A Circular Story: International Procedures Pilot Training

A Circular Story: International Procedures Pilot Training

  • September
  • 12
  • 2019
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

Picture this: You're flying over the ocean enroute to a foreign land and, of course, it's a dark and stormy night. You're dealing with building storms and turbulence. Your passengers keep coming to the cockpit to ask if you're there yet. Suddenly, a message comes in from your Data Link Communications and you look at each other and simultaneously say, "What does that mean?" In one of the most complicated flight operation scenarios, it's amazing that there are no regulations for International Procedures training!

International Procedures requires an elevated level of pilot knowledge. Not only do international pilots have to know everything there is about operating in U.S. airspace, they must also learn the nuances of flying, navigating, and communicating over oceans and foreign airspace. It's complicated, confusing, and the rules and technology are always changing. To add a layer of challenge, there are no specific regulations for International Procedures training. The training requirement comes from your Ops Specs or Letters of Authorizations (LOAs), but how to do you set up that training? It's a circular story with no beginning; so that's where Advanced Aircrew Academy comes into your story. We will start it for you.

Customized Training Program

Our International Procedures Subject Matter Expert team, made up of current international pilots, will build a training program unique and customized for your specific flight department at a price your tight-fisted accountants will love. Here's how we do it.

For no extra charge, we will research your authorizations and determine where your training requirement will come from Part 135 Ops Specs or Part 91 LOAs:

  • A056 Data Link Communications (CPDLC/PBCS)
  • B034 IFR Class I En Route Navigation Using Area Navigation Systems (B-RNAV / P-RNAV)
  • B036 Oceanic and Remote Continental Navigation Using Multiple Long-Range Navigation Systems (M-LRNS) (RNP Oceanic Navigation Standards)
  • B037 Operations in Central East Pacific (CEP) Airspace
  • B038 Operations in North Pacific (NOPAC) Airspace
  • B039 Operations in North Atlantic High-Level Airspace (NAT HLA)
  • B046 Operations in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace
  • B050 Authorized Areas of En Route Operations, Limitations, and Provisions
  • B059 Canadian MNPS Airspace
  • C063 Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) Terminal Operations

Just take a quick look at your Ops Specs. It says "…the flight crew must be qualified on the system being used in accordance with the certificate holder's approved training program." The LOAs have similar wording, but instead of Certificate Holder, they say "operator". "Prior to operations in NAT HLA, flight crew members must have completed the operator's training on the requirements specific to planning and operating flights in the NAT HLA. This training is in addition to that provided by the operator on the general requirements for planning and operating flights in oceanic and remote airspace." It's a circular story with no beginning.

Recurrent Training

The recurrent requirement is just as fuzzy as everything else. The concept is the operator would define their International Procedures training syllabus in their training manual (Part 135) as a specialty curriculum, or International Procedures or Operations Manual (Part 91). That manual should define Initial and Recurrent training requirements. The frequency of recurrent training is typically not defined. The industry standard is every 24 months, but the FAA does not document that standard frequency anywhere. Some operators do it annually, but many set up a 24-month cycle of rotating topics.

The FAA also recently issued Notice 8900.518 requiring operators to be issued an updated version of Ops Spec / LOA B039 for Operations in North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA). For issuance of the updated Ops Spec / LOA, you need to show updated flight crew training on the new NAT contingency procedures. Since Advanced Aircrew Academy's international procedures training modules are updated weekly, we have you covered to be able to show the training has the latest changes incorporated.

Custom Modules

Advanced Aircrew Academy’s International Procedures custom modules satisfy your training program curriculum on International Procedures. If you're authorized for worldwide operations in Ops Spec B050, a typical training program requirement is for a 21-hour initial and 8-hour recurrent program. If your Ops Spec B050 limits you to operations within North America, we can deliver courseware as part of your Basic Indoctrination curriculum to meet your international training needs.

Part 91 operators are issued LOAs to operate in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM), Performance Based Navigation (PBN), and NAT HLA. To be issued a LOA, operators develop and submit to the FAA manuals to support the procedures you will follow, including a requirement for training crews.

Our modules comply with the IS-BAO training requirement for "International Operations" defined in Chapter 8 of IS-BAO. No specific time interval is required in IS-BAO; however, we can recommend certain modules for initial training and those that should be reviewed every 24 months in recurrent.

Our Curriculum Content is customized for you and may include the following:

  • ADS-B
  • Europe P-RNAV
  • ICAO Altimetry
  • ICAO Differences
  • ICAO Phraseology
  • Latin and South America
  • New York Oceanic West Airspace
  • North America
  • North Atlantic
  • Pacific Ocean Region
  • Performance Based Navigation
  • Polar Operations
  • RVSM

Contact Advanced Aircrew Academy

Not sure what you need? Just ask us and we'll show you how to make your FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) or Principal Operations Inspector (POI) happy while giving your pilots a comprehensive and interesting training program so they don't have to ask, "What does that mean?"

You can reach us at, or call us at 843-557-1266.