New Boeing 737 simulator put to the test near Atwater

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A new pilot took the controls of a state-of-the-art flight simulator in the North Valley on Monday.

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, visited the Sierra Air Center at Castle Commerce Center near Atwater. He had a chance to test out the facility's new Boeing 737 simulator. It's designed to look and feel just like the real thing, with a projector screen that can be programmed for any location in the world and any conditions pilots may face.

The simulator is considered a major step toward an entire aviation business center that's expected to create 3,000 jobs.

"This is a great big significant step to have the capacity to train 737 pilots is important, and it's good for Sierra, it's good for Castle, and it's good for our Valley," said Costa.

More than 200 international students are currently training in classrooms, small planes and helicopters at the Sierra Air Center development. They're set to start using the new simulator this summer.

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