Information regarding Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) User Approval
The requirement for a User Approval is set out in the operational requirements of EU-OPS for aeroplanes.
The CAA may grant a User Approval to an Organisation wishing to use a particular qualified Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD), which is either a Full Flight Simulator (FFS) or a Flight Training Device (FTD) for the purpose of training, testing and checking its flight crew (including Flight Engineers as appropriate).
The Issue of a User Approval
The CAA will normally accept User Approval applications from UK Organisations only.
Organisations applying for a User Approval will normally hold a valid Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for the relevant aircraft type. Other cases for granting a User Approval are considered by FSTD Standards on an individual basis taking into account the need for and the competences required for the training activity.
User Approvals remain valid only if the FSTD maintains its specified qualification level and if all related conditions and limitations listed on the Qualification Certificate for the FSTD and User Approval are complied with.
After the CAA’s implementation of EC Regulation 1178/2011 the approval of a FSTD for training for Part-FCL licences and ratings will be part of an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) approval (and the associated course approval(s)). For operational checks required by the regulations for Air Operations, currently EU-OPS (for fixed wing) and JAR-OPS 3 (for rotary wing), User Approvals will still be required. It is envisaged that when Part OPS is implemented in late 2014 it is expected that the approval for use will be managed by the approval of the relevant Air Operator Certificate Holder’s Operations Manual (Part D).
The current process also requires a declaration to be made in respect of the differences between the FSTD and the aircraft for which training is being undertaken on that FSTD. Additional information concerning identified differences and training mitigation must be submitted with the application where appropriate.
The Issue of User Approvals for FSTDs not qualified by the CAA
FSTDs Qualified by certain EU Member States
The legal responsibility for the acceptance of a device and the issue of a User Approval remains with the relevant National Aviation Authority which for UK Users is the CAA. Recognising that the former JAA mutual recognition Member States have declared that they will continue to apply the same standards and processes then the qualification standards remain acceptable in principle and the CAA will normally be able to accept the qualification and issue any requested User Approval without further evaluation.
The CAA, however, reserves the right to carry out an evaluation or assessment of the device for training, testing and checking purposes prior to the issue of a User Approval if deemed appropriate. This discretion may be exercised for the first device to be issued a User Approval from a given State or if the Evaluation Report and Qualification Certificate submitted suggests an issue that needs further investigation.
The above applies to fixed & rotary wing FFSs and fixed wing FTDs qualifications issued by the following EU Member States:
FSTDs qualified in any other EU Member State are considered as a ‘FSTD qualified by other National Aviation Authorities’.
FSTDs Qualified by other National Aviation Authorities
A UK Operator may have cause to use a FSTD located overseas that is qualified by a foreign National Aviation Authority (NAA) that is not part of the arrangements for mutual acceptance.
User Approvals related to FSTDs located overseas and qualified by a foreign NAA should be sought from FSTD Standards.
The CAA may need to conduct a full FSTD Qualification or a special evaluation to ensure that the training, testing and checking syllabus of the proposed User is compatible with the FSTD.
A FSTD, during its working life, may be purchased by another Operator, relocated, modified, updated or upgraded. Such changes may affect the User Approval. It is the responsibility of the User to ensure that the device being used remains qualified to the appropriate level that supports his training needs.
Applying for a User Approval
Application form SRG 2122, together with the appropriate fee (and, if applicable, additional information concerning the differences between the FSTD and the User's aircraft), should be sent to FSTD Standards. Details of fees can be found in the CAA Scheme of Charges - Personnel Licensing.
If the FSTD has been qualified by another EU Member State whose qualification may be recognised by the CAA a copy of the current Qualification Certificate and the latest Evaluation Report must also be enclosed. The CAA will advise if there is a need for a CAA evaluation of the device as part of the User Approval process.
Application for an initial User Approval should be submitted as early as possible. For renewal of a User Approval application must be with CAA no later than 15 working days prior to expiry of the current Approval.
A User Approval or renewal thereof is valid for a fixed period of 12 months.