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Old 11th Jul 2018, 08:38
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Jason Middleton
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SYDNEY, NSW
Posts: 7
Some thoughts prompted by the "AOPA Minutes" have come to mind.

Aviation is booming world wide, and there are financial opportunities for Australian training establishments to benefit from training (and educating) international students to high standards as pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers. But these opportunities face some administrative hurdles.

1. The lack of alignment of CASRs with FAA/EASA means that a CASA sign off does not easily translate to a home certification for an international student when they successfully finish training in Australia, unless that organisation has pre-approved certification (rare in Aus).

2. The Australian Qualifications Framework is a very poor home for pilot and engineer education (which needs certification as well) because the Civil Aviation Act dictates that ONLY CASA approved personnel can recommend licensing (a good thing IMO). The AQF is largely irrelevant for aviation training although it is through this pathway that students can gain diplomas etc, and such academic qualifications are often sought by privately funded International students.

There is a great complexity in these two issues, and I wouldn't pretend to be able to articulate all of the problems. But identifying and articulating the problems carefully, accurately and in detail is a necessary first step toward providing solutions.

Changing the Civil Aviation Act in line with worlds best practice including outcome based regulation would seem to be a good start, but what is needed is a truly expert Panel that can work to a time frame. (I am reminded that the Forsyth Committee produced the ASRR in around 6 to 7 months, while government response times move more on geological time scales). Such a Panel needs to be set up by the Minister of IR,D&C, and serviced by that Department.

A subpanel dealing with the practical alignment of CASRs with EASA/FAA also needs establishing, with a view to not only simplifying CASRs but also to enhancing economic opportunities with our rapidly growing neighbour states. Once the nature of the alignment becomes clear, syllabi can be redesigned.

Lastly, with regard to the AQF, PhillipsKPA provided a review of the AQF earlier this year to the Federal Dept of Education. A recent article of June 15 in the Campus Morning Mail states "Hopefully they (my words; the government) read the best-bits very slowly which are the scathing indictment (at least by PhillipsKPA’s understated standards) of the voced (my words: vocational education) establishment’s inertia.....Virtually all of the substantive comments made in submissions to the 2009 – 2011 AQF review are still at the forefront of respondents’ concerns in 2018." Making the AQF useful to the aviation industry may prove an insurmountable problem, but the industry should be clear as to what is needed and why.

Oh, and if Australia doesn't get its act together, some other country will, so there is no time for dithering.

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