When Marty van Veluw, CEO of the International Flight Training Center Istanbul (IFTC-Boeing), began creating a business plan for a new center in Antalya, he wanted to fulfill all his basic requirements- the highest quality training, state of the art equipment, customer friendly service and cost effective operations. At the same time, he was turning an idea around in his head: sustainability.
"I'm extremely proud of what we have done in Istanbul, but I felt that this time we should go a step further."
Observing the day-to-day operations of a simulator center, van Veluw began to notice how much energy was required to run the simulators and to cool and heat the building. The technologically advanced Mechtronix simulators required far less energy to operate than traditional models, but non-renewable resources were still being used to power them. He also noticed how much excess space there was in a typical center.
Training centers tend to be massive spaces, built to house the huge, lurching flight simulators in which pilots train, with room to spare. Impressive? Yes. Necessary? van Veluw didn't think so. All of that wasted space had to be cooled, heated, and maintained. He came up with the idea of a building module with just enough room to house a simulator, allow for its movement and the support it needed. These modules would change the way training centers were designed. Each one would function as its own entity, a separate business unit, and could be powered, maintained and operated individually.
This would result in a dramatic decrease in energy usage and allow for much greater flexibility, as modules could be added or removed to accommodate changing requirements. The modules could be constructed as pre-fabrications to be shipped anywhere in the world, and would disassemble easily for relocating, although the Antalya business model is the most desirable, environmentally speaking; the technological design comes from the Netherlands, while steel, other building materials, and project management were sourced locally in Turkey.
For IFTC, this has been the perfect solution for one of its main customers, the Turkish airline Sun Express. "IFTC wanted to support Sun Express in its request for training facilities in Antalya, and the module was the best way possible to create a single-simulator center."
The design alone would be unique, but van Veluw and his partners didn't stop there. They began to explore the possibility of a sustainable, fully selfsupporting center, powered completely by solar energy, employing the latest technology in cooling and heating pumps, lit throughout by LED lighting, with air treated by ionizers to ensure the best possible atmosphere for the alertness and concentration of instructors and pilot trainees. Staff vehicles would be solar charged and fully electric. Landscaping would consist of a combination of stones and local plants that could thrive in the hot climate with a minimum of watering and maintenance. Even the batteries for the UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and the solar panels would feature the most efficient and advanced technology available.
To help realize his vision, van Veluw enlisted Andre Schoonenwolf, of SPARK Intelligent Design, BV, a company which has produced a broad variety of unique sustainable mechanical and electrical services designs with LEED and BREEAM certifications, making it a perfect choice for the project.
Marty van Veluw has been converted, and hopes that the decision makers for other companies will follow the same path. He knows that, realistically speaking, no company will make such changes if it is not economically advantageous,
"And that's the beauty of this project and this way of thinking. It is the right thing to do, but it's also economically sound. To reduce expenses and utilize one's natural and renewable resources just makes sense."
Did the members of the Gözen Holding see it that way? "Of course they did! The Gözen Holding has been a leader in so many areas of the aviation industry for decades in Turkey. Gözen Security Services started the first aviation security company in the country. Gözen Air Services has been certified with the Quality Management System Certificate, ISO 9001:2008 as the first supervision and representation company in Turkey. Freebird Airlines was the first Turkish airline to receive the ISO 9001:2000 certification, the ‘internationally recognized standard for the quality management of businesses' and was the first charter airline in the country to successfully pass the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) conducted by the International Air Transport Association. Five years ago the Gözen Holding had the vision to build IFTC Istanbul, the first independent flight training center in the region. It's only natural that they are now developing the first self sustained full flight simulator modular building in the world in Antalya!"
Under the supervision of project manager Mustafa Köroğlu of IFTC, and thanks to the skills of local construction company Topçu, an experienced construction company specializing in projects with unique technical requirements, the Antalya center is completed in July, after only four months of construction. Cengiz Arbaç, General Manager of IFTC Istanbul, will manage the Antalya center. Arbaç describes future plans to add additional training and mockup (CEET) modules, as well as another simulator module, and he highlights the flexibility of the module system, saying, "This business model can be implemented anywhere in the world, managed and operated remotely with a minimum of staff. It will change the way training centers are built and run."
Mekin Gözen, Chairman of the Gözen Holding, says, "We strongly support this initiative. It is an important achievement for IFTC and the flight training industry, and we are very proud that this project, the first of its kind, really, has been developed in Turkey by IFTC and our international partners."
It is fitting that in Turkey, a country with such breathtaking natural beauty, a major step has been taken towards preserving and respecting the natural environment. Marty van Veluw, IFTC, and the rest of the Gözen Holding hope that it will be the first of many such steps for companies in the region, and they sincerely look forward to proving the saying that you can "do well by doing good".
IFTC Antalya video on vimeo