by Matt Thurber
– June 22, 2020, 11:59 AM
NetJets’ fractional-share operation has become the first Part 91K and 135 business aviation operation to receive FAA support to launch an advanced qualification program (AQP) for pilot training. The company has been working on this effort since 2018, but this process began 10 years earlier when NetJets transitioned to training to Part 121 standards.
The first NetJets fleets to transition to the AQP are the Citation Sovereign and Latitude, with the Citation XLS next on the schedule. This will be followed by the Bombardier Global, Embraer Phenom 300, and Bombardier Challenger 350 fleets later this year. Next year will see the Challenger 650 and the Citation Longitude added to AQP. NetJets’ Gulfstream fleet will be the last to follow, which will be done at the FlightSafety learning center in Savannah, Georgia. Training on the other fleets will be done at the FlightSafety center next door to NetJets’ headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.
NetJets had already implemented a higher standard of training—under a program where the FAA recommends that charter operators train pilots to Part 121 standards—from 2008 to 2018. This included implementing an aviation safety action program (ASAP) and flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) program. NetJets also more recently added an air carrier designated examiner program where FAA inspectors oversee all training and checking and are dedicated to the NetJets operation. All of these efforts got NetJets nearly all the way to meeting AQP requirements, and the FAA encouraged the company to work with the FAA to achieve full AQP status.
AQP steps up pilot training to a much higher level compared to traditional business aviation processes. “What we have found is AQP allows NetJets to develop a training program that’s appropriate for us and our pilots,” said Sean Kennedy, NetJets director of operations and v-p of operations. “They can focus on where they need to improve and be better prepared for our flight operations.” A key part of AQP is adding real-world scenarios to flight training, based on FOQA information from the NetJets fleet.
“AQP is a whole different ballgame,” he added. “It’s a custom program for NetJets and the FAA to look at data and decide what do you need to meet the next cycle [of training]. The requirements change every year. It’s relevant to what’s happening in the industry.”
“NetJets prides itself in our unwavering commitment to safety,” said NetJets COO Alan Bobo. “We are thrilled to be the first private aviation company to receive support from the FAA under this new program. The standards for safety have always been the top priority for NetJets and we look forward to continuing to evolve our service, safety, and success with AQP.”
Story credit: https://www.ainonline.com/
Photo credit: NetJets has become the first FAR Part 91K/135 business aviation operation to receive FAA support to launch an advanced qualification program (AQP) for pilot training. The first NetJets fleets to transition to the AQP are the Citation Sovereign and Latitude, with the Citation XLS next on the schedule. (Photo: NetJets)