If you’ve had any connection to professional flying in Europe, you understand that the exams required to obtain your airline transport pilot license (ATPL) under the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are notorious for their length and complexity. Recently the agency released its update governing flight crew licensing, the EASA 2020 theory syllabus, including the ATPL. This new document updates the Learning Objectives (LOs) for the theoretical knowledge syllabi, and introduces the TEM (threat and error management) concept and its application.
In early April, Padpilot debuted the first theory textbooks compliant with the new syllabus, which is now taking effect—with an extended transition period; the old syllabus is valid through January 31, 2022, with certain countries having further extensions. The new texts represent the second edition of Padpilot’s text series, expanding on its coverage of TEM and other LOs.
A number of irrelevant LOs have been deleted, and “there is now a greater emphasis on new procedures and technologies,” according to Padpilot’s media release. “For example, details about the separation rules applied to aircraft by air traffic controllers have gone, making room for a more in-depth discussion of new avionics and new datalink communication procedures, and more about aircraft automation. The new syllabus still refers to some obsolete technology, but it’s more relevant to modern airline operations than the old one.” Two tests, VFR and IFR Communications, have been combined into one, reducing the total number of ATPL theory exams to 13 instead of 14 separate tests.
Under the current and widely varying stay-at-home orders globally, the 58 aviation training organizations affiliated with Padpilot have moved much of their ground coursework online. The second edition of the Padpilot books has been optimized to be used in distance learning situations, and they include correlation and application elements such as “Connect the Dots”—tying subject areas together—and Case Studies to explore real-life scenarios.
One new addition to the network of ATOs using the Padpilot materials is EuroPilot Center, which is based in Antwerp, Belgium, and Thermal, California. EuroPilot Center’s CEO, Kay Vereeken, said that they chose Padpilot because “they’re ahead of the game; the books are beautiful and well-structured, and include the new Knowledge, Skill and Attitude areas for the 2020 EASA requirements. They have implemented new technology, such as AR (Augmented Reality), and they’re a good match with our training philosophy which is ‘personal pilot training, in style.’ Padpilot books are convenient, paperless, and a fun way for students to study. And of course, Padpilot always offers great customer service.”