Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pilot-drain the new aviation crisis in Australia

Australia faces a looming aviation crisis because it is not training enough pilots to replace retirees and experienced pilots who are lured overseas by better pay and conditions.
The essential services have to compete with the pay, conditions and career opportunities offered to young pilots by overseas operators, particularly small Asian-based airlines, according to the association.
A growing demand for pilots across the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in China and India, is behind the shortage.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing predicts that 89 per cent of all new aircraft deliveries will be to the Asia-Pacific region over the next 20 years.
Boeing's 2005 market outlook estimated that 102,000 new pilots would be needed to support those aircraft deliveries to China, India, Asia and Oceania up to 2024.
Flight schools believe a generation of would-be Australian pilots is being discouraged from committing to courses because the flight component of training is not covered by the HECS program and can cost between $50,000 and $100,000.
Students are also being attracted to more financially rewarding professions, such as law, at the same time as airlines are moving to cut salaries of the most senior of Australia's 30,000 active commercial pilots.
27/08/06 The Age, Australia
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