ICAO and EASA want to define competencies for command

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ICAO wants to shake-up the way aircraft commanders are trained and is looking for global consensus on the competencies required.

Henry Defalque. ICAO's technical officer, licensing and operations, was speaking at the 20-21 March UK Royal Aeronautical Society conference, The Aircraft Commander in the 21st Century.

Defalque made clear this is in line with the international move toward defined, competency-based pilot licensing and evidence-based pilot training.

ICAO acknowledges that pilot licensing, at present, does not recognise command as a specific competency, and believes this should change.

Defalque said that ICAO is seeking agreement on how to define the required competencies. He would like to be able "to describe what proficient performance looks like," to be able to name specific competencies, and provide a list of "behavioural indicators" that would indicate command competency.

Meanwhile, EASA too is pursuing a similar goal. Capt Herbert Meyer, section manager, operational suitability, at EASA's Certifications Directorate, told the conference that as EASA updates its operational licensing system, it is seeking to define an "acceptable means of compliance" for command qualifications.

Further issues raised at the conference included recognition of the fact that the airlines have long been the beneficiaries of military pilot training, which automatically includes leadership preparation, and questioned whether the airline industry intends to replace this free heritage with its own training system as the proportion of former military pilots rapidly declines.