete with ground-shaking audio special effects and emergency lights.

"The British Columbia Institute of Technology's new state-of–the-art marine simulation centre is great news for British Columbia's marine industry and Canada's Pacific Gateway," said Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver. "The new centre will draw both foreign and domestic mariners to BCIT's North Vancouver campus to improve their skills and become safer seafarers. The Centre will also improve marine safety in Canada by enhancing regulatory training and certification of Canadian mariners."

These simulation environments allow marine students to enhance and develop their skills within a range of simple to complex tasks played out in life-like marine settings under real-world scenarios.

"This unprecedented technology allows students to apply marine theory in a realistic and hands-on environment, preparing our graduates for their future and helping them become ready to play a key role in shaping the future of the marine industry in Western Canada," said Don Wright, President of BCIT. "We are grateful to the Government of Canada and our industry partners for their support and vision in making this simulation centre a reality."

The BCIT Marine Simulation Centre will provide the marine industry in British Columbia with many competitive advantages, including:

  • Reduced operator hours and financial outlay. Students can meet training and research requisites without having to leave the Province – saving valuable training time and reducing travel-costs.

  • Increased capacity. The centre will accommodate more students and will still have capacity for additional research and training projects.

  • Increased professionalism and safety. Providing the highest standard of marine training simulation is critical to meeting the high public and industry demand for marine safety.

  • Enhanced marine research. Leading-edge research will be conducted for ship operations, ship assist (tugging), port and docking research for BC coastal projects.

  • Increased local competitiveness and economic strength. More training capacity will attract more business. Engineering companies, pilots, tug operators, and marine students will train in BC and help meet the needs of the Canadian Maritime industry quickly and in a state-of-practice facility.

  • Sustainability. Simulating future ship traffic and possible ship operations in ports and harbours means the centre will meet the future training demands of the industry for short and long term projects and certification processes.

The BCIT Marine Campus is one of the two largest marine campuses in Canada. It is the only training facility of its kind in Western Canada that provides a complete spectrum of Transport Canada-approved programs and courses on navigation, maritime engineering, seamanship, and maritime safety and security.

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