Aviation Safety Training

Aviation Safety Training


Recent developments in aviation have indicated a need to focus more closely on a formal approach to aviation safety. The introduction of new industry requirements, underpinned by ICAO Standards, has brought new structures and processes for the formal management and regulation of aviation safety.

These developments have led to a need for operators, service-providers and regulators to enhance the expertise of their safety personnel, including through the introduction of a wide range of formal training programmes.

According to ICAO Doc 9859 - Safety Management Manual safety training and education is an important element of the safety promotion component of the safety management system (SMS).

Enhancing Expertise

Safety has always been the first priority of the aviation industry. A crucial aspect of improving safety capabilities is enhancing expertise. The needs in this area have been clearly shown through measurement and assessment of the implementation of safety systems, both in safety management and in safety regulation.

Generally, training requirements exist at two levels:-

The Safety Training Marketplace

The provision of training, including in the field of safety, is an activity run mostly on a commercial basis. A considerable number of training organisations deliver courses using either standard syllabi, or customised to meet specific organisational needs.

As an example, in Europe, it is possible to acquire formal courses on European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) requirements from a range of suppliers in a range of languages. Suppliers include bespoke training companies, but also consultancy or commercial training enterprises run by aviation companies, such as major airlines, aviation maintenance organisations and even aviation-related universities. In certain cases, training courses are provided to individuals from member states of international organisations, either free or at reduced prices, as part of the benefits of membership of those organisations. International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and EUROCONTROL are two examples of organisations which operate this system.


In the case of training to support compliance with legal and regulatory rules, it is often the case that certain safety-related aviation tasks cannot be legally performed unless the relevant safety training has been undertaken with successful results. This is certainly true of all aspects of aircraft maintenance, training for flight crew and air traffic control, and many other aspects of aircraft and aerodrome operations.

In these cases, it is necessary for those organisations responsible for setting the industry standards to verify the adequacy of the training provided to provide the levels of competence required as a means to ensure compliance with the standards. This is done through a system of accreditation, often in the form of regulatory approvals of the training establishments concerned. As an example, the EASA Basic Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 2018/1139) requires the Agency to “…issue and renew the certificates of pilot training organisations and aero-medical centres located outside the territory of the Member States and, where relevant, their personnel…”

Safety Training in ATM

In air traffic management (ATM), training in ATM safety is a more limited market, but nevertheless still growing at a significant rate. In ATM safety management, courses are provided:

  • at a general level, providing awareness of safety concepts and management systems, as well as
  • on a wide range of specific safety management topics, including the application of safety assessment methodologies, development of safety cases and safety occurrence investigation.

In ATM safety regulation also, a range of courses is offered by EUROCONTROL to address specific aspects of safety oversight, including application of the current European-level requirements for ATM safety, and the application of audit techniques to safety regulation.

Most recently, it has been found essential to further enhance this training programme, and a formal training curriculum has now been launched to provide a complete training package for National Supervisory Authority (NSA) personnel. The NSA Training Initiative will provide formal safety education for National Supervisory Authority personnel from ab-initio level to fully trained regulator.

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Further Reading

Further information about the range of ATM safety training offered by EUROCONTROL is available at:


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