AUSTRALIA PLANS to centralise and privatise initial flight training for its air force, army and navy. An Australian Defence Force study has recommended outsourcing basic fixed-wing training, with an integrated syllabus for the three services.

An invitation for companies to register interest will be released in July, with a contract expected to be awarded in April 1998. Currently, air force and navy pilot candidates are assessed for flying aptitude at the British Aerospace training school in Tamworth, New South Wales, before entering basic training on Royal Australian Air Force Pilatus PC-9 turboprop trainers at RAAF Pearce, Western Australia. Army pilots undergo basic training at Tamworth.

Under the new scheme, basic training for all three services would be provided by a contractor. The RAAF's PC-9s would then be used in advanced training. British Aerospace Hawk 100s are on order for use as lead-in fighter trainers.

Source: Flight International