International Procedures Training Clear as Mud? We’ve Got the Filter!

International Procedures Training Clear as Mud? We’ve Got the Filter!

  • August
  • 10
  • 2021
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

International Procedures training is a shared international headache for flight departments. Trying to determine what recurrent training topics you need and when is confusing for both new and seasoned flight department training managers, especially since it's not specifically defined by the FAA.

If you're operating Part 135, 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 Letters of Authorization (LOAs) for Part 91 operators 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.

Beyond just checking a training box, it's crucial that pilots have current information about the changes and nuances of flying within another country's airspace. Let's eat the elephant one bite at a time by giving you an overview of the topics in a typical required training program.

Part 135 vs 91

If you're operating Part 135, your Ops Spec B050 and Training Program Manual make it easy for us to determine what topics you need to train. Show us your Ops Specs and Training Manual and we'll show you our eLearning training plan that will comply with your specific authorizations and company‑specific procedures.

If you're operating Part 91, you are issued LOAs to operate in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM), Performance Based Navigation (PBN), and NAT HLA. To be issued an LOA, you've already developed and submitted to the FAA manuals to support the procedures you will follow, including a requirement for training crews—but how does that translate into which module topics to take? Show us your International and Operations Manuals and we'll show you how our modules comply with your training requirement for International Operations, which will also comply with the IS-BAO training requirement defined in Chapter 8.

International Procedures Courseware Topics

Our Curriculum Content is customized for you, but here's the list of courseware topics. Typical plans have a 21-hour Initial and an 8- hour Recurrent Curriculum, but we can build a plan for your specific operation.

1. ADS-B

Yes, ADS-B is old news, but operators use this module to satisfy their training program requirements. ADS-B is in use around the world to enhance or extend the surveillance capability of their ATC systems. This module is operationally oriented and covers operating procedures, flight planning, MEL procedures, human factors considerations, ADS-B phraseology, normal and abnormal system operation, aircraft IDs, data source errors, and incident reporting.


FAA AC 120-70C states "operators that choose to use a data link system (in addition to the required voice communication system) must obtain FAA design approval and...operation specifications (Ops Specs)." This module can be used to demonstrate compliance with the training requirement of the Ops Spec or LOA.

3. Europe

This is where you are going to get all your information about operating within Europe, including safety/risk assessment, requirements, ICAO flight plans, slots, terminal/approach operations, enroute, and most importantly, contingencies and emergency training.

4. and 5. ICAO Differences (includes Altimetry) and ICAO Phraseology

These two modules are all about the nuances of unique airspace and the rules that govern U.S.‑registered aircraft when operating outside of the U.S. Ambiguous or confusing ATC phraseology is a frequent contributor to aircraft accidents and incidents. One or both of these modules can be used to expand your training to meet the minimum training requirements.

6. Latin and South America

The largest hazard when operating in this area is lack of situational awareness, inadequate facilities / equipment, unusual weather, and active volcanoes. This module also focuses on communications, FIR crossings, permits, and terrain avoidance.

7. and 8. North America and North America / New York Oceanic West

Maybe you are just authorized for North America? Both modules cover the intricacies of flying all over the North American continent including information sources, customs, and specific procedures for Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. You may also be required to train on anti‑corruptions laws, so this is included as well. Our North America / NY Oceanic West module is expanded to provide information on extended overwater operations, RNP, and contingency procedures.

9. North Atlantic / Europe P‑RNAV

The North Atlantic / Europe P‑RNAV module follows a trip from KTEB to EKCH (Copenhagen). It includes all of the oceanic and contingency procedure information. NAT Doc 007, NAT Ops Bulletins, FAA Advisory Circulars, and FAA InFO and SAFOs are all reviewed in the context of flight planning and following the trip.

10. and 11. Pacific Ocean Region AND Pacific Ocean Flight

These two modules sound the same but have different perspectives. Pacific Ocean Region is an overview of oceanic and remote operations (RVSM, RNP-10), procedures, and contingencies. It is designed to be paired with our North Atlantic module and covers differences in oceanic procedures specific to the Pacific.

Pacific Ocean Flight was created for operators that only operate oceanic flights between the west coast of the U.S. to Hawaii. Instead of just including Pacific oceanic differences, it includes all oceanic procedures and contingencies. It shows you actual flight planning and execution of a flight from KVNY to PHOG, one of the most popular routes.

12. Performance Based Navigation

The module meets the FAA RNAV pilot training requirements published in Advisory Circular (AC) 90‑100A, U.S. Terminal and En‑Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations. Operators use this module to satisfy the training requirement for issuance of Ops Spec / LOA B034, B036, and C063. The module includes training on P‑RNAV; B-RNAV; RNAV-1, 2, 4, 5, 10; and RNP-1, 2, 5, 10.

13. Polar Routes

Polar routes require many additional considerations compared to operations at mid latitudes. You must understand magnetic unreliability, cold fuel issues, polar track structure, and much more. This also covers the Polar Track System, communications, solar activity, and survival equipment.

14. RVSM

Operations in RVSM airspace have become a non-event. We regularly climb through FL290 without a thought that we are entering RVSM airspace. Although it has become commonplace, the FAA still mandates training on the subject. The RVSM online module is designed for pilots flying aircraft that have either an LOA, Ops Specs, or Part 91 Appendix G Section 9 authorization to operate in RVSM airspace.

Still clear as mud? Just email us your Ops Specs or training manual/LOAs and we'll put together a training plan customized for your specific operations, including pricing details. Contact us from any page of our website or email