Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, was the venue for the recent Asian Aviation and Education Training Symposium (AAETS) 2018. Over 600 industry professionals attended the two days of conference and exhibition. Chris Long reports.

In line with the vision promoted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MoLIT), Korea is continuing to work towards building a training infrastructure which matches the planned expansion of commercial aviation.

Part of that plan is the pragmatic approach to identify and select international partners to provide training solutions, and AAETS 2018 was a major step forward to do just that. Experts from 13 countries contributed to the debate, with presentations of ideas, analysis and systems which showed options in that progress.

The lead-in was with keynote speeches from Mr. Bon-Hyan Koo, Deputy Minister of the Civil Aviation Office of MoLIT, and Mr. Il-Hwang Sung, President of the Korean Airport Corporation, who combined to set the scene and the context of the conference. Captain John Billington of CAE updated the scale of the demand for pilots and maintenance technicians, and showed their newly-rolled-out pilot training solution.

A major change from the patterns of earlier Halldale conferences was the sequence of the specialised sessions being sequentially followed by a separate panel discussion with the SMEs and delegates. The principle of presenting subject updates, with the opportunity to immediately delve deeper directly with the speakers, proved to be particularly popular as, with the questions having been provoked by the initial presentations, lively debate and discussion allowed further views and experience to be shared. These interactions were carefully moderated, by, in turn, Frode Granlund of PFA Norway, Trevor Jensen of AA Nova, Phyl Durdey of Flightline Training Services and Jeeyoon Jung, a Young Aviation Professional Officer of ICAO/IATA/ACI, who all created an atmosphere where diverse views could be expressed; there was considerable energy generated in those meetings.

Virtual Reality

One of the great strengths of the Korean economy is the world-leading technology which is created there, and presentations on virtual reality and learning through gaming from Mr. Wondo Kang of Samsung, and Professor Jong Hyun Wi from the Chung Ang University illustrated both what was available and where such capability might be going.

The practical application of this technology was spelt out very clearly in the Maintenancesession. Both the Canadian specialist, Phyl Durdey, CEO of Flightline Training Services, and Thomas K. Vaidhyan, CEO of the US entity, Aten Inc., showed how the potential for the virtual reality and/or augmented reality is actively being exploited to very good effect in current training systems.

Pilot Training

Training the expanding pilot workforce was a major topic. Mr. Kye-Woong Joe, assistant director of MoLIT, described the Korean national policy on pilot training - the Korean Pilot Fostering Programme, which rolls out a method of subsidising pilot training for low-income applicants.

Ab initio training was covered in detail, not least from the point of view of a fascinating report on a successful application of the MPL pattern of ab initio training, courtesy of Captain Khaled Al Sheebani of the Etihad Airways. The scenario- based flying course delivered by Paul Kearney, Chief of Standards at Massey University School of Aviation, drew considerable interest as it showed how the progressive use of the functionality of the glass cockpit leads new pilots to competence with the current technology.

The relevance and practice of Evidence Based Training (EBT), as explained by Ping Lee and implemented by EVA Air, showed how that philosophy is integrated into initial and recurrent training, with the emphasis on the guiding of instructors to this more challenging instructional style. Mr. Jin-Yeng Jung, Manager of the KACs Jet Training Centre at Gimpo airport, described how, post the licence issue of the CPL/IR qualified graduates, the preparation for line flying is helped with a Jet Family/MCC.

A key theme of AAETS, partnership in bringing training skills together, was demonstrated by the duo of Phillipe Crebassa, Vice President ENAC, (the French national aviation university) and Wilson Kao, Founder and Managing Director of Apex Flight Training Academy, who together described how a single approach can be delivered through two different locations working to a single syllabus.

Cabin Crew

Often getting less coverage than is their due, at AAETS the speakers in the cabin crew section put forward some very strong arguments for robust training in that discipline. Søren Seindal Agner, Owner, Aeroteam, stressed the value of joint and comprehensive CRM. Trevor Jensen, Director at AA Nova, questioned the future operating solutions, even suggesting that the evolution to a one pilot/no pilot commercial operation could drive a major change in the role of cabin crew, and maybe even lead to a command function. Aye Aye Naing, of Cambodia Airways pointed out that, before we reach that point, it is critical to properly select and train the individuals who have the Crew In Charge role, and who have such an important role in any emergency situation.

Future Education

Michiel Vreedenburgh, Chief, Implementation, Air Navigation Bureau at ICAO, gave an overview from ICAO to set the scene for the continued expansion of the NGAP initiative, combined with specific efforts to encourage young women to join the industry. In a similar vein, Per-Arild Konradsen, Founder of FIRST Scandinavia, illustrated the use of specialist small training centres, the Newton Rooms, to bring an awareness of science and technology, in particular where aviation is concerned, to young pupils who are still at school. Mr. Seungwon Shin of the Korean Aerospace University brought in the projection of methods of integrating new training technologies into training in a way that recognises the skills and aptitudes of a new generation.

Crew Behaviours

Karen Moore of Symbiotic Performance Solutions revealed a critical analysis of the issues of identifying the mental health and wellbeing of aviation professionals, focussing on the flight deck, and clearly illustrated the issues in what is still a very sensitive subject. Alongside that, Dr. Victor Ujimoto from the University of Western Ontario and Captain Bohun Kwon of Korean Air discussed the importance of a safety culture, and implanting of such a system in an aviation training and operating context.

The final presentation of the conference was by Captain David Evans, of Qantas, who gave a detailed account of the 2010 incident with Qantas flight QF32, in which an A380 aircraft had multiple failures after the partial disintegration of an engine. Whilst an introduction of the technical issues led into the presentation, it actually concentrated on the CRM issues, discussing the challenge of appropriate decision making in the face of a completely unforeseen multiple emergency.


The conference was characterised by the level of engagement of the delegates. When presented with a host of new ideas and solutions, the questions and continued debate from the delegates showed a very healthy interest in how to move forward. In particular the level of enquiries and proposals experienced by the exhibitors revealed a genuine desire to travel the road to future solutions and expansion.

Published in CAT issue 2/2018