Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom
Go to Search

Flight simulators and other FSTDs

Basic information

This page gives basic information. Deeper information is available on the attached document 'Guidance for FSTD operators' that can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Abbreviation FSTD means all synthetic training devices used to pilot training. Different FSTD levels are FFS, FNPT, FTD and BITD. Different levels are meant for different purposes: other devices are used to practice handling skills, while others are meant for training aircraft system operation. FSTDs simulate for example aircraft avionics, instruments, controls, controls forces, sounds, and often also they provide a visual image of the surrounding and even a motion system.

FSTDs are qualified to different levels. In addition to the FSTD qualification certificate, also the user of the device (e.g. ATO) has to analyse how the device suits to the training syllabus. Training regulations (e.g. Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011) give information on what training and how much can be given by using different FSTD levels.

Traficom follows EU and EASA regulations in FSTD oversight and FSTD qualification processes. The devices should fulfil the same technical regulation that was effective when the device was first qualified. Due to different regulation basis for different devices, devices of different age have clear differences. The current technical FSTD regulations have been published in CS-FSTD(A) issue 2 and CS-FSTD(H). Among earlier regulations are for example JAR-FSTD A/H, JAR-STD 1A, JAR-STD 2A, ICAO Doc 9625, etc. It is important that also the user of the device (e.g. ATO) understands these matters, so that they can better know and identify what kind of limitations devices of different ages can have and how well they may serve in training use.

Devices qualified by Traficom and by many other European competent authorities can be found at EASA database at (External link)

Application process for FSTD qualification

FSTD qualification can be granted only to an organisation that fulfils the requirements. If the organisation is applying for its first FSTD qualification, the organisation must first contact Traficom and deliver for example the management system manuals (including part/manual including FSTD maintenance processes). Traficom assesses the manuals and the organisation then makes changes, if necessary. Traficom performs an audit when the manuals have been found adequate. The evaluation process of the FSTD will be initiated only after a successful audit.

Regulations that concern FSTD operators try to ensure that the device is maintained appropriately so that its technical conditions remains good and reliable and that it supports good training. FSTD maintenance requires special competencies. Please note that an FSTD operator does not have to be an ATO.

FSTD evaluation and qualification

The applicant organisation files an application in accordance with AMC1 ORA.FSTD.200. By signing this application, the applicant confirms that it has carefully assessed and tested the device and that the device fulfils technical requirements.

The first (i.e. initial) evaluation of the FSTD is a considerably heavier process than a recurrent evaluation. Please contact Traficom already when planning to acquire a new FSTD. This enables discussions between the organisation and competent authority at an early stage of the process. It is easier and cheaper to solve possible problems (e.g. certain technical solutions or sources of validation data) already when a new device is only planned, rather than only after it has been manufactured.

FSTDs are evaluated by using subjective and objective methods. Subjective testing means for example flying, i.e. testing performed by pilots. Objective testing means for example testing of aerodynamics model by so called QTG tests. Detailed requirements concerning QTG tests are presented in the technical regulations. A checklist for the first QTG (i.e. MQTG) assessment can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. Traficom recommends the applicant to use and fill that checklist before delivering the MQTG to the authority.

Maintaining FSTD qualification certificate

Some of the key processes of an FSTD operator (i.e. FSTD qualification certificate holder) are processes to test the device periodically and to maintain the device. The management system is supposed to ensure compliance and proactively mitigate possible threats. Traficom performs oversight of FSTD operators by performing audits, inspections and FSTD evaluations. FSTD qualification certificate remains valid only if recurrent FSTD evaluations are performed before the deadline. Therefore, the FSTD operator should be in contact with Traficom well in advance before the deadline to agree the date for the recurrent evaluations.

Traficom charges an annual fee for FSTD qualifications.

CS-FSTD(A) issue 2 modifications

EU Commission Regulation (EU) No 2018/1974 presents requirements on Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT). The associated regulations require that from 20 December 2019, the UPRT training may be given only in FFS devices that have been qualified under CS-FSTD(A) issue 2. This is a major change and concerns very many aeroplane FFS devices. To help the FSTD operators and industry to better understand the new requirements and to comply with them, Traficom has prepared a checklist that can be used as an aid in making preparations for the CS-FSTD(A) issue 2 update qualifications. Please see the attached checklist. Please see also more details on this matter in the attached leaflet.


More information can be found from the videos and files listed below. Traficom has initiated a video series that in aimed at supporting FSTD qualification certificate holders in understanding the expected core processes. A link to these videos is below.



Guidance for FSTD operators / Ohjeita FSTD-operaattoreille (saatavilla vain englanninkielisenä)

CS-FSTD(A) issue 2 checklist (tarkastuslista saatavilla vain englanninkielisenä)

Checklist for aeroplane FSTD MQTG assessment / Tarkastuslista lentokone-FSTD:n MQTG:n tarkastamiseen (saatavilla vain englanninkielisenä)

Checklist for helicopter FSTD MQTG assessment / Tarkastuslista helikopteri-FSTD:n MQTG:n tarkastamiseen (saatavilla vain englanninkielisenä)

Guidance for functions and subjective testing of an airplane FSTD / Ohjeita lentokone-FSTD:n toiminnalliseen ja subjektiiviseen testaukseen (saatavilla vain englanninkielisenä)

Guidance for functions and subjective testing of a helicopter FSTD / Ohjeita helikopteri-FSTD:n toiminnalliseen ja subjektiiviseen testaukseen (saatavilla vain englanninkielisenä)

Check of FSTD walk-around and safety items / FSTD:n turvajärjestelyjen tarkastaminen (saatavilla vain englanninkielellä)

Introduction to EASA NPA 2020-15 (video on YouTube)

Introduction to EASA NPA 2020-15 video in pdf format