8900.1 CHG 443



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Section 2  Safety Assurance System: Communication Specialist Training

3-5149    GENERAL. This section contains guidance to be used by inspectors when evaluating Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 135 air ambulance operator training programs for Operations Control Specialists (OCS) and communication specialists (CS).

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NOTE:  This section is related to Safety Assurance System (SAS) Elements under System 3.0, Operational Control, and System 6.0, Ground and Station Operations, which are under development.

3-5150    COMMUNICATION SPECIALISTS. Certificate holders not required by regulation to maintain an Operations Control Center (OCC) staffed by trained and qualified OCSs may wish to establish communications center(s) with flight advisory and tracking responsibilities, staffed by trained CSs. Certificate holders with OCCs serving operations distributed over widespread or remote areas may find it economical to establish communications centers serving one or more of these areas. The helicopter air ambulance (HAA) operator, a hospital, an ambulance dispatch center, or local law enforcement entities (e.g., local public safety or 911 dispatchers) may employ CSs.

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A.    Qualification Requirements. There are no regulatory qualification requirements for CSs. However, they may perform services such as providing two-way radio communications with HAA pilots, transferring information between the pilot and the OCS, and monitoring the progress of the flight.

B.    Training. Certificate holders must provide sufficient training to CSs to permit them to effectively perform duties assigned by the certificate holder and to avoid engaging in functional responsibilities that are beyond their assignments. In other words, CSs are not partially qualified or remote sited OCSs. CSs who are not directly employed by the certificate holder, who provide services through either contract or agreement, must also be designated and trained in accordance with the certificate holder’s CS training program. Individuals who are not trained by the certificate holder may not provide communications services to the certificate holder’s operations. Certificate holders may perform training themselves or may employ outside training resources to provide consistent training to CSs. If CS training is delegated to a training center contractor, the certificate holder must periodically review the contractor, the training syllabus, and the effectiveness of training delivery and find these to be acceptable. CS evaluation and testing should be conducted by the certificate holder on a regular periodic basis. The inspector should evaluate and approve the certificate holder’s CS training program including any contract training, applying special emphasis to the manner in which the certificate holder reinforces the narrow scope of CS assigned duties, and the certificate holder’s evaluation of CS knowledge and performance.

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C.    References. Detailed recommendations and more information on CSs and their training are provided in the current edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 120-96, Operations Control Center (OCC) for Helicopter Air Ambulance (HAA) Operations.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-5151 through 3-5166.