Farnborough Air Show

Alteon expands training offerings to meet demand

 - August 5, 2008, 8:40 AM

Boeing subsidiary Alteon is responding to the global need for training by expanding and refining its service offering. The company estimates the aviation industry will need at least 36,000 new pilots and 480,000 maintenance personnel over the next 20 years to meet forecast fleet growth.

Alteon president Sherry Carbary said here yesterday that the company now has around 100 simulators in 20 training centers and trains an average of 460 pilots plus 200 mechanics each day.

To help retain instructors in the face of attempts by the airlines to lure them back to the flight deck, it has developed a program to share the pilots’ services, so that they fly part of the year and instruct during the remaining part. The program is tailored to suit the individual and has been tried in Europe. “It works really well,” Carbary said.
“The pilots have a better quality of life because they are not away from home so much, and the airlines like it because the pilots are happier and are constantly having their skills upgraded.”

Another tool to meet the demand is the ICAO multi-crew license. Alteon is beta testing the program with six Chinese pilots in Australia.  Carbary said that while she was skeptical at first, the cadets have soloed early and so far they have passed every test. They did need more than the ICAO-specified level of proficiency in English, however.

Meanwhile, Boeing has increased the amount of training provided to 787 customers, who traditionally received training for eight crews no matter how many airplanes they bought. “Now if they buy five airplanes they get 30 flight crews plus maintenance and cabin crew training,” Carbary said. “And they also have the option to trade maintenance or cabin crew training for more flight crew training, so they can tailor the amount of training to meet their needs. They get it where they want it around the world.”