This year’s renewal of the World Aviation Training Summit (WATS), 3-5 May in Orlando, Florida, may well include the most international speakers ever. The 24th edition of the world’s largest annual gathering of the civil aviation training community will include more than 20 expert presenters from Australia, the Middle East, Europe, South America and Canada – about half the total speakers.
Among those making the trip across the pond are Airbus’ Worldwide Head of Flight Training, Stéphan Labrucherie, joining from France; Chris Ranganathan, CAE Chief Learning Officer, journeying from Australia; and L3Harris Head of Airline Training, Peter Hogston, from the UK.
Australia will also be represented by human factors specialist Chris Smith, University of Southern Queensland, and Seeing Machines’ Alexander Robinson.
Joining Robinson to address eye-tracking as a training tool will be Dr. Patrizia Knabl-Schmitz of Emirates, UAE.
The Netherlands is well represented with Capt. Philip Adrian of MPS, Dr. Sunjoo Advani of IDT, and Mark van den Hoven of Avion Group.
Switzerland, which has been coming on strong in recent years in training technology, will feature Capt. Pierre Wannaz of CEFA Aviation, plus representatives from Brunner and Meta Immersive on the game engine panel.
And from Finland, also on the game engine panel, a representative of VR/MR professional headset developer, Varjo.
From Ireland: Shane Carroll, Airbus Head of Training Software.
Brazil will showcase three SMEs: José Alexandre T. Guerreiro Fregnani and José Carlos Furuzawa of EVE eVTOL, plus Capt. Fabiano Cypel, Flight Crew Training Manager, Embraer.
Canada, of course, will have a considerable presence, as is typical, with CAE’s Chris Courtney, Director of Advanced Air Mobility; ICAO Chief, Global Aviation Training, Diego Martinez; Sébastien Lozé, Unreal Engine /Epic Games, leading the game engine discussion; Dr. Suzanne Kearns, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics; and Mikhail Klassen, CTO of Paladin AI.
“This year is the first true opportunity of the past three years to bring the entire global aviation training community together,” said Rick Adams, FRAeS, Chair of the International and Regional Pilot Training program for WATS 2022. “In 2020, we could not hold an in-person event because of the emerging Covid outbreak, and last year, even delaying the event until June, most of our friends from outside the US were not allowed to travel in.”
“It was invigorating, nonetheless, to reconnect in-person with the hundreds who attended WATS21, and we’re looking forward to welcoming back our colleagues from around the world.”