Do Airlines require an APS MCC in 2023? All you need to know


What is the APS MCC?

The APS MCC (Airline Pilot Standards Multi-Crew Cooperation) is an enhanced version of the MCC course. Besides the pilot competencies acquired in a standard MCC, the APS MCC helps you fit easily in an airline career by easing the transition from light, single-pilot aircraft to a modern, large-size jet cockpit. With it, you will be able to meet the ever-increasing requirements sought by airlines wishing to incorporate young aspiring pilots into their fleet.

Is a standard MCC not enough?

Despite having all the required qualifications (CPL license, ATPL subjects, ME/IR, and standard MCC), about 50% of the recent pilot graduates fail their initial assessments in European airlines. For this reason, a course called JOC (Jet Orientation Course), began to be offered by some schools in an attempt to improve the skills and competencies of the MCC. The JOC is, however, an unofficial course not based on any EASA regulation, and each training organization can offer it in different lengths and structures. Therefore, it is not recognised by regulators and many operators.

It is becoming more and more common for Airlines to ask for the APS – MCC in their Non-Type Rated First Officer job openings. As an example, Ryanair informs during the application process that:

Applicants holding a Certificate of completion of APS MCC Training in accordance with AMC2 FCL. 735.A

  • Will be given preference during initial selection
  • Will be at a distinct advantage in the interview and assessment process”

For instance, here we can see the pass rates published by Ryanair for FO applicants, based on their MCC Training:

Normal MCC48
Whitetail APS MCC70
Mentored APS MCC97.5

It is important to note that Ryanair performs the interview simulator process on a Boeing 737 simulator. Therefore, the mentored APS MCC is completed on a B737 simulator, while the whitetail APS MCC can also be completed on an Airbus A320 simulator. The opposite results between whitetail and mentored could be expected when doing the APS in a B737 simulator and performing an assessment in an A320.

As a second example, Wizz Air asks for a Jet Orientation Course (JOC) or APS MCC on A320. Therefore, having completed the APS MCC Training in an A320 simulator fulfils this additional requirement the airline is looking for. It is understandable from the airline perspective: the additional knowledge and experience in a multi-crew environment, and the fact that it is achieved in an advanced cockpit, significantly increase the probability to complete the Type Rating successfully.

Obviously, the labour market will dictate what can airlines request, and the situation will depend on the supply and demand balance. However, experts are clearly aligned in the expected standardization of the APS MCC as the Multi-Crew Coordination training of choice.

Differences between APS MCC and JOC

Thus, the APS MCC was introduced, with input from airlines and flight schools. Similarly to a JOC course, it offers more comprehensive training, specifically aimed at teaching how to pass an assessment and adapt to an airline work environment. Contrary to a JOC course, it is official, approved by EASA, sought by airlines, and demanded prior to accessing any assessment or interview.

In order to achieve this, the APS MCC doubles the number of simulator hours up to 40 h, instead of 20 of a regular MCC. All the training is performed in a midsize jet (A320) simulator (FSTD) and includes a final assessment, which is not part of a traditional MCC or JOC.

Highlights of the APS MCC course

  • 2 hours of additional simulator training to fully adapt to the new environment.
  • Extensive A320 theory training before the simulator session.
  • Computer-Based Training and live distant training to prepare in advance while reducing your logistics costs.
  • Advanced FSTD that faithfully replicates the Airbus A320
  • Flight instructors with a background in the airline industry
  • Additional specific training in key areas needed for airline assessments: Aircraft Systems knowledge and FMS use, Aeroplane Flight Path Management, Normal and Abnormal SOPs, Situational Awareness, Leadership, and Teamwork.

You will learn the basics of Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), similarly to an MCC, as well as knowledge specific to swept-wing jets and airline operations, similarly to a JOC. The key pilot competencies you will be taught include communication, problem-solving, decision making, leadership, workload management, flight path management, flight planning, fuel management, and meteorology, among others. Moreover, the APS MCC is recognised by all EASA operators, and some of them already favour them when compared to a regular MCC. For instance, Ryanair considers it “the gold standard for pilot training“.

Can I upgrade to APS MCC from a regular MCC?

Yes. If you already hold an MCC, you can upgrade it to an APS MCC by undertaking this bridge course offered by Quality Fly. This newly launched course allows you to obtain a fully equivalent APS MCC certificate without the need to retake the standard MCC, saving both time and money. This course is therefore complementary to the MCC already completed, consisting of 20 simulator hours and additional theory training related to specific A320 systems.

The course requirements are the following:

  • Valid ME/IR(A)
  • Valid CPL(A)
  • EASA Class 1 Medical Certificate
  • Level of English equivalent to ICAO Level 4
  • MCC certificate (if undertaking the bridge upgrade course)
APS MCC Full-Motion Simulator