The 21stWorld Aviation Training Summit (WATS) took place last week in Orlando, Florida, and we were delighted to introduce so many new faces to AXIS Flight Training Systems, as well as catching up with old friends. WATS brought together the strength of our leadership team, with MD Christian Theuermann; MD of AXIS Switzerland Jean-Luc Laydevant; and MD of AXIS Finance David Nolan, all in attendance.

This year’s show illustrated how the pace of change is accelerating in aviation training. Our industry as a whole is evolving rapidly, as manufacturers, training organisations and simulator manufacturers all spy supersonic, single-pilot and urban air transport developments on the horizon. We’ve pinpointed four key insights from WATS that demonstrate where the industry is heading:

  1. Evidence Based Training is growing in popularity

Evidence-Based Training (EBT) is increasingly being utilised by airlines and training schools. Developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to match existing pilot training methods to the changing risks of aircraft operation, EBT is Big-Data-driven – and a fantastic example of how manipulating tech developments like Big Data for training can lead to more efficient, effective methods.

  1. New pathways for pilots are being introduced

Initiatives like the US Department of Transportation’s new ‘Forces to Flyers’ programme are facilitating the movement of retired military pilots into the wider aviation industry. By helping talented individuals train for careers as airline, cargo, SAR or private pilots, these initiatives are a small but significant way of bringing experienced professionals on board.

  1. Cooperation in the cockpit is key

At the Regional Airline Training (RATS) Track at WATS, one significant talking point was around how today’s pilot workforce is more multi-generational than ever before. With millennial fliers working alongside baby boomers, airlines and operators need to adopt flexible management practices to fit the varying motivations and career aspirations of these very different generations.

  1. Innovation relies on public perception

While Boeing and other major OEMs begin flight tests related to autonomous and reduced-crew aircraft, it will ultimately be those outside the industry that determine whether such operations will become the norm over the next 50 years. Having pilots on the ground, in charge of a flight in a similar way to drone pilots, will be a significant step. But the public will first need to be convinced of the safety of such an endeavour, regardless of whether autonomous aircraft are used for cargo or passenger flights.