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Entering Business Aviation: Training Options
Time for some training! So, you are not sure what type of training you will need or how it compares to the commercial side of aviation. For starters, there are some very big differences. Please be aware that the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) do not require that a flight attendant be assigned to an aircraft with fewer than 20 seats onboard. With that being said, it is a good idea -- regardless of federal regulations -- for the person who is in charge of the cabin area to have adequate training. There are quite a number of programs out there that train or claim to train business flight attendants. Some programs are excellent while others are awful.
Caveat emptor -- let the buyer beware -- is the siren call for all of you seeking training. Do not be lulled by a low price as anyone can say they offer training, but will it get you work? Will it be recognized by the companies doing the hiring? Is the program accepted by the FAA? These are some of the things you need to uncover as you do your research. While commercial carriers generally offer training that can last as long as six weeks, your training will be no longer than 5 or 6 days. That's it! However, those days will be jammed pack and should include the following: food handling and service; emergency training including inflight emergency, medical and defibrillator/AED training; extensive classroom time to include: decompression, hazardous materials, firefighting, passenger briefings, ditching, and more. Some programs include make-up consultations, food and wine pairing, résumé writing, and other topics.
While each can be helpful consider how much of the program's schedule is geared toward core topics vs. peripheral issues. Who do I recommend? Well, that is a touchy subject. As mentioned previously, training is not a legal requirement therefore program curriculum can vary widely. When talking with training operators, be prepared to ask a lot of questions, read their website, obtain their literature, and shop wisely. The two longest running and most well know programs are operated by FlightSafety International and FACTS/AirCare; most charter and private operators prefer their training. Alteon Training, LLC is a Boeing training company that started cabin attendant training in 2003 while Beyond and Above Corporate Flight Attendant Training got started in 2002.
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