The FAA has released the first of what is anticipated to be a number of aircraft-specific standardized training curricula for use in Part 135 operations. Published in the Federal Register on Thursday, the initial standardized curriculum is tailored for the Gulfstream V series but is anticipated to serve as a framework for future models, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) said. Comments on the curricula are due by November 9.
A voluntary program designed for training at Part 142 centers, the standardized curriculum concept was a recommendation that came out of the Air Carrier Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), which sought a means to ease paperwork burdens and staffing shortage concerns. In addition, the programs are portable, which addresses the issue of charter operators having to send pilots to initial training for the same model of aircraft for each operator they fly for, even if the pilots are current in that aircraft.
The concept is also intended to elevate safety by providing a standardized approach to training on specific aircraft that incorporates best practices. “It provides an efficient means for approving training curricula offered by Part 142 training centers while increasing the consistency of training, testing, and checking delivered to Part 135 operators, with an emphasis on standardization,” the agency said. “The standardized curriculum concept supports the overarching goals to enhance training and checking and promote safer operational practices and is consistent with applicable regulations.”
ARC recommendations led to the formation of a Training Standardization Working Group that is tasked with developing the curricula. John McGraw, v-p of regulatory affairs for NATA, has called the consensus-based standards one of the most significant changes in training approaches for charter operations in years and one that was years in the making that brings together the collaboration of manufacturers, simulation trainers, and operators.
The FAA released the Advisory Circular (AC) on the standardized curricula concept in 2020, following the release of the proposed AC in 2018, but the concept has been in the works for nearly a decade.
Work has already begun on the next aircraft, with the aim of developing curricula on the more commonly used aircraft in charter operations. The FAA, which ultimately reviews the curricula before they are released, said the initial program for the Gulfstream V includes recommended maneuvers, procedures, and functions to meet the regulatory requirements in Part 135.