Providing online training for business aviation professionals globally.

Blog’s Value to You, Part I: Assessing Your Needs

Author: Scott Macpherson started in response to the need for comprehensive and customized online training programs for business aviation that covered all the “non-aircraft-specific topics” (as we awkwardly called them at the time—NBAA 2006). Since created this sector, there has been a proliferation of online programs claiming to do what we do—at one-third the price, of course. From the viewpoint of an aviation manager, chief pilot, or training officer trying to do the right thing and use due diligence, this can be quite overwhelming and bewildering.

The Landscape of Training – Maximizing Value in a Confusing Market

It can be difficult for someone who is primarily an operational person, such as a maintenance manager or chief pilot, to keep all the regulations, standards, best practices (e.g., the IS-BAO), company manual requirements, and needs of individual trainees in mind, and ensure that training is maximized in value and not just a “box checking” exercise. To make matters worse, each training vendor names topics differently and claims to offer everything that their competitors offer.

Obviously, a program that claims to give you everything you need for $600 does not equate to a program that sells for $1800. So what else does $1800 buy that $600 doesn’t? Does the $600 program really cost only that, or is this a “bait and switch” method to upsell? We see many things happening out there, but rather than speak ill of our competitors, allow me to highlight what we offer and why that price is actually the best value available.

The Importance of the Training Needs Assessment (TNA)

The small- or medium-sized flight department needs to focus on the job at hand, and yet is responsible for covering all the same training and other roles that are accomplished by teams in, for example, airlines. has, from very early on, provided Training Needs Assessments (TNAs), which are thorough analyses of client-specific needs resulting in tailored and frequently adjusted training programs.

The most common error we see when operators do not use a formal TNA process is a failure to identify interrelated topics or training that is required by their specific risk profile. When this happens, we usually receive a call from a discouraged training manager or chief pilot/engineer who has been hit with an audit finding and needs to respond to it. Our TNA process fits right into your SMS to show due diligence, and provides a means to ensure that all areas have been considered and to defend decisions. It clearly shows the links between topics and clarifies why frequencies change from time to time.

The TNA is only provided to our Value Solution clients, but we have considered “unbundling” it for a separate charge. We’d be interested in hearing if you think that this idea has merit, either by email ( or phone (1.866.94.TPORT). I look forward to hearing from you.


Scott Macpherson is the President and Founder of and Vice Chairman of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) Governing Board. He is currently Captain on a Falcon 900LX.

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