Aviation Education Enhancement - AV EDEN
(Policy Oriented Measure)

Duration of the project: 1st September 2009 - 31st August 2011 (24 months)

Žilina hosted an international conference

On 14th and 15th September 2010 an international conference titled 'From Zero to ATPL' on training and education of aviation professionals took place in the Holiday Inn Hotel in Žilina. This conference was hosted by the Air Transport Department of the University of Žilina within the framework of the international project AV EDEN (Aviation Education Enhancement). The main aim of the AV EDEN project is to establish transatlantic cooperation in the field of training and education of aviation professionals and to identify and understand key differences between the US and European legislation related to the system of the training and education of pilots and other aviation personnel.

The Conference 'From Zero to ATPL' made a very valuable contribution to cooperation, coordination and sharing of knowledge and experience among various companies and organisations dealing with training and education of pilots and other aviation personnel. Among the conference participants, there were top professionals from 17 countries of Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia. The conference speakers were selected from among the representatives of the US and European aviation authorities, training and education organisations, universities, airlines, aircraft and flight simulator manufacturers as well as from among the representatives of future pilot communities. During the pre-conference preparation period great emphasis was placed on the selection of speakers. This resulted in a well structured conference programme and a high quality of presentations. The Conference provided the ideal opportunity for participants to get acquainted with the various aspects of training of pilots and other aviation personnel.

At the end of the first day of the conference all the conference participants had an opportunity to tour the premises and facilities of the Flight Training Organisation of the University of Žilina at Žilina International Airport. Conference participants got to see the training aircraft fleet, flight simulator, classrooms and other facilities that are used for practical and theoretical training of future pilots. The tour of the facilities of the Flight Training Organisation of University of Žilina was accompanied by short flight demonstrations. Single-engine training and sport aircraft VUT100 Cobra and Sportstar were demonstrated by the representatives of Evektor-Aerotechnik Company, the manufacturer of the both aircraft. The twin-engine aircraft Tecnam P2006T was demonstrated by the representatives of the Czech flight training organisation F-Air that also serves as sole distributor of Tecnam aircraft for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

Conference participants also had an opportunity to hold informal discussion with fellow participants thanks to the facilities extended by the University. A Gala reception concluded the first day's activities and it was held in the magnificent Wedding Palace in Bytča (which belongs among the most significant renaissance sights in Central Europe. The relaxed and informal atmosphere in the Wedding Palace undoubtedly contributed to gaining new contacts and establishing new partnerships in the field of training and education of pilots and other aviation personnel and the performance of the folklore ensemble Stavbár added to the occasion.

The conference 'From Zero to ATPL' was very successful, both from an organisational and a professional point of view. The conference also contributed to an open dialogue between US and European legislators and organisations dealing with training and education of aviation professionals. The Air Transport Department of the University of Žilina believes that by hosting the first international conference 'From Zero to ATPL' it has demonstrated the benefit of such a conference and would hope that those present would take up the mantle and organise future hostings of this conference.

In conclusion, the conference organizers would like to extend their appreciation to all speakers who contributed to the Conference. The organizers would also like to express their gratitude to all the conference participants for finding the time in their busy schedules to attend the first 'From Zero to ATPL conference'. A special word of thanks belongs to Považské Museum in Žilina for allowing the Gala Reception to be held in the Wedding Palace in Bytča.

Project overview

New operational concepts and technology advancement in air transport on both sides of the Atlantic require new developments in the area of education and training. Not much has been done in this area yet. A proactive approach must be established that would be based on sharing and coordination among different organizations involved in training and education to ease the harmonization of operational competence for key aviation personnel. The training and educational systems in different areas of the world do not have to be identical, but must have aligned requirements for equipment standards and technical interoperability. Our project is a step towards this harmonisation and coordination and will contribute to enhancement of education and training quality with the view of future air transport developments.

As a general objective the AV EDEN project will extensively contribute to mutual understanding of different training and educational systems in the frame of the US FAA and EU EASA civil aviation legislation. The AV EDEN project will cover three main areas of education, training and long life education in the civil aviation: professional pilots (up to airline pilot license); air traffic controllers and operation and management staff.

In general, the project activities will include EU – US aviation educational and training systems comparison analyses and reports, video conferencing, teaching staff and instructors exchange mobilities. The project will be supported by number of workshops and seminars with the aviation industry stakeholders’ participation, annual conferences, and common website development. It will also include exchange of knowledge and know-how between educational institutions and transfer of project outcomes to the state administrations and industry.

Compared to other projects from the education domain, AV EDEN will focus on areas with the highest importance to aviation industry. The main aim is to improve safety record of the civil aviation, namely if future SESAR and NextGen projects impacts on human operators and managers are taken into account.

The first objective of the project is to analyse and compare European and American pilot training systems. The analyses should first encompass comparison of the latest ICAO legal requirements for the training of flight crew (ICAO Annex 1 Personal Licensing) and within the legal frame of US and EU regulations. In the second step, a comparison will be executed between the JAR-FCL 1 and FAR Part 61/141 requirements. The outcome from these analyses will be a summary of the differences and a list of recommendations which will be the input for flight crew training best practices. Particular analyses results will be discussed during the staff mobilities and the workshops. This analysis is performed solely by the University of Žilina with help of consultations and review from CAA of the Czech republic and other partners in terms of materials and data provision.

The objective of the second work package of the project is to analyse European and American air traffic controllers training systems. The materials compared will be mainly EUROCONTROL Safety Regulatory Requirement (ESARR 5), Edition 2.0; European Manual of Personnel Licensing - Air Traffic Controllers, Guidance on Implementation, Edition 1.0; European Manual of Personnel Licensing - Air Traffic Controllers Edition 2.0; Guidelines for ATCO Common Core Content Initial Training - Main document; Specification of Training Tools and Methods Air Traffic Control - Volume 1 and American counterparts of these regulations. This analysis will be provided by the US partners of the project.

Work package 3 aims at analyses of academic contents of Bc. and MSc. courses. This analysis will encompass comparison of core structure, accreditation system and credit transfer requirements of Bc. And MSc. courses between Dowling College, School of Aviation and the University of Žilina. Furthermore, this analysis will be broadened by analyses of Bc. and MSc. courses of other European and American universities. Work on this part of the project is sole responsibility of the US partners of the project.

After completion of the preceding tasks, the project will continue by creation of best practices handbooks of all three fields of aviation education and training. Information from the previous tasks will be utilized in determining of the actual best practices. This part of the project will be performed by the European partners after obtaining the necessary analyses from US side.

Apart from these core tasks, two workshops/conferences will be held, one in US and one in Žilina, Slovakia.

List of US and EU consortium institutions or organisations
EU University of Zilina, Univerzitná 8215/1; Žilina; Slovakia
Civil Aviation Authority, Ruzyně Airport; 160 08 Praha 6; Czech Republic
US Dowling College, School of Aviation; 150 Idle Hour Blvd. ; Oakdale, NY 11769
FAA; Mike Monroney Aeronautical Centre; 6500 South MacArthur; Blvd. Oklahoma City; OK 73169

Number of planned meetings
2009 US FIPSE/DG EAC annual conferences
  US 1st Workshop on The Training and Education Best Practices - Dowling College
2010 EU  
  EU FIPSE/DG EAC annual conferences
2011 EU 2nd Workshop on The Training and Education Best Practices - Zilina

Expected Results and outputs
  • Flight crew training systems analysis report
  • Air traffic controllers training systems analysis report
  • Academic contents of Bc. and MSc. Courses of Air Transport systems analysis report
  • Training and education best practices handbook
  • Two Workshops on The Training and Education Best Practices (one US, one EU)
  • Two FIPSE/DG EAC annual conference (one US, one EU)
  • AV EDEN website development
  • Dissemination of the project in line with the dissemination plan