The International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA) has published a position paper, “Training Considerations for Return to Operations.” The association advises, “The resumption of operations presents many challenges, including the requalification and training of pilots.”

IFALPA emphasized: “It is recognized that there will be an increased burden to airlines’ training departments. While it is important that training be designed and conducted efficiently, it is critical that the training is not rushed and its quality is not compromised.”

Here are excerpted highlights of the paper (emphasis added):

“The minimum training required to re-qualify a pilot to the regulatory standard may not be sufficient following either a break in operational status or loss of qualification due to the Covid-19 crisis. Operators must be prepared to provide training above the minimum required by the regulatory authority

“For those pilots who have been away from active line flying, there is a need to ensure not only that they are fully qualified, but also that they regain proficiency and confidence before returning to line operations.

  • The regulatory authority will establish the definition of qualified
  • The operator and pilot share the responsibility to ensure that the pilot is proficient
  • The pilots must be confident that they are able to properly perform their duties

“A long serving, experienced pilot may require minimal training while a relatively new pilot with a lower level of experience may require additional training over the minimum.

“A matrix of requalification categories should be developed to enable a standardized curriculum to be developed for those pilots in each category:

  • Qualified and current with little or no break in operational flying.
  • Qualified and current but with an extended break in operational flying.
  • Qualified as above but operating under regulatory extension or exemption.
  • Loss or recency (3 takeoff/landings in 90 days)
  • Loss or qualification requiring training/checking
  • Loss of qualification of less than 6 months
  • Loss of qualification for 6-12 months

“Requalification training and checking must be completed in an appropriate level of flight simulation training device (FSTD) as required by regulation. There should be no regulatory waivers to allow training on a lower level training device than would normally be allowed nor should on-aeroplane training be conducted when it would not normally be.

“Training should ensure an opportunity for pilots to practice manual handling skills in multiple scenarios.

“If only regaining recency (3 Takeoff/Landings in 90 days) is required, it may be completed on aeroplane if permitted by State regulation.

“Pilots should initially be rostered with a line training Captain or examiner for initial re-exposure to normal line operations.”

The complete position paper can be viewed here.


Part of CAT Magazine's Restarting The Engines series.