One way to plan survival in the coronavirus world is to rapidly adapt to the new paradigm. Some organisations are already doing that, and of those quite a few were moving into new technology before any lockdowns.
One such is Canada-based Flightline Training. Specialising in maintenance technician training, Phyl Durdey, CEO, had set up training delivery around the world. Tailored approved courses on A320, ATR, Embraer and Q400 were being delivered in Canada, Africa and Europe primarily in an instructor-led environment. But, like others, Durdey was exploring initiatives in remote delivery of training with a view to expanding and improving.
When coronavirus hit there were tough decisions starting with the recall of overseas instructors and the layoff of 75% of the team, and then to concentrate on the remote delivery of the training.
Starting with the theoretical part of the training, Flightline was able to demonstrate the capability of the remote concept. Working closely with Transport Canada and EASA, a plan on how to implement the training protocols to meet the requirements was set forth.
An airline based in Europe was one of the first to suffer from bankruptcy, FlyBe They were in the last week of the course when the Flybe instructor was recalled to England with only two days left in the Theoretical Training. Flightline immediately approached EASA to salvage the training that had already been done and complete the last week of the course. This required Flightline, the operator and EASA to think outside of the box to accomplish the objective. EASA approved the recovery plan.
With the COVID-19 dilemma, remote training has gained more exposure in the aviation training environment. If delivered correctly it can be seamless, very interactive and most of all satisfy the regulations.
Whilst that is fine for the theory part of the course, the delivery of practical training had always been with an instructor physically present. Engaging with Transport Canada, Durdey has obtained the authorisation to deliver the practical elements remotely, but this is dependent on strict adherence to an approved training plan that has been developed for each customer. With this precedent set, and with further refinements, the remote training platform will be a way forward.
This new format, embracing considerable work in VR, together with a very much expanded range of courses derived from CPaT Global training courses, shows the way to a positive rebound once world aviation fires up again.