A substantial and wide-ranging overhaul of air carrier crew training is proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). According to information from the FAA, the supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) addresses comments from the January 2009 proposal and provisions laid out in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010.
“The United States has the world’s safest aviation system, but we are continually seeking ways to make it even safer,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This proposal will make U.S. pilots and other crew members even better equipped to handle any emergency they may encounter.” (WCxKit)
According to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, “The FAA is proposing the most significant changes to air carrier training in 20 years. This is a major effort to strengthen the performance of pilots, flight attendants, and dispatchers through better training.”
Under this proposal, flight crews would have to demonstrate, not just learn, critical skills in “real-world” training scenarios. Pilots would be required to train as a complete flight crew, coordinate their actions through Crew Resource Management, and fly scenarios based on actual events. Dispatchers would have enhanced training and would be required to apply that knowledge in today’s complex operating environment.
The revised proposal requires ground and flight training to teach pilots how to recognize and recover from stalls and aircraft upsets. The proposal also requires remedial training for pilots with performance deficiencies such as failing a proficiency test, check or unsatisfactory performance during flight training, or a simulator course.
Officials also noted the proposal addresses how air carriers may modify training programs for aircraft with similar flight handling characteristics. It also reorganizes and revises the qualification, training, and evaluation requirements for all crew members and dispatchers.
Like the original proposal, the supplemental notice requires the use of pilot flight simulation training devices. Pilots also would have to complete special hazard training in addition to practicing the use of crew resource management skills.
The supplemental proposal contains requirements derived from voluntary FAA-approved alternative training regimens such as Advanced Qualification Programs (AQP). These include: crew-oriented, scenario-based training; demonstration of satisfactory skill on each task to determine necessary job performance training hours; a continuous analysis process that lets the certificate holder validate how effective the qualification and training program is or where it may need changes.
The new proposal also clarifies the economic impact on air carriers conducting training under voluntary, FAA-approved alternative programs, such as AQP. The time used for flight simulator training would be minimal. (WCxKit)
Lastly, flight attendants are required to complete hands-on emergency drills every 12 months and the proposal standardizes the training and experience requirements for certain dispatchers and instructors.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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