The objective of this Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) is to improve the safety of helicopter operations through requirements aiming at more efficient flight crew training. Training effectiveness and competence is one of the most significant systemic issues in the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS).
In addition to evidence-based training (EBT), this NPA proposes to improve the existing mandatory requirements of Subpart ORO.FC, which had been developed in the 1990s and transposed from EU-OPS and JAR-OPS. The updates proposed cover aeroplanes and helicopters that carry out commercial air transport (CAT), specialised operations (SPO) and non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft (NCC).
This NPA proposes to:
(a) review the applicable conditions for multi-pilot operations of single-pilot certified helicopters,
(b) review the requirements for initial training and checking under SPO,
(c) review the requirements for recurrent training and checking under CAT and SPO,
(d) to review the conditions for the operation on different aircraft types or variants,
(e) introduce the option for NCC operators to accept previous training and checking, and
(f) address a number of other minor issues regarding flight crew training and checking.
Some changes are expected to increase safety in a cost-effective way, whereas others should reduce the training costs without an impact on safety. The proposed rules follow a more performance-based approach. Several clarifications are also introduced to maintain a high level of safety for air operations by ensuring a harmonised implementation of Regulations (EU) Nos 1178/2011 and 965/2012.
For EBT, EASA published NPA 2018-07 on 27 July 2018. EBT is a voluntary programme accessible to aeroplane operators that fly multi-pilot operations and have access to simulators, and will soon be extended to helicopters.