NPA 2018-07

Update of ORO.FC — evidence-based training subtask

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) identified the need to ensure that aviation personnel have the right competencies and training methods to cope with new challenges. This is one of the most significant systemic issues in the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) 2018-2022.

The objective of this notice of proposed amendment (NPA) is to update the flight crew training requirements to improve pilot competencies. At the same time, it provides additional efficiency in the field of flight crew training and achieves a smooth transition to competency-based training.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), in a joint effort with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) and other industry partners, developed a new paradigm for competency-based recurrent assessment and training of flight crew, which is based on evidence (evidence-based training (EBT)). The EBT project is a global safety initiative whose objective is to determine the relevance of existing pilot training according to aircraft generation. The EBT methodology identifies areas for improvement and allows the re-prioritisation of training topics. EBT is intended to enhance the confidence and capability of flight crews to operate the aircraft in all flight regimes and to be able to recognise and manage unexpected situations.

This NPA is a second step in the European rulemaking actions that helps competent authorities, commercial air transport (CAT) operators and approved training organisations (ATOs) to implement EBT. The first step was completed in 2015 with the publication of ED Decision 2015/027/R that provided guidance material to allow the implementation of 'mixed EBT’ which maintains the current operator proficiency check (OPC) and licence proficiency check (LPC). This NPA proposes further changes to the Air OPS and Air Crew Regulations to allow the full implementation of EBT, replacing OPC and LPC. This will allow a single philosophy of recurrent training within the airline. Further work is foreseen in rulemaking task (RMT).0599 to allow expansion of EBT to the operator conversion course and initial type rating, while expanding the EBT concept to other types of aircraft (e.g. helicopters and business jets).

The impact assessment (IA) shows that the implementation of EBT on a voluntary basis by the operator is the preferred option in regulating recurrent training and checking of flight crew. It provides an opportunity for the air operator certificate (AOC) holders to implement EBT for recurrent training and checking of the flight crew. The IA illustrates that the proposed rules contribute to significant improvement in safety by strengthening the competencies of flight crews while providing a cost-efficient and socially acceptable framework.

NPA 2018-07 is divided in two parts.

Sub-NPA(A) includes:

  • the presentation of the issue under discussion;
  • the impact assessment; and
  • the proposed actions to support implementation.

Sub-NPA(B) includes the proposed draft rules (implementing rules, acceptable means of compliance and guidance material.