“The 25th WATS conference has attracted a cadre of highly dynamic speakers, men and women representing thousands of years of experience in civil aviation training,” notes Rick Adams, FRAeS, Conference Chair and Editor-in-Chief, Halldale Group.

Asia, Europe, South America and North America are all represented in this global gathering.

Featured on stage will be airline training, flight school, aircraft manufacturer, standards organization, association, regulatory agency, military, training equipment / service provider, and academic thought leaders who have helped shape the civil aviation training community across recent decades.

The topics they will address in depth encompass all of the key challenges facing airline training operations today … with practical solutions:

  • Raising the bar on quality training
  • Adapting to changing personnel demographics
  • Integrating new technology into regulations and curricula
  • The current realities of AR / MR / VR / XR
  • Pilot training for the new eVTOL market
  • Ideas for ‘green’ training
  • Where are we on AQP / CBTA / EBT evolution?
  • Data, data, data … translating to more effective training
  • Fatigue, conflict, startle and other human factors

“Start to finish, this conference will be packed with information and guidance about improving training and improving aviation safety,” Adams said. “That’s the essence of what WATS has always been for 25 years.”

Day One – Airline Leaders, FAA, IATA, Major Initiatives, eVTOL

The Pilot Training stream will launch with a reprise of one of the most popular panels from last year’s WATS event – the Airline Flight Training Leaders Panel, featuring top-level, hands-on executives from United Airlines, JetBlue, Frontier, Republic Airways, and Boeing Global Services.

This will be followed by the WATS annual update from US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) training directors and managers, a progress report on the flight path advisory circular, and a broad outlook for airline operations, region-by-region, as tracked by IATA.

Next up: three major initiatives for raising the bar – from a new aircraft manufacturers group which is jointly focused on improving training, a new collaborative ‘club’ of ATOs which is going above and beyond regulatory minimums, and an engineering association driving training device technical standards.

The capstone on Day One will take a critical look at the emerging eVTOL market – starting from the perspective of a major military early adopter. We’ll also hear the latest on eVTOL pilot training developments from a leading pilot training equipment and services provider and an eVTOL aircraft manufacturer.

Day Two – Sustainability, Flight School Breakout, Pilot Shortage, AQP/CBTA, Data

The electric-powered aircraft theme will continue on Day Two with practical advice for mitigating climate change at ATOs, collegiate aviation programs, and through cutting-edge training.

Session 6 will feature a Flight School Breakout session on the cadet experience: training the next generation, upset prevention and recovery training, and how to enhance university preparation for flying careers.

Simultaneously, other delegates will learn how the pilot shortage is changing the workforce, a discussion of automation versus manual flying skills, and a look at the future of eye-tracking.

Ready for some acronyms? There’s no lack in this industry, but Session 7 will focus on the longstanding AQP approach as compared with the more recent CBTA and EBT schemes.

The wrapup for Day Two is all about managing data overload – capturing and selecting the relevant data, fusing it, and turning it into training results.

Day Three – Human Factors, AI / Metaverse / XR

The final day’s topics apply to the gamut of aviation personnel: pilots, cabin crew, maintenance technicians ... it's not just about managing skill sets; health (physical and mental) and emotions all affect a person’s resilience to handle difficult situations … on the ground and in the air.

And finally, as has been traditional at WATS for many years, we delve into some of the hottest technology topics which are driving change in the training community (as they are in other domains): AI, the Cloud, the Metaverse, and the rapid iterations of A/M/V/XR.

See the full list of pilot conference speakers by clicking here.