Dangerous Goods Training for Air Transport
Safe transportation for people and goods
The International Air Transportation Association (IATA), the umbrella organization of the airlines annually publishes the latest regulations on the transport of dangerous goods in air traffic (IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations). The objectives include promoting safe, regular and economical air transport of passengers and cargo, as well as fostering the collaboration among enterprises engaged in international air transport services.
Pilots in the German Armed Forces must be instructed regularly on current regulations (in addition to the IATA DGR, this also includes military rules of the German Armed Forces). For according to national and international regulations, in the Federal Republic of Germany aviation companies and operators of aircraft conducting commercial transports are only permitted to transport dangerous goods by air with a permit from the authorities. The training is only valid for a period of two years, after which the pilot must undergo repeat training.
The examination has thus far been administered by the competent national authority, the German Federal Aviation Office (LBA). With roughly 1,500 German Armed Forces pilots to be trained, this means a considerable expenditure, as the pilots undergo approx. 16 instruction hours and must additionally complete a 90-minute written final examination in preparation for the tests taking place at least every two years. All relevant training materials must also be certified by the LBA and approved for instruction purposes.
In order to reduce this high administrative burden and time commitment, an e-learning program was to be developed in which the dangerous goods regulations according to IATA-DGR are explained using multimedia, realistic materials that are tailored to the target group, thus enabling the pilot to obtain his training certificate in a final test certified by the LBA.
In cooperation with Lufthansa Flight Training, benntec Systemtechnik GmbH put together an author team which has professionally, and in a short time, prepared the extensive material (about 21 teaching units at 45 minutes each). Since the program had to be certified by the LBA, they were involved in the development from the early stages of the project and the team regularly received feedback on the products produced (rough concept, fine concept, books, functional test version).
The learning program encompasses instruction material for regular training and for obtaining certification for IATA dangerous goods regulations. It is divided up into 8 modules, mirroring the content of the IATA dangerous goods regulations and an additional examination module. In addition, reference is made to the special military considerations when transporting dangerous goods.
The main component of the program is the cognitive transfer of factual knowledge concerning dangerous goods. In the design and production of the program, great emphasis was placed on multimedia preparation of the content, in order to present the heavily fact-based material to the learner in ways that are as appealing, understandable, and interesting as possible. Videos, for example, illustrate the impact of improper handling of dangerous goods, photos are used to learn the dangerous goods signs, and animations demonstrate the repercussions of improper loading. The use of cartoons in the learning program lightens up the material. The complete learning program also has an audio track, thus allowing the content to be presented not only visually but also acoustically.
As a result, the program was not only certified for training purposes, the Federal Aviation Office (LBA) also gave its approval that upon successful completion of the final test, an additional examination is no longer required. This means that the pilots can obtain their certification directly via the online program. It also means that the anticipated project objective was exceeded by far!
This represents a significant added value for the customer, as not only the preparation training (two days of classroom instruction) but also the 90-minute written examination were able to be replaced by the e-learning program. Approx. 1,500 employees in various ranks can in the future provide online statutory documentation that they have undergone a refresher course in IATA regulations. The status documentation of pilot training at the German Armed Forces, the provision of documentation for authorities and the entire administrative process, has been streamlined to a large degree.