Sir-The three letters on "GAMTA must look at training" (Flight International, 3-9 April, P95) focus on the high costs incurred by aviation businesses in the UK.

As a licensed engineer working for a foreign international airline in this country, I am required to hold a licence issued in that country. The charge for its issue is the equivalent of £80 ($52). The UK Civil Aviation Authority now charges £116.

The holder of a US Federal Aviation Administration mechanic's certificate pays once for a licence, which is then valid for his lifetime. A CAA licence is valid for only five years, and will have cost between £1,134 and £1,296, with any extension to type ratings being charged at £58 each on top.

It is no wonder that pilots seek training in the USA where charges for maintenance and flying can be so much less than in this country.

Perhaps, one day, the CAA will revise its system of charges for its airworthiness functions, to figures more in keeping with reality. If one refers to CAA Airworthiness Notice no 25 issue 22, the hourly labour rates charged for investigation services vary between £104 and £148.

Is there any general-aviation business in the UK, which can afford to pay for such expensive services and still return a reasonable profit while trying to remain competitive with US-based companies?


Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, UK

Source: Flight International