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World pilot skills need boosting – RAeS

Inadequate pilot skills in airlines across the world are a worry for all international agencies, but no-one has yet presented a clear course of action to solve the problem.

Speakers at the Royal Aeronautical Society's International Flight Crew Training Conference in London said the root cause of the problem is that pilot training methods have not kept pace with the changing nature of the job.

The only way of achieving an international consensus on modernising airline pilot training may be to formulate a performance-based Global Professional Pilot Certificate (GPPC), according to the Professional Aviation Board of Certification's executive director, Peter Wolfe.

Speaking at the event in September, he said an industry-led supranational GPPC - a certificate of knowledge and competency over and above the requirements of a national commercial pilot licence - would be ideal.

He added that creating a global licence through the International Civil Aviation Organisation would take a very long time.

Wolfe also quoted the Flight Safety Foundation's assessment of the major risks to airline safety in the future.

Rapid growth is the top threat, with an insufficient number of skilled personnel - particularly pilots and engineers - a consequence, he said.

The industry cannot afford to wait interminably for the regulators to enforce standards for the modern aviation environment, he said, adding that the industry must agree and impose higher standards itself.

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