Training organizations, such as Horizon Swiss Flight Academy, are not exempt from the documentation headaches that plague the rest of the aviation community, with everything from instructor manuals and syllabus’ to aircraft certificates and student forms needing to be checked and updated.
But when you’re a growing independent flight training school distinctively offering a combination of modular training and full-time frozen Airline Transport Pilots License (ATPL) courses, helicopter training, technical training, as well as maintenance training, the documentation, regulation and safety requirements are beyond complex.
Since its foundation in 1979, Horizon Swiss Flight Academy has grown into one of the largest flight schools in Switzerland, offering a variety of approved flight training courses to currently 150 students.
As Natasha Hubert, marketing and communication manager at Horizon Swiss Flight Academy says: “We have been operating for over 40 years and have expanded our training suite over time. What this means is that some of the systems and processes we were using, were slightly outdated or managed from different platforms.
“Before digitizing our documentation, our students were using a combination of Electronic Flight Bags accessed on iPads, our own internal software and numerous other tools which made the revision and management process challenging. Moreover, the students had to get their information from several different sources whereas now they have everything neatly organized in one central place.”
With such a comprehensive operation, one of the main factors behind Horizon’s decision to change the way it managed its training and operations manuals was to improve efficiency.
“Moving everything to Web Manuals means that all of our students – no matter if they are studying at the academy in a classroom or simulator, on the aircraft or preparing at home – can log into their training documentation through the Web Manuals iPad app or web-based reader interface and view all relevant documents in one place. There, they can make personalized annotations and participate in course content in a much more organized way. They are also instantly alerted when changes have been made, making the learning process more efficient and up-to-date.”
Besides the students, Horizon’s management personnel also use Web Manuals for numerous processes which brings the total number of users to almost 200. This new level of company-wide integration and efficiency has been particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling the Swiss flight school to ensure a continuation of its practical training courses.
“The benefits of a fully digital offering through Web Manuals have really come into play over the last couple of months, especially for our students who had to cope with the daily changing restrictions due to COVID-19 during practical training.”
One such benefit is the ability to meet the changing learning needs and expectations of a growing tide of digital natives.
“Most of our students have grown up in a highly digitized world, and the rapidly changing technological landscape is altering the way they take in and process information. We saw a need to ensure we are adapting to the training needs of digital natives, and Web Manuals has been integral in helping us achieve that.
“Of course, the aviation industry has also seen a rapid digital transformation over the past few years, so learning in an environment that is fully digital also prepares our students for their futures as airline pilots. Nowadays, an airline cadet starting her/his career at an airline is expected to understand a complex regulatory documentation structure as well as handling it with the digital tools provided by the operators. With that in mind, Web Manuals not only helps us teach our students, but it becomes part of the training process itself.”
Web Manuals has made Horizon Swiss Flight Academy considerably more flexible and efficient across its operations, offering students the ability to learn in a way that meets their expectations. This advancement is providing the flight academy with a competitive edge.