Connected Learning Solutions

Big Data, EBT adoption, eBooks, and the need for new talent get airplay at APATS and EATS 2015 (Part 2)

In this two-part blog post, we share the insights and experiences of Steve Young and Rory Stewart at the recent airline training symposiums hosted by Halldale in Asia Pacific and Europe. The 12th Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium (APATS) was held in Thailand in September with representatives from more than 50 airlines were in attendance. Meanwhile, the 14th European Airline Training Symposium (EATS) was hosted for the first time in Poland where delegates from more than 70 airlines and 40 countries attended last month.


EATS 2015 Conference Review by Rory Stewart

Some really good initiatives worth noting were the number of vendors using Apple iBooks to bring content to tablets. Both Boeing and Airbus are now talking about reducing content size by creating eBooks for Operators (Emirates Airlines being one example).

The event kicked off with keynote speeches from CAE, Airbus and a German comedy double-act (I kid you not!) of two Captains keen on introducing a new 2-way communication training process for Flight Officers and Captains called OneTeamCockpit.


Lack of resources, a need for better training initiatives, and more

After lunch, we traversed to having EASA extol the virtues of new initiatives for regulation and safety, narrowing in on recurrent training to establish ‘continuous unconscious competence’ as well as the uncomfortable fact that all pilots that have had accidents were trained and regulated.

This was all very expected however, the sub-plots were already there to be seen.

  1. The friction between the regulators and operators was evident especially when discussing ‘Operational Directives’ (short term regulatory directives that operator must adhere to) that are deemed unnecessary in the eyes of some.
  2. There is now a perceived acceptance of the lack of time & resources in training pilots and cabin crew with today’s reduced budgets seemingly affecting regulators, ATOs and Operators (and I would also now include the once bounteous Middle East region in that bracket with current budgetary controls in place).
  3. There is now a lack of qualified pilots worldwide and their number is ever decreasing.
  4. The introduction of the MPL (Multi-Crew Pilot License) initiative a few years back was to allow for the foreseen current lack of time, budgets and resources to be mitigated by bringing in pilots from other backgrounds (e.g., military) to fly commercial aircraft is STILL not widely accepted as best practice and most European Operators prefer to use training recruitment firms (ATOs such as CTC and CAE) to attract a Cadet-to-Captain training program.

From the implied points above, there is now a concerted effort from all sides to adopt better training initiatives and principles such as training pilots in real life scenarios instead of virtual SIM scenarios as much as possible.


EBT Phases and Data Analytics to help improve safety

In line with that, the major speech of Day 2 came from Stephane Clement, Director Regulatory, Aviation Safety & QA, CAE under the session termed Human Performance & Training Issues in which he expressed his vision of the future:

Steve Young mentioned in his APATS conference review that "Evidence Based Training" is here to stay in the aviation sector — well he is completely correct and there is more to come.


Phase 1: (EBT) Evidence Based Training – the international aviation regulations were inceptively brought about primarily to ensure safety.

Phase 2: Macro Adaptive EBT – already being used, allowing Operators to introduce specific customized training surrounding task analysis and operational data.

Phase 3: Micro Adaptive EBT – aimed at optimizing training for millennials with Internet 2.0 technology where it can be self-paced and flexible to each person’s learning styles (visual, audible or kinesthetic) and importantly it would require the use of ‘Big Data Analytics’ tools.

It certainly appears that in aviation, both the FAA and EASA are using the terms Micro Adaptive EBT to bring in ‘Big Data’ initiatives to improve safety, quality and efficiency to their sector.


A Better Way to Fly

Aviation is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world. Learning and development professionals and compliance training officers in this industry are under constant pressure to ensure employees across their organization, as well as external staff of companies that support their business on the ground, comply with a multitude of regulations set by national and international regulatory bodies around the world.

The importance of compliance training has led a lot of airlines into setting up and maintaining multiple systems, diverse processes, and different technologies. This piecemeal approach increases Total Cost of Ownership, prohibits a 360-degree view of people compliance, and introduces additional levels of risk to the safety and well-being of tens of millions of airline passengers every day.

Forward-thinking airlines need a better way to significantly reduce and efficiently manage the time their employees need to spend away from doing what they do best, while staying competitive and profitable, as well as maintaining high levels of service quality.



Rory Stewart has a long background in technology with 12 years in the British Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm before becoming Cisco & Networks qualified and moving into a technical security role with Cable & Wireless. From there he moved into a Technical Sales Engineer position and then joined Thomson Reuters in their Financial Compliance software division for a further 4 years before joining NetDimensions EMEA as Pre-Sales Consultant 8 years ago. Today, Rory has dual roles as Head of Consulting and Director of the Middle East region.