The Australian government has launched a new Aviation Training Package, which is designed to introduce national standards and qualifications for pilots and aviation workers. The move is part of the government's efforts to encourage more people to train as pilots as the country faces a growing pilot shortage problem.

The industry predicts a pilot shortage of up to 1,800 over the next two to three years, with commercial aircraft and helicopter pilots recently added to the government's official national skills shortage list.

The package is designed to increase the mobility of pilots within the country. Previously there were a variety of state and territory qualifications, while defence experience was not properly recognised by civilian authorities and vice versa. The package is also designed to make it easier for overseas students to train in Australia.

The Aviation Training Package, developed following extensive industry consultation, cuts through the numerous state qualifications and provides nationally consistent qualifications, making it easier for people considering a career in aviation, says transport minister Anthony Albanese.

In addition, for the first time the country's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Department of Defence have agreed on standards and requirements for pilot qualifications, allowing free movement between the sectors.

Source: Flight International