Training and testing of airfield personnel is not new to airports. Airport operators have always had to train personnel with access to the airfield to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of pilots, contractors, security personnel, and passengers.
But since the enactment of the revised Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 139 Certification requirements in 2004, certified airports have been required to not only provide a minimum level of training for personnel, but they are also required to provide proof of this training (which includes both introductory employee orientation and annual training) to the FAA in order to maintain their certification.
One cost-effective solution to assist airport operators is the development of airport-specific, web-based training and testing management systems that not only automate the airport’s training and testing of personnel, but also automate the tracking and reporting of personnel training.
One such system has been developed by Landrum & Brown’s Technology Solutions division, called T3. The T3 system allows airport managers to:
- Create training courses in PowerPoint
- Recycle existing training and testing materials
- Control content updates
- Track results using a simple reporting feature
- Export results directly to Excel, and perhaps most importantly,
- Contain costs
Web-based automated training and testing can be a reliable and efficient way to perform mandatory and annual testing. Using an automated system like T3, an airport can convert its existing training courses and associated testing and start training immediately. Airports can easily recycle existing materials such as PowerPoint presentations, video and audio files by transferring them directly into the system.
A Necessary Component
Efficient administrative management is an important feature of a web-based training system. The system must allow airport management to establish airport groups and develop relevant training and testing courses for each group. Groups are a way for the airport to categorize specific skill sets and map them to roles on the airport. For example, an airport familiarization training course could be tailored for airport operations personnel, airline personnel, and contractors.
- Results Tracking: The system must track individual student results and monitor an entire group automatically and easily.
- Confidentiality and Security: The system must offer multiple levels of authority along with controlled access to training courses and tests with user ID and password security.
- Group Management and Scheduling: Training management is an essential component of a system’s administrative module. Some proficiencies or certifications may expire and FAA Part 139 testing requirements may change. The system must track annual testing requirements and notify individuals of upcoming renewal dates. This feature allows airport management to be proactive and stay on top of these testing events, an essential new requirement of Part 139 compliance.
The Effectiveness of Web-Based Learning
A web-based system allows airport managers the flexibility to offer on- or off-site training. As long as the user can connect to the Internet/Intranet, they can take a training course. This allows an airport’s training program to be flexible and permits individuals to study at their convenience. If an airport’s operation is 24/7, this allows training to occur during all shifts without physically having an individual to teach or monitor the course. This makes delivery of training programs completely flexible and ultimately more cost-effective to the airport.