UK CIVIL AVIATION Authority chief Sir Christopher Chataway has told the UK General Aviation Manufacturers and Traders Association (GAMTA) that he will "look again" at the policy of allowing CAA-approved foreign flying-training schools to issue UK commercial pilot licences.

GAMTA chief executive Graham Forbes says that UK flying-training-school executives have interpreted Chataway's remark as significant.

Time will tell, whether Chataway's unscripted comment, during a speech at the GAMTA annual conference, on 7 March signifies a policy U-turn, but CAA head of flight crew licensing (FCL) Des Payton says, that he has not heard from GAMTA any arguments, which had not been rejected before, on the grounds that the CAA has no legal mandate, to block this option for trainee pilots.

The licensing of foreign schools to train UK commercial pilots was implemented in July 1995 when a US flying-training school, California-based Everything Flyable, won CAA approval.

The issue may be taken out of the CAA's hands by imminent European Joint Aviation Regulations on flightcrew licensing (JAR FCL). Due to be adopted in June 1996 and implemented in June 1998, the draft JAR FCL says, that the new joint European pilot licences, (which will replace national ones for the 23 JAR member countries) may be issued only by training schools whose headquarters and "...principal place of business is in the state of the organisation, which issues the licence".

See feature, P30.

Source: Flight International