Halldale Group’s European Airline Training Symposium (EATS) continues to grow in numbers and expand in outreach to the civil aviation community in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

More than 900 delegates, exhibitors and subject-expert speakers from more than 50 nations attended the 20th edition of EATS at the familiar Estrel Hotel venue in Berlin, Germany, 8-9 November 2022.

In 2023, EATS will shift to southern Europe, also 8-9 November, at the Estoril Congress Centre in beautiful Cascais, Portugal.

In addition to the record attendance, the 2022 event in Berlin saw these major highlights:

  • The increasingly popular and important Heads of Training (HoT) - Pilots meeting, which was originally launched several years ago by Peter Moxham. The closed-door event attracted over 120 leaders from regional airlines. The Pilot HoT meeting was sponsored by Boeing and led by the Aircrew Training Policy Group and Halldale.
  • The first Heads of Training – Cabin Crew meeting, at which over 40 training leaders discussed key current challenges and solutions.
  • A new emphasis on Approved Training Organisations (ATOs), including an ATO Breakout Session led by Thomas Leoff, Chair of the International Association of Aviation Personnel Schools (IAAPS). Sponsors for the ATO breakout session were Alsim, Britannica Knowledge Systems, Padpilot, SoftekSim and IAAPS.
  • The launch of the Aviation Training Leader Forum (ATLF), a new peer-to-peer community platform for Heads of Training and other aviation leaders. The ATLF is an ad-free, invitation only platform that allows for informative discussions to continue throughout the year.  

The opening Icebreaker reception, sponsored by L3Harris, attracted the highest numbers ever. Then on Tuesday morning the sold-out exhibition hall was bustling and stayed that way through to Wednesday afternoon’s close with orders placed and signed on the show floor.

Sponsors for EATS included: CAE (Diamond sponsor), L3Harris (Gold sponsor), Avenger Flight Group and JETPUBS (Silver sponsors), and Bronze sponsors EPST, Compass and Honeywell. The conference was also supported by ICAO.

Nearly 50 subject matter experts presented in the pilot and cabin crew conference streams. In the coming weeks, we will feature in-depth treatment of selected key topics. Meantime, here are some excerpts:

L3Harris Commercial Training Solutions Head of Training Captain Peter Hogston: “The shift towards data-led training decisions will result in newer training technologies that can focus on improving certain key competencies such as VR/AR. This will benefit operators, who will be able to better manage risk through training that is based on pilots’ individual requirements. And pilots will benefit from training that is based on behaviours, aiding their ability to deal with a wider range of situations.”

Lex Rock Heemstra, former South African Air Force pilot and ex Human Factors Specialist at Qatar Airways and Emirates Airlines: “Pilots know their annual Pilot Proficiency Check in the simulator can have differing outcomes dependent on who the examiner is. Therefore, it is imperative that ATOs are doing all they can to ensure examiners are treating pilots equally and fairly.”

Captain Jason Davenhill, Performance Coach, Inflow Performance Ltd.: "People mostly do their own learning. Canned exercises can demonstrate the basics, but the real magic comes when aircrew have the freedom and self-awareness to review their own performance.” He is firmly of the belief more can be achieved in 90 minutes on the ground than three hours in the air. 

Captain Hugues Carpentier, Head of Training, Egnatia Aviation: “With an expectation of global aviation being 80,000 pilots short by 2032, action is needed now to reverse the high rejection rates and avoid a staffing crisis. The goal is to convince ATOs to raise their game.”

Captain Yann Renier, Head of Training & Licensing SFO, Flight Operations, IATA: “The goal of competency-based training and assessment is to provide a competent workforce for the provision of a safe and efficient air transportation system,”

Thomas Leoff, Manager Training Standards, Lufthansa Aviation Training: “How do ATOs best modernise for the demands of commercial pilot training in 2023 and beyond? How much investment in new technologies is right for your ATO. Do you need more or fewer instructors and what qualities should they possess?”

In November 2023, EATS will be held for the first time on Portugal’s Estoril coast, the ‘Portuguese Riviera’, next to the famous Estoril Casino and about 25km from Lisbon airport. The Estoril Congress Centre is the only venue in Portugal certified as a Green Venue (EarthCheck’s Gold Certification) for best environmental practice and commitment to sustainable business.

 See you in Portugal!