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Friday, August 1, 2008

Helicopter Training: From the Field

R&W Staff

Australia Seeks to Stem Pilot, Mechanic Shortages

The Australian government has set up a new aviation-training regime to clarify national standards and encourage more people to pursue careers flying and fixing aircraft.

The new setup aims to provide trainees with a set of qualifications to make it easier for them to find jobs. It also looks to lure more overseas students to pursue training in Australia.

"The new package will be an important resource for trainers, registered training organizations, potential trainees and those already in the aviation industry," said Anthony Albanese, Australia’s minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government in unveiling the changes in June.

Australian industry predicts a shortage of up to 1,800 commercial aircraft and helicopter pilots through 2011. Pilots recently were added to the government’s official list of national skills shortages.

The Aviation Training Package, developed with industry consultation, eliminates numerous state qualifications and provides nationally consistent qualifications, making it easier for people to move among jobs in Australia. Also, for the first time the aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Australian Defence Dept have agreed on standards and requirements for pilot qualifications.

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