Opinion 16/2016

Regular update of regulations regarding pilot training, testing and checking and the related oversight — Making the multi-crew pilot licence take-off and landing requirement more competency-based

This Opinion addresses a harmonisation and proportionality issue related to the multi-crew pilot licence (MPL) take-off and landing requirement. The specific objective of this Opinion is to ensure that a non-controversial issue, for which there is sufficient consensus related to initial pilot training and licensing, is addressed, as well as to improve the regulatory framework, thereby promoting a competitive environment.

Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 requires the European Aviation Safety Agency to assist Member States (MSs) in fulfilling their obligations under the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, by providing a basis for a common interpretation and uniform implementation of the Convention requirements, and by ensuring that these requirements are duly taken into account in this Regulation and in the implementing rules (IRs) created for their implementation. In this context, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for the MPL were transposed into Subpart E and Appendix 5 of Annex I (Part-FCL) to Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011. When drafting the relevant parts of the IRs, only the former requirements from Joint Aviation Requirements Flight Crew Licensing 1 (JAR-FCL 1) were taken into consideration, and it was omitted to be fully aligned with the ICAO Doc 9868 ‘Procedures for Air Navigation Services — Training’ (PANS-TRG) recommendations. Moreover, EASA is pursuing a more competency-based approach to ensure proportionate and performance-based requirements.

This Opinion, developed by EASA in accordance with Article 15 of the Management Board (MB) Decision No 18-2015, proposes to amend the IRs dealing with the take-off and landing training required during the advanced phase of an MPL training course. The draft rule text as well as the related guidance material (GM), developed by EASA in consultation with industry MPL experts, will enable approved training organisations (ATOs) and respective operators to make the MPL course more competency-based, thereby aligning itself to a greater extent with ICAO Annex 1 and related provisions, by reducing the minimum number of take-offs and landings from 12 to 6 provided that a procedure is in place to ensure that a pilot is trained in competency. Furthermore, another process between the ATOs and the respective operators should be established to ensure that corrective action is taken if in-training evaluation indicates the need to do so. This proposed amendment is expected to ensure full alignment with the existing ICAO Annex 1 and related provisions and introduce a more competency-based approach.