Towards Global Standards for Pilot Training

From the US, through Europe, to the Gulf region and Asia, everyone is talking about pilot training. The challenges are known: growing competition in the aviation sector, an increasingly challenging economic environment, projected traffic growth over the next decade(s) and an increase in automation; pilot skills and entry requirements to the profession are under growing scrutiny. By organising an IFALPA workshop on the future of pilot training, pilots have placed themselves behind the controls of this important challenge.

From October 26 to 28, pilot training experts from around the world came together in Paris to develop IFALPA Pilot Training Standards (IPTS). Operational pilots from 23 countries and 5 continents with a wealth of expertise on pilot training are committed to establish IPTS as the main standard for the future of pilot training.

The 3 day workshop kicked off IPTS which will become the new vision on pilot training. It will outline the full set of training needs, starting from the initial selection of candidate pilots up to recurrent training of experienced pilots. The outcome of the workshop will result in an IFALPA Position Paper to be adopted at the IFALPA Human Performance Committee in November (16-18) and is expected to evolve into a full IFALPA Policy at the IFALPA Conference in April 2011.

Professional pilot skills are key preconditions to ensure safe operations even under the most demanding circumstances. Pilot training experts have defined visions that guarantee the necessary quality and quantity of training for a student to become a pilot, and for the pilots to maintain and further develop their skills and airmanship.

ECA and its members were instrumental in organising the event together with IFALPA and we have actively contributed to this workshop. ECA will use the resulting IFALPA Policy as its basis and benchmark for contributions to the development of future pilot training requirements in Europe, with the aim of ensuring the highest level of training and safety standards. With the new Flight Crew Licensing rules currently going through the European co-decision process in Brussels and EASA starting to produce output from its internal group on pilot training, the need for European pilots to be vocal on pilot training is a ‘must’. The EASA work will result in some policy papers on automation training and training implementation and ECA will be ready to present IPTS as the global pilot vision on pilot training standards.