Pilots not well Trained for the Future: RAeS

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The Australian Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has written to Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack stating that the current training programs do not prepare pilots well enough for automated cockpits.

The letter, dated 12 July and signed by RAeS president Andrew Neely, outlined the findings of the society's safety forum held on 27 June this year and pointed out that training requirements are often based on old technology.

"The current GA industry does not adequately prepare pilots for a future in the highly automated world," the letter states. "Often newly trained instructors, with minimal real-world aviation experience, are training ab initio students and do not have either the experience or opportunity to pass on needed aviation experience.

"Regional and major airlines are taking instructors too early from the flight school environment given the recent demand. One solution put forward by the GA training school representatives is for closer cooperation between the GA industry and airlines in the future so that experienced training pilots from the airlines can mentor both students and junior instructors."

According to the RAeS, the solution may lie with flying academies and the recruitment standards when it comes to ability to deal with automation.

"This gap between the training needs of professional aviation and the General Aviation industry will only continue to widen," the letter continues. "Professional aviation colleges may also be part of the solution to this problem.

"In order to ensure that the pilots of the future meet the needs of the future flight deck, the professional civil aviation industry needs to update recruitment assessment practices to assess applicants abilities in cognitive task analysis thus allowing them to interface with the highly automated aircraft of the future."

The RAeS Safety Forum also looked at the issues surrounding integrating drone operations in to current airspace and outlined weaknesses and challenges in airport security.

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