As you may know for personal experience, aviation education isn't known for it's stunning efficiency. We all know time is money, but time can not be saved it if means sacrificing safety. The aviation community has made great strides in safety in the last thirty years, mostly due to more, and better training. However as the training load has become heavier, and the curricula more comprehensive the teaching methods and tools have had to become more sophisticated.
As a result of the necessity of covering more material efficiently we have seen a tremendous upswing in the use of simulation for general aviation training in the last ten years, and really the last five years for helicopters.
The proper integration of flight simulator time into aviation training curriculum can dramatically reduce waste time. How many hundreds of thousands of man hours are wasted every year around the world repeatedly setting situations for students. With a simulator an instructor can create virtually any situation in seconds. This means an hour spent in the simulator might include a dozen or more exercises instead just a few. That translate to less time to proficiency, which is great news to students, and a greater depth of experience, and better judgement, which is good news for everyone.
In a flight school environment simulators allow more efficient utilization of a flight instructor's time by (in certain circumstances) allowing one instructor to monitor several students using different simulators simultaneously, or not at all. Some students experience great benefit from being allowed to spend open time in a simulator. This time allows students to explore their own skills, and situations they may want to try without fear of bothering someone else. Because the hourly direct operating cost of a simulator is typically only pennies, schools can be considerably more liberal with their use than actual aircraft.
Maintaining IFR currency is another area flight simulation can save considerable time. With many flight simulators IFR currency can be maintained using only simulator time. This means income producing assets are not taken out of service, hours aren't put on airframes, fuel isn't burnt, and IFR currency can be scheduled more easily.
Simulation also affords considerable time savings in maintenance. Training hours are hard on aircraft, and maintaining aircraft is both time intensive, and expensive. Not only are there the substantial costs associated with your typical overhaul, but also the opportunity cost associated with taking the aircraft out of service. Using simulation for training allows for a higher percentage of income producing hours in an aircraft's maintenance cycle.