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ICAO - Technology and Innovation

Advancing Aviation Training

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend a conference hosted by ICAO’s Council in Mont-Tremblant, north of Montreal, Canada. The theme of the meeting was Training and Capacity Building in Aviation. It was a proud moment to understand that the most important body in global civil aviation devoted an entire working session to this critical, yet sometimes underestimated, subject.

Representatives of Member States met for one and a half days to discuss skills gaps, training needs, capacity requirements, and action plans to ensure that States support aviation’s efforts in the area of training, leaving no country behind.

The magnitude of the training challenge faced by our industry is being addressed. Through partnerships with IATA and other international organizations, ICAO is taking steps to ensure that training is included in all industry strategic plans, regardless of the level of development or technological capabilities of the different stakeholders.

I was encouraged to hear discussions and heated debate around the need to address technology. How best to use it to our advantage? When to implement innovations? Which new trends are available to our members at IATA? How will technology help us to address the expected shortage in the aviation workforce that has been forecast by many industry experts?

Innovation and technology are not new phenomena for training professionals. In fact, our world is driven by technology. One of our key challenges is to keep up with technological advancements, at work and at home: smartphones, tablets and other mobile technologies; smart boards in the classroom; distance learning; virtual classrooms; drone technology and other advancements in aviation; the list is almost endless.

It has become more and more difficult to keep up with the pace of change. This challenge is one that we need to face and IATA is taking important steps as the organization that leads, represents, and serves some of the most technologically advanced companies in aviation.

ITDI with Innovation and Technology

ITDI embraces new technologies and will continue to drive initiatives to modernize our training platforms as well as those of our partners. We have successfully introduced online and on-demand testing; we have completed a test of our educational gaming platform (showcased at our recent AGM); and we will launch a leadership program for aviation middle managers through our virtual classroom distribution channel later this year. These advancements in technology place ITDI in the upper echelons of educational institutions, addressing the needs of our members while catering to the educational preferences of new generations of aviation professionals.

We are excited and encouraged by our clients’ and partners’ support of these technological advancements and look forward to taking our training platforms to the next level of development. Keeping in the forefront of technology will be part of the challenge. We are taking steps to get you there.


Victor de Barrena
Director, IATA Training and Development Institute

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