industry grown and competition with other industries means trouble
for airline industry
Back in November ANN talked about the pilot training student loan
funding cap in New Zealand, and the looming pilot shortage in that
country. The Aviation Industry Association of New Zealand is
taking the lead in attacking this situation and a result will be
sponsoring a forum on August 25 as a follow-on to a round-table
discussion that took place at the Associations recent
At the conference, Association members expressed their
concerns that current trends point to a future shortage of pilots
and engineers in New Zealand and possibly the rest of the
The forum will take as a starting point the following points of
- The aging work force
- A strong and growing demand for pilots, based on healthy
economic growth in New Zealand's two key sectors of
tourism/travel and agriculture
- A student loan scheme that caps the number of fully-funded
pilots under training
- Increased competition for graduates from other
industries perceived as more attractive
- A perception that pre-selection procedures can be
- A desire by many in the flight training industry to see a
seamless transition into full-time gainful employment as a
- A requirement that all certificated NZ CASA Part 119
operators have an appropriately trained and resourced organization,
including experience levels commensurate with the
organisation’s operating risk.
The forum will not only talk about the problems, but will also
open with a number of proposed solutions for open discussion as
part of the effort to "become proactive and develop an integrated
strategy that address each of the issues" in a systematic
- Increasing the supply of pilots into the Industry, e.g.
graduates, foreign pilots, the 'cap'
- Ab-initio training – Pre-selection standards and
- Training standards, including regulatory changes, and the
Industry raising the 'benchmark'
- Progression into air transport and the airlines
- Part 119 operators - What do they really need?
At the conference
forum, Air New Zealand said the growth in global commercial
aviation meant it was likely to face a shortage of pilots in the
future. "So it is an area that we are increasing our
attention on," spokesman Glen Sowry said. He added that so far the
airline has not announced an action plan.
In New Zealand, the training of fixed wing pilots declined by
nearly a third when the Government placed a cap on the funding of
pilot training under their national student loan program. The
result has been that the flight training industry has only produced
some 200 pilots in the last two years, a full third less than years
past. The cost of training a pilot, from ab-intio through a
commercial, multi-engine ticket with an instrument rating is about
The forum on August 25 will take place at BP House, Ground
Floor, at the corner of Johnston St and Customhouse Quay (enter
through Johnson St), in Wellington (NZ). Starting time is 0900, and
break-out groups will be organized to discuss each of the issues
and report back. It may be necessary for a small caucus to stay
overnight to further progress some issues.
All with an interest in flight training, pilot recruitment, and
the future of certificated Part 119 operations in New Zealand, the
Civil Aviation Authority, officials, professional pilot
organisations, and individuals with an interest in the future of
aviation are invited to attend.