Before a Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) can be used for training, checking or testing flight deck crewmembers, the FSTD must be evaluated and qualified by the National Aviation Authority of the crew using that FSTD.
Only after a successful evaluation does the FSTD become qualified.
An evaluation means that the Authority will check the FSTD objectively, by running and analyzing tests against a preset standard, and subjectively, by flying the FSTD.
The Authority will also carry out an audit on the quality system implemented by the FSTD’s owner/sponsor.
The main FSTD regulators are:Once the FSTD is qualified, it will have to undergo an annual evaluation by the same Authority in order to maintain current qualification.
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and
- European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
The current FAA Regulation for FSTD evaluation & quality system is 14 CFR Part 60. On the other hand, the current EASA Regulation for FSTD quality systems is Part-ORA; CS-FSTD A is for FSTD evaluation.
All FSTDs in PSAA are evaluated and qualified by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) according to GACA Regulations (accepting FAA standard).
The B747-400 FFS is currently the only FSTD in PSAA that holds dual qualifications, GACA and EASA. This means that the B747-400 FSTD is evaluated twice annually, once by GACA and another by EASA.
Both 14 CFR Part 60 and CS-FSTD A are presently being revised in order to bring both regulations closer to ICAO doc. 9625, encompassing standards on the evaluation of FSTDs.