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New Standardized Training Curriculum for Part 135 Operators

Part 135 operators will realize safety benefits and administrative efficiencies as a result of a new standardized Part 135 training curriculum. The concept, originally recommended by the Air Carrier Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee and formally announced through Advisory Circular 142-1, streamlines the relationship between Part 142 training centers and on-demand air carriers.

“This AC allows us to pull together a group of industry subject-matter experts to develop a blue-ribbon standardized training curriculum, then have that curriculum accepted at a national level,” said Mary Thompson of the FAA’s Policy Integration Branch.

“This AC allows us to pull together a group of industry subject-matter experts to develop a blue-ribbon standardized training curriculum, then have that curriculum accepted at a national level.”

Mary Thompson Policy Integration Branch, FAA

Currently, each Part 135 operator submits its own training curriculum for each aircraft type to its local FAA office for approval, despite the fact many Part 135 operators contract training to Part 142 simulator training centers and the program content is often similar. This process results in a significant duplication of efforts between multiple FAA inspectors and can result in inconsistent interpretations of requirements.

AC 142-1 intends to overcome these challenges by establishing a Training Standardization Working Group (TSWG) under the FAA’s aviation rulemaking advisory committee structure. The TSWG will leverage a cross-section of experts for each aircraft type to develop a consistent Part 135 training curriculum. Once the TSWG recommends a standardized curriculum for a particular aircraft, it will be reviewed by the FAA and accepted at a national level.

The resulting standardized curricula will be subject to continuous improvement as risks or opportunities are identified, with the goal of increasing consistency of training, testing and checking, Thompson explained.

“This standardized Part 135 training curriculum concept provides an opportunity to gather external knowledge and industry knowledge,” said Al Mann, senior director of safety at Wheels Up. “This can be especially beneficial for smaller operators, which can benefit from a larger pool of safety data to conduct risk-based training.”

The AC is the result of several years of industry-FAA cooperation. According to W. Ashley Smith Jr., Jet Logistics president, this process not only removes burdens for Part 135 operators, but also for the agency.

Mann and Smith, along with Brian Koester, CAM, NBAA’s director of flight operations and regulations, participated in the group that developed the AC.

“This is a great example of the value of industry committees working with the FAA and of the FAA and industry cooperating to improve safety – which is always at the forefront – but also creating a more efficient oversight model,” Thompson said.

Full implementation will be a multi-year effort, but Part 135 operators should consider participating in TSWG activity.

Review NBAA’s Part 135 resources at nbaa.org/part135.

Industry Challenge

Older or unusual aircraft might not have an option for standardized curriculum or might see a long delay before a standardized program is available.

NBAA Response

NBAA will continue to participate in the Training Standardization Working Group to help coordinate industry and FAA efforts in developing standardized Part 135 training curriculum for common aircraft types.

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