Industry Groups Drive On-Demand Air Carrier Training Changes

March 16, 2016

Washington, DC — The National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and a group of on-demand air carriers and training centers have developed recommendations for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to modernize training for air carriers operating under Part 135.

Since May 2014, NATA, NBAA, and their respective operating members, led by Jet Logistics and Reynolds Jet, have been meeting monthly with CAE, FlightSafety and the FAA to address concerns that have challenged the industry for more than 10 years.

Recommendations made by the FAA Air Carrier Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee, developed by its Air Carrier & Contract Training Working Group (AC & CT WG), urge the FAA to align regulations under Part 135 and Part 142 to reduce administrative inefficiencies, develop a standardized training curriculum model for 135 operators and to develop scenario-enhanced recurrent (SER) training and checking for 135 operators.

The AC & CT WG has spent the last two years developing recommendations for a standardized training program and SER training and checking. An optional standardized training curriculum would allow operators to avoid delays associated with securing approval of a training program, create consistency among operators, and provide feedback data on training to the FAA.

The AC & CT WG recommended a Training Standards Board, consisting of contract training providers, original equipment manufacturers, operators and the FAA, develop a standardized recurrent training program for each aircraft type.

SER training and checking would allow operators to improve upon today’s training footprint which, over time, often becomes a routine exercise. The program provides freedom for training center instructors to create a realistic operating environment, including a framework for developing multiple-day scenarios of staged training and checking that allows the pilot to complete designated tasks within the framework of a typical trip profile.

“The industry has been looking for training reform for quite some time,” said John McGraw, NATA’s director of regulatory affairs and AC & CT WG chair. “These recommendations will help pave the way for sweeping changes in on-demand air carrier training.”

“These standardized training programs will provide an option for operators to focus on the bigger picture of their training, and therefore raise the safety bar, in lieu of spending time to resolve small differences in the training and checking programs for crew and instructors” said Mark Larsen, NBAA’s senior manager of safety and flight operations. “In addition, the data that will interface with this industry wide program will allow risk-based updates to the programs to address data-identified risks to business aviation operators, and further keep the safety bar rising.”

The working group recommendations were sent to the FAA through the Air Carrier Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ACT ARC). The FAA asked the ACT ARC to develop recommendations to address a list of initiatives focusing on air carrier contract training, crew resource management, and flight path management, and more. The AC & CT WG was established by the ARC to address issues occurring when contract training centers operating under Part 142 execute training programs for air carriers operating under Part 135.

The FAA has already taken action on some recommendations from the AC & CT WG. For example, FAA Notice 8900.270 was released in July 2014 to expand the function of check pilots during initial and recurrent testing.