AAETS 2021 Report

Image credit: Hyundai

Image credit: Hyundai

The format for this year’s Asian Aviation and Education Training Symposium (AAETS) was modified, as the title suggests, to adjust to the world of Covid-19 by going virtual. What has not changed is the intensity of the transfer of information on the latest aviation training trends. Chris Long reports.

vAAETS was an Official Event of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea (MoLIT), and was opened by Mr Seong Kyu Hwang, Vice Minister of MoLIT; the welcome address was delivered by Mr Chang-Wan Son, the President and CEO of the Korea Airports Corporation (KAC), the event host. After the Keynote Speech, delivered on behalf of IATA by Blair Cowles, Asia-Pacific Director of Safety and Flight Operations, the conference moved on to several separate themes.

Collecting and Using Data

To understand the need for data, the industry needs to calibrate just how much of a demand there will be and what data can be sourced to help with the training operations and decisions. In this session there was a summary of the pilot demand in Asia, and then illustrations of the best practice to select the essentials from that flood of data – sharing is the key. The use of information gleaned from the Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA) initiative to shape training patterns was illustrated, and there was then a presentation of a real case study of the introduction of Evidence-Based Training (EBT) into a major Asian airline.

Creation of an Entire Urban Air Mobility system for the Republic of Korea

Ms Mi-Ae Lee, PhD, Vice President of Strategy and Planning KAC, delivered a very comprehensive and fascinating presentation on this major project of KAC. The scale of the task, and the detail which has already been formed, leaves no doubt that the national plans are well advanced, and the necessary partnerships set up – a “watch this space” project!

VR/AR – a Universal Tool?

This session focussed attention on the definitions of the various forms of VR, with specific reference as to how regulators are approaching the delivery of official approvals of that training as separate or integral tools used in the training processes. This is a complex task, and the contrast between the pace of development of the technology and the pace of the necessarily cautious safety-conscious regulatory changes poses one of the major challenges in the aviation training world. A considered explanation of the impact of this training medium on the human learning process offered guidance as to how to best employ it.

Post-Covid Training for Flight Crews

After a long pause in normal operations, it is essential to prepare crews for the intensity of routine operations, and to refresh their high level of skills. The experience of a European airline showed that when operating from several remote sites the use of innovative technology and procedures in training can make that work. Another example of training cabin crews demonstrated how the broader industry is updating its training philosophies and equipment. Finally in this session, a major global player detailed the thorough preparation needed to ensure not only the regain of essential skills but, alongside that, the reinforcement of the self-confidence which crews need to call on to manage the full range of operating challenges encountered in the wide geographical reach of global operations.

A Complete Sequence of Ab Initio Pilot Training

This was a session in which a series of segments illustrated the essential steps to training a new pilot recruit to the level required by an airline. To ensure the best use of time and effort applied in training, for both the trainee pilot and the ATO, there needs to be a rigorous selection process – one way of doing that is remotely. Whilst regulations determine the minimum standards necessary for the issue of a licence, many ATOs believe that the preparation for airline operations benefits from additional considerations; one ATO explained that approach. If only the minimum training for licence issue is completed, then there is still a major gap before the more intense world of actual commercial operations is reached. Several aspects of that upgrade have now been incorporated into some regulatory processes, but here the final presenter showed how that skills-gap can be filled with carefully shaped additional training.

Intense but Useful

This was a one-day event that was packed with useful information on evolving training processes. Perhaps a measure of that was the engagement of the delegates in the debate, such that the Q&A sessions were very busy.

There is no doubt that the virtual format can still transfer an enormous amount of critical information – the only downside is the lack of immediate networking. Of course, even that can be initiated to some extent through routine electronic forms of communication. However, the need to share best practice is still a primary driver for these conferences.