1. Where does a flight department who wants to start flying internationally start the process of transitioning their crews to be proficient on those missions? Let’s walk through some of the steps.

Like a lot of disciplines (i.e. golf or weight lifting) it’s best to get quality instruction and learn correctly right from the beginning. Initial International Procedures training offers an in-depth explanation of the basics. This can allow a department to branch out from there and explore the specifics that a particular region of operation or aircraft technology may require. It’s difficult to appreciate the application of FANS 1/A if you are not familiar with the challenges that lead to its development.

2. What are the top three things these crews need to learn about flying internationally.

1.    Know who you are communicating with on the radio or via CPDLC and, understand what they require from you.

2.    Have, use, and believe in your International Standard Operations Procedures and checklist. There are a lot of great resources for creating them but if you are new to this type of operation using a vendor is the most effective way to ensure you are not missing critical information.

3.    Don’t try to go it alone. Use an International Service Provider (ISP) to help ensure you have all the permits and approvals. Their services go beyond just having a representative on the ground to meet you on arrival. An ISP can be a critical resource when you have a last-minute change to your passenger manifest, destination, or divert unexpectantly. 

3. What are some of the problems international flights can run into, and how proper transition training can help prevent those things from happening.

Flight procedures, when not executed correctly compromise your safety, and the safety of your employer. FAA TERPS procedures are unique to our airspace and international flight procedures are almost universally based on an ICAO system that can be easily learned but can offer some nasty surprises to an unprepared crew. 

You are unable to provide the required Authorizations (Ops Specs or LOAs) or permits to a local official and your next flight is restricted or delayed. 

Your Insurance doesn’t satisfy the local requirements and the aircraft is grounded until new insurance paperwork arrives.

The local officials don’t like your medical certificate and will not allow you to fly until you obtain a new medical exam.

There is a world of differences when operating internationally and success is ultimately the result of extensive preparation and teamwork. Pick your team with care!   

4. What are some of the weak areas we see in crews who have only flown domestically when they attempt to transition to international missions?

The misconception that complying with FAA rules outside the U.S. will protect them. 

The idea that operating in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean doesn’t expose them to the risk of international operations. A short flight south across the border can expose you to as much or more risk than a flight to Europe.

5. Final thoughts and considerations.

Don’t risk a compromising surprise when operating internationally. Learn what to look out for and where to find the answers. 30 West IP training is provided by business aviation pilots with extensive international experience who can help navigate the process.

30West IP has been licensed by Jeppesen to integrate their products into our courseware. We have also developed cockpit imagery of FMS/eCDUs and computerized flight plans. We combine all these components (what the crew actually sees and uses in the cockpit) and apply them to specific airspace requirements based on RCP.PSP, and RNP standards.

We maximize the use of photos, graphics, maps, and animations to explore a topic rather than textual bullet points. Our courseware is constantly updated and reflects the latest changes in airspace requirements and North Atlantic/FAA procedural emphasis items.