Captain Jean-Michel Bigarré

The Invisible Impact

Captain Jean-Michel Bigarré, Head of Flight Training Worldwide, Airbus

Captain Jean-Michel Bigarré is Head of Flight Training Worldwide for Airbus Training Services.

An all-time aviation enthusiast, he started flying gliders at an early age. This passion led him to join the esteemed École d’Air France, where he completed his pilot licence. After graduating in 1985 with a major in aircraft maintenance, he worked for the maintenance department on aircraft such as the B747, Concorde and the A300.

In 1989, Jean-Michel joined the French Aviation Authorities flight training centre taking care of ab initio and advanced training whilst cultivating his tutoring skills. During this time he qualified on all types of instructor qualifications, such as FI/IRI/CRI/TRI. 

Jean-Michel became Head of Training for ATR in 1994, whilst commencing flight calibration tests. At this time he was also flying for different airlines and participated in the start-up and restructuring of airlines and training centres where he has been both Flight Crew Director as well as Head of Training.

In June 2001, Jean-Michel joined EADS/ATR full-time as VP Training & Flight Ops whilst flying simultaneously on Airbus aircraft. He then held various executive positions before joining Airbus Training in 2012 and taking up the position of Head of Training for Airbus in 2013. He is current on the A320/A330/A350 & A380 and is still acting as Instructor and Senior Examiner.

His global role is to implement the Airbus flight reference worldwide. He leads a team in charge of the creation of new and integrated training solutions designed to enable airlines to train on time and on budget whilst simultaneously ensuring a positive safety trend.

The Invisible Impact

Differences in programme content, programme duration, different stakeholder’s perceptions of training and its relevance, create a disparate and misaligned view of the impact of training on both the airlines and the industry overall.

As an Aircraft Manufacturer, we are working to create an aligned and harmonious reference for training and to raise overall awareness of the crucial invisible impact that flight training has on all of us – Aircraft Manufacturers, airlines and authorities alike. So what are we doing to change this mindset? And is it working?