There is a collective agreement that on-aircraft training is essential and cannot be completely removed from training programs but at our European (EATS) Heads of Training (HoT) meeting, which was hosted with the ATPG and in collaboration with EASA, there was strong support for removing the hours' requirement to rebalance line training.  

The discussion at EATS 2021 was chaired by Andy O'SheaCEO The Airline Pilot Club, and Thomas Leoff FRAeS, Chairman of the International Association of Aviation Personnel School (IAAPS) and Manager Training Standards Lufthansa Aviation Training GmbH.

There was healthy debate on the need for ATOs to act responsibly and develop new methods that have eco practice at the heart of them.

It was agreed more research was required into sustainable aviation training, with the highest vote towards finding the right balance between on-aircraft and simulator

The Heads of Training also agreed that the financial squeeze caused by the pandemic means it is future generations who will be the ones to truly drive the creation of eco-ATOs with tokenism on green action no longer an option.

O'Shea said:  "While all participating ATOs endorsed the need for a more sustainable approach to pilot training, it was clear that it will be very difficult for them to meet any new costs associated with new requirements or standards arising out of sustainable practices."

O'Shea, who was Head of Training at Ryanair for 18 years and chaired the ATPG for four years, added that there was hope of change:

"Continued pick-up in recruitment campaigns by airlines will give the ATOs that survive the pandemic some financial relief to consider how to adapt to new concepts that the EASP will produce."

Thomas Leoff said the work had started and it was up to industry leaders to support the implementation of a more sustainable aviation sector. 

"During EATS 2021 it became very obvious how urgent new developments in pilot training are and how many promising development activities are in the making," he said. "We must now manage the required change process and introduce new training methods and enabling development processes.

Thomas also called for the implementation of data driven training development and performance monitoring.

This important debate was one of six critical industry topics that were discussed ahead of EATS 2021. 

Last week we released some insights from the discussion about diversity in aviation.

Stay tuned for further reports that will be released soon covering the other meeting discussion points:

The Path to EBT

Competency Fade

Big DataTurning Data Into Action

Enrichment of Training Through Technology