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Fri, Feb 16, 2024

FAA Issues ERAU Researcher Grant for Improving Pilot Assessment

Next-Gen Grading Tools Will Look to Assess More Ineffable Aspects of Pilotage

An FAA grant to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University staff is expected to help "develop more effective training programs that integrate pilots’ technical skills, such as operating aircraft controls, and non-technical skills, like decision-making and CRM."

The work will be spearheaded by Barbara Holder, a Presidential Fellow at the school. She sat to speak about the million-dollar grant with ERAU marketing staff, describing her team's 3-year study in both purpose and outlook.

“The FAA wants airline operators to ensure that pilots are equally proficient in technical flying skills, such as hand-flying and autopilot operations, and non-technical skills,” said Holder. “Pilots employ both technical and non-technical skills together to perform effective and safe Flight Path Management and, therefore, effective training and assessment of both is necessary.”

Holder says that the FAA is particularly invested in assessing the more nebulous aspects of performance, like operational judgment, flight path planning and monitoring, division of attention, and task management. The eventual goal should enable carriers to better assess and integrate the full range of skills their pilots possess.

“This work aims to bring pilot training and operational performance to a new level,” added Holder. “It has the potential to make training more effective and efficient, especially for new pilots.” Embry-Riddle points out that the industry sits on the precipice of a mass retirement wave, which will foster the need to produce 602,000 new aviators by 2040.

“The FAA is interested in making sure pilots are highly proficient in all the skills and knowledge they need to do their job with excellence,” said Holder. “And that there are no gaps in their training.”

FMI: www.erau.edu

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