Signatories to the joint letter pleading with the European Aviation Safety Agency to change its proposed flightcrew licencing rules reads like a lexicon of big-time European flight training organisations, with 15 signatories representing eight major trainers and one from the European Council of General Aviation Support.
Most of the major European flight trainers send their students to the USA for the early part of their training because the weather is more reliable and costs are lower. This includes signatories Bristow Academy of the UK, KLM Flight Academy of the Netherlands, Lufthansa Flight Training, Oxford Aviation (GCAT group), RWL Flight Academy in Germany, Sabena Flight Academy at Brussels (just acquired by CAE of Canada) and Swiss Aviation Training. One of the signatory training organisations, the UK-based CTC Aviation Group, sends its pilots to New Zealand for their early airborne work. Under the notice of proposed amendment as it stands, none of these overseas training bases will be allowed to take part in producing EASA-licensed pilots.
Meanwhile, foreign-owned type rating training organisations that have big European training businesses would, under the notice of proposed amendment as framed at present, lose their ability to train pilots for European Union licences or ratings. This would include US-based training companies Alteon and FlightSafety International, and Canada-based CAE.
Behind EASA's rulemaking is the real influence, the EU's lawmaking body the European Commission. If the USA were to allow a bilateral training agreement, Europe has signalled that it would sign it.