Sir - The article "Meeting the challenge" (Flight International, 20-26 March, P30) highlights the speech by Peter Moxham of GAMTA at its annual conference and underlines exactly what the initials stand for: General Aviation Manufacturers and Traders Association.
Mr Moxham certainly concentrates on how his members are suffering because of competition now in the market of pilot flight training to the issue of a Civil Aviation Authority licence taking place outside the UK. I searched for any mention of the beneficiaries of this CAA policy - the student - but to no avail.
For decades, student pilots in the UK, have suffered from high prices for often poor training, inadequate surroundings, by "hours-building" instructors, resulting in dissatisfaction, disillusionment wasted time and unfinished courses.
Should not the "bottom line" be to produce a properly and professionally trained pilot at an affordable cost, instead of carping over how it cannot be done outside the UK and how such "awful" practices will reduce the profits of some GAMTA members?
Sir - The concern about flight training in the USA for the issue of UK pilot licences is not whether the standards are being maintained or safety compromised. It is that UK flying schools are not getting the business. This is regrettable, but why should the student be forced to pay any more money than is necessary?
Aviation organisations would be better employed in negotiations with the CAA for more realistically priced flight and written tests and expanding the CAFU examiner count to provide tests at shorter notice. The CAFU approval for individual aircraft could be simplified, allowing a greater choice of equipment.
Achieving pilot licences and ratings in the UK (especially professional qualifications) is a financial nightmare and, until the situation is addressed in detail, students are well advised to look far afield for the best option.
P C OLLIFFE
Sir - So it's official. UK general aviation must be competitive. UK Minister for Trade and Energy Tim Eggar exhorts us to look at other industries to see how business can be improved.
Aerial crop-sprayers must have a comprehensive Aerial Application Manual and an Aerial Application Certificate issued by the CAA before they can operate, which costs £2,000 a year for a Pawnee. There is no form of company certification scheme for ground-spraying contractors.
Aerial operators must warn adjacent landowners, the military and other organisations between 24h and 72h before starting the job - but ground contractors do not have to. How can GA become competitive?
Source: Flight International