Flight Training Adelaide tackles flying instructor shortage

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Australian flying training organisation Flight Training Adelaide has launched an innovative flight-instructor training scheme with Cathay Pacific in response to problems with recruiting and retaining instructors in Australia.

Under the scheme the partners are jointly funding cadets from ab initio training through to instructor rating. On completion of training, the cadets remain with FTA as flying instructors for three-and-a-half years, during which time they gain seniority with Cathay. At the end of their commitment to FTA they move to the airline.

Parafield airport, South Australia-based FTA, which is the former BAE Systems Flight Training Australia now owned by Flight Training Group, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Young Brothers Aviation, has already started the first course of seven cadets. Around 20 a year will be trained under the scheme with Cathay, says Simon Bambridge, Flight Training Group business development manager.

FTA is in discussions with a number of its other major airline customers on similar schemes, with a number of airlines showing strong interest, says Bambridge. FTA conducts training primarily for airlines in the Asia-Pacific region, with customers including Cathay, China Airlines, Dragonair, Emirates, JAL Express, Qantas and Vietnam Airlines.

Like many of its counterparts, FTA has experienced problems in the past couple of years recruiting and retaining suitable numbers of flying instructors as expanding airlines in the region source more pilots.