The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that all air carrier operators provide Initial and Recurrent training for their pilots. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), section § 135.293 – Initial and Recurrent Pilot Testing Requirements, outlines what’s required for FAR Part 135 training programs.
Each Part 135 … operator (with the exception of a Part 135 operator limited to a single pilot or a single pilot in command (PIC)) must obtain FAA approval of the curricula used for training flightcrew members, instructors, check pilots, and check Flight Engineers (FE). The operator is responsible for ensuring that its training program is complete, current, and in compliance with the regulations.
The entire section is available here.
Operators are required to develop their own training program when starting their operation and to revise their training program when purchasing new equipment, operating in a new environment, or obtaining new authorizations, or when new FAA requirements are specified.
They must obtain FAA approval of the curricula used for training flightcrew members, instructors, and check pilots and ensure that its training is complete, current, and in compliance with the regulations.
FAR Part 135 Training Providers
The good news is that the FAA encourages operators to contract with approved training providers to develop, deliver and maintain the curriculum and pilot training.
There are two types of training providers:
- Standard classroom training providers
- Online learning training providers
As online training has become mainstream throughout many industries, many air carriers have or are considering switching from classroom training to an online learning provider for their FAR Part 135 Initial and Recurrent training. Online learning providers can deliver the same quality experience at a lower cost. (Babson Survey Research Group estimates that the percentage of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face‐to‐face instruction is now at 71.4%.)
Online Training Providers for FAR Part 135 Initial and Recurrent Training
There are three categories of online training providers for FAR part 135 training:
High-end software, complete customization
Providers that deliver software with the most features and provide complete content customization. These are the most expensive providers, which are often much more expensive than standard classroom training.
Mid-range software, complete customization
Providers that deliver standard e-learning software with complete content customization and support. These have a price point between the high-end and low-end, with the support and content customization of the high-end providers.
Low-end software, limited customization
Providers that deliver basic, no-frills e-learning software with limited content customization and limited support. These are typically the least expensive, but may force you to handle some of the support and content development burdens.
TrainingBoom has been an online learning provider for Part 135 training since 2008. This enables pilots to complete their FAA-required training from any mobile device or computer without having to travel to a classroom, which saves them time and saves their operator money.
TrainingBoom handles the complete customization of content for aircraft operators, handles pilot onboarding and provides pilot support throughout the year, falling into the mid-range category with the support and customization of the high-end providers.
The FAA has been encouraging operators to review online learning options. TrainingBoom is seeing operators request to shift from low-end providers (who captured market-share in the early days of the online learning shift) to mid-range or high-end providers to ease their burden and reduce their pilot complaints.