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Airline training is, for the first time in our 35-year involvement, at the center of airline activity as the enabler of a return to full flight operations.
The airlines have come roaring back from covid with demand high and the need to provide more flights far more rapidly than anticipated, within a training infrastructure designed to maintain regular airline activity not restart it after a prolonged hold.
As with all industries U.S. airlines are in a war for talent and began a major transition just prior to covid, to secure a pilot supply pipeline and ensure airline quality training through the creation of cadet schemes and academies. All U.S. major airlines now have some form of ‘school to airline cadet program’. (eg United , Delta)
WATS 2023 is the premier meeting place for the airline training community, from ab initio to airline, from training supplier to equipment manufacturer and including aircraft manufacturers, EVTOL, not for profits and the all-important Regulator, in the case of the U.S., the FAA. “Training Solutions for Aviation Training Professionals” takes place April 18-20 in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Shingle Creek.
Pre event meetings of US airlines in the AQP program, the LATAM training community and then the world community in Training Leader/Heads of Training working groups will take place on the 17th of April, by invitation only. The Pilot, Cabin Crew and Maintenance conferences will open, with the Expo Hall on the 18th, to all registered attendees. (WATS 2023)
The FAA recently called a Safety Summit of all stakeholders in DC to review the recent near misses at airports. Training, along with People, was probably the most commonly used word in the general session in which WATS was also referenced as the place at which to discuss training (FAA Safety Summit).
Whilst proven and successful current training models leave far too many newly qualified pilots requiring costly additional training on joining the airline. There is no doubt that training can be improved using the latest technology and techniques from the airline world and with reference to the examples of the USAF and the growing EVTOL sector.
We already have a serious shortage of pilots and maintainers. In the next 10 years 50% of current pilots face mandatory retirement and in the next two years a very significant demand for more pilots to crew the new EVTOL fleets will begin to ramp up.
WATS 2023 will be the key meeting place at which to discuss providing more highly skilled pilots, preferably more quickly and if possible, at acceptable cost. The focus is safety and the best route to safety is better trained people!
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