On January 20, 2011, the FAA published a Final Rule requiring that all FAR Part 135 certificate holders “include in their training programs crew resource management training for crewmembers, including pilots and flight attendants.” The FAA is hoping that the Final Rule will “reduce the frequency and severity of errors that are crew based, which will reduce the frequency of accidents and incidents within the scope of part 135 operations.”
Under the Final Rule, each certificate holder will need to have an approved crew resource management (“CRM”) training program, both initial and recurrent, that includes and addresses at least the following issues:
- Authority of the pilot in command;
- Communication processes, decisions, and coordination, to include communication with Air Traffic Control, personnel performing flight locating and other operational functions, and passengers;
- Building and maintenance of a flight team;
- Workload and time management;
- Situational awareness;
- Effects of fatigue on performance, avoidance strategies and countermeasures;
- Effects of stress and stress reduction strategies; and
Aeronautical decision-making and judgment training tailored to the operator’s flight operations and aviation environment.
Although the Final Rule becomes effective March 22, 2011, operators will have until March 22, 2013 to ensure that all flightcrew members and flight attendants have completed approved CRM initial training with that certificate holder. After that time, the certificate holder will not be able to use flightcrew members or flight attendants unless they have completed either initial or recurrent, as the case may be, CRM training.
Will this rule actually make Part 135 operators safer and reduce accidents? Hard to say. But, I know for certain that compliance with the Final Rule will cost the operators additional time and money to revise their current training programs, to obtain FAA approval for the revised programs and to conduct the initial and recurrent CRM training. Given the likelihood of delays etc. in obtaining FAA approval, I recommend that Part 135 operators start the process now to ensure they will be able to obtain approval and complete their initial CRM training prior to March 22, 2013.