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Thales and partners are reshaping the future of airline pilot training with the PERCEVAL project

Mar 27. 2024  Thales has formed a consortium with ENAC, ENS Paris-Saclay, Simaero, AviaSim and Corsair to develop a tooled methodology for evaluating pilot behaviour under the PERCEVAL project (Pilot bEhaviouR and CompEtency EVALuation). This Thales-led research project is designed to meet the new flight safety requirements of the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Sponsored by the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), the PERCEVAL project (Pilot bEhaviouR and CompEtency EVALuation) will be conducted by a Thales-led consortium including the ENAC national civil aviation school, the Centre Borelli research laboratory from ENS Paris-Saclay, the Corsair airline and the Simaero and AviaSim training centres to validate a new approach to behavioural evaluation of airline pilots and air traffic controllers.

Training programmes are changing rapidly in the civil aviation sector, particularly with the introduction of Evidence-Based Training (EBT) concepts and other new training and evaluation methods. One major benefit of the new approach is its focus on non-technical skills and their role in building trust and developing the capacity of crew members to recognise unexpected or unpredictable situations.

By bringing together all the stakeholders in the training community, the consortium will leverage this collective intelligence to reshape the future of airline pilot training and improve flight safety by continuing to reduce the risk of human error.

From ab initio training to recurrent training and crew training, the consortium has all the resources needed to design, develop and test this new technological concept. As consortium leader, Thales brings to the table the knowledge and technology from its research into human factors analysis for aircraft pilots based on a multi-modal approach combining voice, eye movements and motor skills.The DGAC supports this project as an innovative initiative contributing to the evolution of airline pilot training.

Partners and sponsors

The consortium brings together the expertise of all the stakeholders in the airline pilot training community, including airlines, training centres, civil aviation schools, and public and private research organisations.

Thales – Consortium leader

Thales is a global leader in advanced technologies within three domains: Defence & Security, Aeronautics & Space, and Digital Identity & Security. It develops products and solutions that help make the world safer, greener and more inclusive. The Group invests close to €4 billion a year in Research & Development, particularly in key areas such as quantum technologies, Far Edge computing, 6G and cybersecurity. Thales has 77,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2022, the Group generated sales of €17.6 billion

ENAC – Partner

ENAC (Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile), under the supervision of the French Ministry of Ecology and Solidarity, and the French civil aviation authority (Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile, DGAC), brings together teaching and research in aeronautical engineering, air navigation and aircraft piloting. Each year, ENAC welcomes over 2,000 students enrolled across more than 30 study programmes, and 3,500 trainees enrolled in continuing training courses. ENAC's 28,000 graduates can be found in a hundred different countries on five continents, proof of the university's international reach. ENAC's scope, human resources and teaching methods make it Europe's leading air transport university. 

ENS Paris-Saclay – Partner

The “Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay", a large and major school for careers in research and higher education, aims to lead its students towards a doctorate. Students are rigorously selected to follow advanced courses in the basic sciences, humanities, social sciences and engineering. 

The Centre Borelli is an applied mathematics laboratory. Created in January 2020, it is the result of the merger of two research units: the Center for Mathematics and their applications (CMLA), Mathematics laboratory of ENS Paris-Saclay and CNRS and Cognition Action Groupe (Cognac-G), neuroscience laboratory of the University of Paris, CNRS and army health. The Centre Borelli is a multidisciplinary research laboratory bringing together researchers in mathematics, computer science, neuroscience, but also many doctors. It is involved in the training of graduates of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, and coordinates the Master's degree in Mathematics, Vision and Learning (MVA).

Simaero - Partner 

An international group specializing in airline pilot training on flight simulators, Simaero is partnering with over 250 airlines from 80 countries. Based in Paris, the group has training centers located in France, South Africa, China, and soon in India, offering training on a wide range of aircraft, including Airbus, Boeing, and ATR . Simaero is certified by more than 50 civil aviation authorities, such as the EASA in Europe, the SACAA in South Africa, and the CAAC in China. Simaero also provides its clients with technical expertise for simulator upgrades and relocations through its subsidiary « Simaero Engineering». 

AviaSim - Partner

AviaSim is the European leader in aeronautical leisure. The company created in 2012 offers every curious and aviation enthusiast the opportunity to try piloting an airliner on board an ultra-realistic simulator. With its network and its simulators, AviaSim now meets the demand for training or selection of future B737/A320 flight crew.

Corsair - Partner

Corsair is a French long-haul scheduled airline employing 1,100 people. It flies 1.5 million passengers a year. Corsair operates flights to the Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Martinique), the Indian Ocean (Reunion, Mauritius, Mayotte, Madagascar), Africa (Ivory Coast, Mali, Benin) and Canada (Montreal). Corsair operates from Paris/Orly, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes.

DGAC – Sponsor

France's General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has the mission of guaranteeing the safety and security of air transport by placing the logic of sustainable development at the heart of its action. It deals with all the components of civil aviation: sustainable development, safety, air traffic control, economic regulation, support for aeronautical construction, general aviation, aeronautical training.


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