Jim Cairns, Global Sales Leader, CAE Commercial Aircraft Maintenance Training, discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted aircraft maintenance technician training, what lessons we have learned at CAE, and the challenges we have overcome in our journey to deliver world-class training as we progress through the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for the commercial aviation industry. As air travel decreased, airlines experienced massive financial losses, and the protection of people was at the forefront of every airline’s strategy. In parallel, MROs experienced an uptick in activity resulting in a need for more training. According to a recent study by Boeing, some 607,000 new commercial aircraft technicians will be needed over the next 20 years. However, aviation technical school graduation rates are not keeping pace.

In response to this new environment and the need for more aircraft maintenance technicians, we’ve created a range of flexible aviation training solutions. These training options include Instructor Led Training (ILT), Live Remote Training (LRT), Self-paced Computer Based Training (CBT) and Blended Courses that integrate instructor led, remote or self-paced training.

As pioneers in virtual training, we have made great strides with our Live Remote Training. Since 2020, over 375 customers have trained with us using LRT, using our CAE virtual classrooms, which allows maintenance technicians to train from anywhere they have Internet access. Over 500 training days have been completed thus far, and the results are encouraging. Not only has student engagement increased with LRT, but student outcomes have improved as well. Compared to pre-COVID in-class training, Live Remote Training has shown virtually no drop in academic achievement. Both airlines and students have embraced our virtual training options and have expressed that this is the training pathway they want to take in the future.

Looking forward, we will continue to leverage the latest technologies to deliver training virtually. We will offer our customers maximum flexibility that provides a unique opportunity for trainees to study according to their needs and allows them to interact with their instructors and peers in real-time.

To Learn More about aviation maintenance training at CAE, visit our maintenance training page.