“Airmen are the backbone of the National Airspace System, and we are committed to providing them with the best and latest information regarding safety events, training, and resources.”
James E. Pyles
National FAASTeam Outreach Manager
The US Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team (FAASTeam) has been charged with improving the Nation’s aviation safety record by conveying safety principles and practices through training, outreach, and education. Given that mandate, how do they effectively educate over 800,000 pilots and mechanics located across United States?
The US aviation community is considered to be above average in their use of technology. Research suggests that the vast majority of pilots and mechanics are internet users and most have high speed connections to the World Wide Web. The FAA desired to capitalize on the tech savvy nature of airmen by providing an interactive learning center on the web. The FAA contracted with Gold Systems to design, deploy and maintain an interactive online system that could reach, train, and educate the vast aviation community, regardless of geographical location. The system’s content needed to be easy to update and maintain by FAA personnel and have an automated review and approval process. An evaluation tool was needed to help assess the effectiveness of the education process for airmen and to gather their feedback on the system materials. Finally, the system needed to be integrated with the FAA’s WINGS program so that Airmen could gain course credit toward their WINGS phase.
The outcome of this collaboration was the Aviation Learning Center (ALC) on FAASafety.gov. This center provides easy access to information from Online Courses, FAA publications, PowerPoint presentations, Videos, SPANS Events and Notices, News and other site content. Online Courses provide a quick and easy way for airmen to stay current with the latest safety information available from the FAA. The system also provides a rapid and cost-effective distribution channel for safety information. During recent changes to the airspace around the Nation’s capital, the FAASaftey.gov ALC played a critical role in educating Airmen on safely conducting operations inside this sensitive airspace. The ALC is continually updated with information to assist airmen in education and training endeavors. The system allows the FAA to continue to develop course material that focuses on the top accidental causal factors. Over 50,000 airmen have registered for courses on FAASafety.gov, and more than 300,000 have visited the Online Resource Center. The most important outcome of this initiative has been a better educated and more safety conscious aviation community.
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