Training media allocation – simulator vs. actual flying


The European Commission published the amended Horizon Europe Work Programme 2023-24 on 31 March 2023. The overall driver of Cluster 5 – “Climate, Energy and Mobility” is to accelerate the green and digital transition, and the associated transformation of the economy, industry and society to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. 

This cluster contains seven research actions, which have been delegated to EASA as contracting authority. This project addresses the following action: Training media allocation – simulator vs. actual flying.

Outcome and Output

The outcome below describes the expected and targeted benefit and impact the project will generate after successfully completion. The output below describes the intended project results needed to achieve the expected/targeted outcome.

Expected Outcome

The expected outcome of the project is to provide evidence to support a potential update of the initial pilot training requirements towards a safer, more efficient, and more sustainable regulatory framework, considering the ICAO and EASA dimensions.

The research is expected to provide an evaluation of the existing initial flight training requirements (as per R1178), from ab-initio to the commercial pilot licence to identify whether certain training objectives, which today are addressed on the aircraft, can be met via the use of FSTD with an equivalent or better training output. 

The research project will also feed future streams of RMT.0196 on the update of the regulatory provisions for FSTD qualification and their use.

Intended output

The following outputs are expected:

  1.  a proposal of which Training Objectives in initial pilot training, which today are addressed in the aircraft, can be met via the use of FSTD with an equivalent or better training output. The proposal shall be supported by an impact assessment supported by the implementation of the practical training on FSTD, and its results on the training outcome. This output should cover aeroplane and helicopter training.
  2.   an assessment of the relevance of training objectives (e.g., confidence, resilience, etc.) beyond, or complementing, the nine pilot competencies requiring specific training media to be used.
  3.  a proposal of the specifications and minimum on-aircraft  and flight simulation training devices needed to achieve those training objectives.
  4.  an assessment on whether the current regulatory framework on instructor competencies is sufficient to train those objectives using different training means.

The research project shall encompass both aeroplane and helicopters training, focussing on the training path for which today there is little availability or use of FSTD; and may study the impact of new flight simulation technologies (e.g., VR/XR/MR) on pilot training and instructor competence.

The research project will involve enough student pilots to ensure that the results are representative and statistically significant to ensure replicability on a larger scale. For this purpose, a panel of 20 students per course should was established as a minimum sample.

Call for Tender

Check the call for tender for this Research Project

Important notice:
The call for tender will be issued ahead of the conclusion of the Contribution Agreement between the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and EASA. The conclusion of the aforementioned Contribution Agreement is a prerequisite for the award of any contract resulting from this tender procedure.