Australia's newly formed Flying Training Industry Development Panel is considering setting up a national flight instructor professional development programme in a bid to improve flying training and general aviation safety.

The panel, comprising eight senior people from Australia's flight training industry and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), met for the first time in December. It was established by CASA to address the issues and problems facing the flying training sector. It has been tasked with improving flight training to improve safety.

"Everyone agrees that better flying training is an important step towards better safety right across the aviation industry," says Bruce Byron, CASA chief executive officer. "For some time many people have been concerned that not enough attention was being given to flying training and I accept that industry and CASA have to put more effort into this area."

The panel is initially looking at the quality of flying training in Australia to identify problems and improve training programmes. A national flight instructor professional development programme could help instructors maintain and improve qualifications. The group may also modernise the flight instructors' handbook.

CASA launched the initiative earlier this year after examining GA fatal accidents in Australia over the past 10 years.

Source: Flight International