Industry representatives from all facets of aviation attended the Pilot Training Reform Symposium put on by the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) last week in Atlanta, Georgia. The event kicked off a broad reform program aimed at improving civilian flight training. SAFE sees reformed flight instruction as an opportunity to address current issues with fatal accident rates, student retention, student starts and aircraft sales that continue to deter growth in the aviation industry. Representatives from 11 OEMs, five insurance companies, 14 courseware providers, 20 aviation university programs, 42 aviation associations and 46 flight schools attended the two day event.
After a full day of presentations, the more than 150 attendees were separated into six breakout groups during the second day to generate ideas on how to best proceed with the reform program. That afternoon, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt spoke, recognizing the SAFE initiative as an important component of FAA’s five-year strategy for transforming general aviation safety. He identified four elements of this strategy: risk management, training and education, safety promotion, and outreach and engagement. And he spoke about the importance of NextGen as a safety initiative. (click here to read Babbitt’s speech)