FCS: The Task-to-Tool Approach
In modern day pilot training, many of the devices and technologies currently used are based on requirements from outdated regulations, and credit for (and therefore use of) new technologies is very limited. Furthermore, the infrastructure requirements for current devices almost always requires travel to such locations, negatively impacting operational availability of crews, cost and unnecessarily contributing to Carbon-emissions.
Using new technologies will allow the industry to lower that carbon footprint, improve the availability of high-level training at the home base or even through remote learning, and most importantly, maintain the necessary quality while at the same time lowering cost. In the post-Covid environment, training of our flight crews will need to cover a large number of new pilots entering the industry to meet demand, while also requalifying the current crews to new equipment.
EASA has started allowing the qualification and use of non-traditional training devices with the publication of its Notice of Proposed Amendment 2020-15, which is a forward-looking regulatory proposal using devices for credit through the use of the so-called FSTD Capability Signature (FCS). This concept is based on ICAO document 9625 rev. 4 and opens up a new paradigm in which the training objective or desired competency is the leading indicator of the best device specifications needed to achieve the optimum outcome and will allow for new technologies to optimize training. This Task-to-Tool approach is a paradigm shift, as currently the tools available are what drives the training. Furthermore, we should look at training in a more blended approach, where devices, technology, and other tools work hand-in-hand to achieve an optimal learning environment.
My presentation will plan to educate the audience on the Task-to-Tool approach, the usage and identification of the FSTD Capability Signature (FCS) and its benefits to industry, as well as the Blended Learning approach that will support higher efficiency and quality of training, better availability of the correct training tools, lowering cost and optimizing the way aviation training should be structured in the future.