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Resistance to change is always going to be prevalent in a safety conscious industry however this individual tailored training focuses on each pilot as an individual and a training programme is developed for them personally. Evaluation of current industry pilots is necessary due to changing technology and abilities. Re-evaluation of risks and training methods under an established safety management system enables todays pilots to operate safely.

Thomson Airways gained ATQP approval in January 2010 after analysing the previous 3 years of training data. In order for data to be valid, special attention is paid to the standardisation of Training Captains to get high ' inter-rater reliability'. Using the expertise of Dr MaryJo Smith, a Professor of data evaluation at Embry Riddle, data can be evaluated effectively and now totals over 10,000 records.

In 2011 Thomson began analysis of the AQP 'single visit training' programmes in the USA. This annual simulator event and replaces the previous 6 month simulator check.

Falling under ATQP approval, an ATE (annual training event) was made to the UK CAA in 2012 with all pilots completing a once a year 4 day simulator training/checking programme. Some pilots, such as those changing aircraft type, new commands or those needing additional support get additional individual tailored training.

Stuart Gruber summarises the ATE scheme and provides a deeper insight into ATQP.

About the speaker:

Capt Stuart Gruber, Head of Flight Technical and Training, Thomson Airways

As the current Head of Flight Technical & Training at Thomson Airways, Stuart has a passion for developing innovative training solutions that match the current aviation environment. Improving standards by spending more money is straightforward - maintaining and improving effectiveness of training and improving efficiency is the key to success that airlines need. Having started on the ground with British Air Ferries and becoming a Young flying Instructor at Shoreham, Stuart has maintained his passion for delivering high quality training. Gaining his command on the MD83 and becoming a TRE on B757/767 before the age of 30 is testament to his early ability. Stuart became the youngest UK Civil Aviation Authority Flight Operations and Training Inspector at the age of 33, prior to joining Thomsonfly as the B737 Chief Pilot in 2003. The insight into the regulatory world and becoming the JOEB Chairman for the A318 and B787 (latterly the EASA B787 OEB Lead Pilot) has enabled him to take a broad view of aviation. The mix of training and regulatory knowledge with commercial acumen enables Thomson Airways to develop industry leading initiatives.

Royal Aeronautical Society
29 August 2013