The US FAA has issued an update to proposed sweeping pilot, flight attendant and dispatcher training rules first published in January of 2009.

Two primary factors led the agency to issue its 671-page updated proposed rule - legislation passed by the US Congress in August of last year mandating ground and flight training recognition in stall avoidance and recovery, and numerous comments that led FAA to conclude it needed to address several key issues not included in the original proposal.

The legislation mandating upset recovery and stall avoidance training was a result of the investigation of a fatal crash in February 2009 of a Colgan Air Bombardier Q400.

FAA received 3,000 pages of detailed comments in response to the first proposed rule.

FAA stated key features of the NPRM include efforts to address or partially address 28 recommendations from the US National Transportation Safety Board regarding crew member training, and the enhancement of training programmes by requiring the use of flight simulation training devices (FSTD) for crewmembers.

The latest proposed rule also realigns the recurrent training and evaluation interval for pilots in command (PIC) and second in command (SIC) that results in an equivalent level of training for both, said the agency.

"SICs would now receive twice the amount of FSTD time over a 36 month training cycle as they receive today," FAA stated. Current requirements for recurrent training hours are 24 for PICs and 12 for SIC.

FAA's latest proposed rule also attempts to ensure a focus on training in a "complete flightcrew environment" to increase the likelihood that PICs and SICs who need recurrent training would train together.

The rule also strives to provide a clear definition of the tasks required to train and evaluate pilots in part 121 operations during the 36-month recurrent training cycle and clarify the minimal impact on certificate holders training under an advanced qualification programme (AQP).

During a 11 May media briefing FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt heralded the latest proposed rule as a way to involve pilots in a new type of training that offers more robust evaluation of pilots in real world scenarios. He said a key element of training going forward should be to focus on recovering from a stall versus past training that focused largely on recognising and avoiding stalls.

Under the proposal flight attendants would be required to complete hands-on emergency drills every 12 months, and training and experience requirements for certain dispatchers and instructors would become standardised.

FAA estimates the cost of the latest proposed rule over a 10-year analysis interval is $391.9 million, while implementing the rule could produce safety benefits worth $445 million. A copy of FAA's latest propsosed rule is available here.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news