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- Media release - New pilot licence to improve airline safety
CASA media release - Tuesday 17 October 2006
New pilot licence to improve airline safety
Improved air safety is the key principle behind a proposal for a new way of training and licensing airline co-pilots.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has started work on developing regulations to introduce a multi-crew pilot licence.
This licence would be issued to people who train specifically to become a first officer in an air transport operation.
The move to develop the new regulations will keep Australia at the forefront of international changes in air safety, in line with the latest standards issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation which come into effect in November.
CASA and other world-leading safety regulators have been working with the International Civil Aviation Organisation to improve safety by developing better training standards for airline pilots.
Safety research over many years has indicated that failures in teamwork are a major contributor to airline accidents. One reason is that traditional methods of training pilots emphasise independence and individual skills.
This is suits single pilot operations but pilots moving to work in airlines have needed ‘top up' training to work effectively in the small teams that fly air transport aircraft. The training behind the proposed new licence is designed to embed multi-crew teamwork from the very start of training, which will lift safety standards.
CASA will undertake a comprehensive consultation process with the relevant sectors of the aviation industry in developing the regulations to introduce the new licence.
This means the final details of the regulations have not yet been determined, with the rules not expected to be finalised until the second half of next year.
Claims that the changes will put safety at risk have been firmly rejected by CASA. People training for the multi-crew licence will focus on large aircraft flying skills, crew resource management and threat and error management throughout their year-long training.
Practical flying training will include flying aircraft, as well as operations in sophisticated simulators, with a strong emphasis on the competencies required for flying large turbine powered aircraft in a multi-crew environment.
In Australia, there will be a requirement for up to 70 hours flying training in aircraft, out of 240 hours total flying training time.
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