Captain Jyoti Gayan

Jyoti Gayan, Chief Theoretical Knowledge Instructor, Qatar Aeronautical College

Captain Jyoti Gayan is the Chief Theoretical Knowledge Instructor at Qatar Aeronautical College at Doha, Qatar. He was an Air Force navigator and holds a CPL. He specializes in military air operations and ab initio aviation training. Jyoti is a qualified Air Force instructor and has immense operational experience on the B737 and AN32 aircraft. He had teneted the appointment of Director (Space Operations) in the Air Force. A proponent of appropriate usage of technology, his area of interest is in creating low-cost effective technological solutions for ab initio aviation training. He is currently pursuing his MBA (Aviation Management).

Ab Initio Pilot Training: A Collaborative Effort

The ab initio training at an ATO has been a standalone regimen with limited airline focus. The content conforms to guidelines provided by the regulator where ticking the boxes leads to certification. With regulations generally lagging behind technological development, ab initio training is destined to be relevant only to yesteryear’s aviation environment. ATO reluctance to move from proven practices unduly burdens the airline with time and training costs towards developing the trainee to industry operating standards. The Airline Cadet Program and MPL had mixed results because airlines tended to focus more on cost and maintained a standoffish approach to training at ATOs. 

Global standardization notwithstanding, local factors affect ab initio training significantly. While the need for well-trained and skilled ab initio pilots has been well recognised, efforts to address this concern have for too long concentrated on providing individual training that lacked focus, continuity and industry-wide coordination. Consequently, a pilot shortage looms large on the aviation industry’s horizon. 

The aviation industry relies upon rapid developments in technology to meet its operational and costs challenges. But new technologies bring along inherent disruptive elements that alter the way the industry operates. Therefore, adaptability and agile learning will be the focus of future pilot training. The regulator, airline and the ATO have to step out of their silos and collaborate to develop evidence-based strategic plans. All stakeholders have to share a common vision. Its success and, importantly, its sustainability will depend on the manner in which it is conceived and structured. Regulations have to keep pace with technology. An airline has to define the desired skills to guide ATOs in designing and developing training packages based on preliminary review and analysis of airline needs. ATO training should include exposure to developments in the sector and broader understanding of their challenges and arrive at decisions that best respond to their context.