Successful takeoff for Operation UNIFIER flight safety course

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Article / November 18, 2016

By: Jacques Michaud, Ukraine Flight Safety Course Mission Lead and Course Director

After many months of preparation and discussion between the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) flight safety authorities, a three-week Ukraine Flight Safety Couse (UFSC) took off smoothly on November 7, 2016 at the National Land Forces Academy in Lviv, Ukraine. Thirty-four candidates from the Air Force, Army, and Navy are attending this course specifically designed to meet the needs of the UAF.

Colonel Serghii Zhydkov, the Chief of Flight Safety for the UAF, was very impressed with the quality of the instruction provided so far. “The Flight Safety Course shows us how the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has implemented International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and practices,” said Colonel Zhydkov following the first few days of classes. “This course will definitely help the UAF and State aviation organizations in their ICAO aviation management strategy.”

A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO helps states cooperate together in support of the safe, secure and efficient operation of the global air transport network by codifying the principles and practices of international air navigation, flight inspection, border-crossing procedures, and air accident investigations.

The course is being directed by Mr. Jacques Michaud, an aviation safety expert and public servant with the Directorate of Flight Safety in Ottawa, and is supported by a small team of 10 CAF and UAF experts. At least 60 aviation safety specialists and commanding officers of the UAF will be trained before the end of March 2017 via the current course and another serial in early 2017.

The course is divided in two distinct segments: Part 1 is delivery of the Online Safety Management Course on behalf of the ICAO, while Part 2 covers a series of aviation safety related topics explaining how the CAF is implementing the standards and practices recommended by ICAO.

This arrangement is a first for the ICAO in partnering with military organizations. The CAF specialists will facilitate delivery of the online course and will administer the five mandatory tests needed to receive the ICAO certificate on their behalf.

During Part 2 of the course, the RCAF Director of Flight Safety, Colonel Steve Charpentier, and a Human Factor Specialist will join the UFSC team, as well as aviation safety experts from Poland and the Czech Republic. They will participate in panel discussions with the candidates and assess how the UAF candidates deal with a practical crash exercise scenario.

The flight safety initiative is one of seven different Operation UNIFIER lines of effort to build capacity within the UAF. As of November 2016, the Canadian Armed Forces have provided more than 2300 training opportunities to UAF soldiers and officers on Operation UNIFIER.

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