The introduction of the JAR-OPS rules for flightcrew licensing is a danger to the wellbeing of aviation in Europe.

Instead of simple, safe and cost-effective rules to regulate licences, a monstrous political compromise has been created. The result is neither simple nor cost-effective.

Especially damaging is the rule that all training must be done during integrated courses at specially licensed flight-training institutes and that there is only insignificant credit for previous experience.

The practice of obtaining all the necessary licences and ratings by an evolutionary process, which was common in Europe and is still common in the USA, is therefore dead in the JAR-OPS states. Why? Safety? Does this mean that only people trained on expensive integrated courses are safe? In that case, a large portion of the staff of a large, reputable Dutch airline, including me, should be immediately grounded.

In the Netherlands there were a number of good schools that provided quality training. Because of the costs involved in obtaining a licence, only a handful remain. The extra costs are borne by the people who have to pay the bill. In Europe, if you aspire to a career in aviation, you either have to find a white knight with deep pockets, or you will start your career with heavy debts. And what about people who aspire to a career in general aviation? They have to ask unrealistically high wages to stay afloat. We were better off in the pre JAR-OPS days.

Kees van den Broek Zeewolde, the Netherlands

Source: Flight International