Improvements in air carrier training programs of the past have been tied very closely to hardware technology changes. Recently, new personal computer based training and part task training devices have been introduced to teach aircraft systems, flight management, and other unique features of the new generation of “glass cockpit” aircraft.
But we are now embarking on a new phase of airline flight training. The future will be centered on the training systems themselves, involving task analyses, training objective development, measurement techniques and validation criteria.
The vehicle that will allow this new phase to begin is FAA Special Federal Aviation Regulation 58, signed into law on September 26, 1990. This new rule permits air carriers, following a rigorous instructional system design process, to develop their own unique pilot qualification programs, independent of traditional regulations and artificial constraints, but meeting the industry recognized requirement for operational crew oriented training. The promise of these new Advanced Qualification Programs (AQP) is better trained crew members and fewer crew related accidents.