Safety & Training
Standards & Regulations
New ICAO Document for helicopter training devices
By International Working Group
March 2. 2011 – Since early 2007, an International Working Group (IWG) has been working, under the auspices of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), on developing new criteria for the classification and qualification of civil helicopter Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs).
By International Working Group
March 2. 2011 – Since early 2007, an International Working Group (IWG) has been working, under the auspices of the
Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), on developing new criteria for the classification and qualification
of civil helicopter Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs).
This work is intended to result in the
publication, by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), of a new volume, dedicated to
helicopters, of the “Manual of Criteria for the Qualification of FSTDs” – Document 9625, and its
subsequent adoption as Regulation by civil aviation authorities worldwide.
The work, which is based on helicopter pilot training tasks, takes advantage of a similar effort for
aeroplanes which has already been published by ICAO. It is intended to facilitate a step-change
improvement in the safety of helicopter operations by enhancing the training capability of FSTDs and
reducing the risks involved in actual flight training.
The Helicopter IWG has expert international representation from the industry, including regulators,
helicopter and simulator manufacturers, training organisations, helicopter operators and users.
One of the principal aims of the work is to improve accessibility to synthetic training across
the helicopter industry and thus improve safety.
This is the first time that helicopter simulation has been exclusively considered as a subject
by ICAO. The draft document has been submitted to ICAO; publication is expected later in
Helicopter pilot training tasks and licences were used as the basis for
defining five baseline FSTD types, which provide the foundation for
The IWG has remained actively engaged with the wider helicopter industry throughout the entire
process, with regular briefings at major events and conferences. In November 2010, the work was
endorsed by the delegates at the RAeS Flight Simulation Conference and draft documentation was
made available for comment on the RAeS website. The comment period closed on 20 January 2011.
Submission to ICAO
The comments have now been considered and incorporated where appropriate; the draft was
submitted to ICAO on 1 March 2011.
The work of the Helicopter IWG is part of the largest harmonisation effort ever attempted in the
history of the flight simulation industry. It is anticipated that achieving an internationally accepted
definition of helicopter FSTDs will have significant benefits across the industry.
- reduce and simplify the administrative burden for stakeholders
- permit a more consistent approach by simulator manufacturers
provide a clear expression of the suitability of use of specific FSTDs for the training tasks
associated with licences, ratings, checks, etc. for training organisations and operators
- improve the quality of training and reduce costs
Ultimately, it will improve access to flight simulation and thus quality of training, and provide a
welcome improvement in aviation safety.
Matt Jennings, co-Chairman of the H-IWG, will deliver a press briefing at 1400 – 1445 on Saturday 5th
March at Heli-Expo 2011, Orlando, Florida.
The document submitted to ICAO is available for viewing online at:
For further information, please contact any of the following:
Henry Defalque – International Civil Aviation Organization, 999 University Street, Montreal,
Quebec, Canada H3C 5H7
H-IWG Training sub-group:
Matt Jennings (firstname.lastname@example.org)
H-IWG Technical sub-group:
Stephane Clement (email@example.com) or Rene Tassan (Rene.Tassan@eurocopter.com)