Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

Unintended 457 consequences could ground airlines

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Unintended 457 consequences could ground airlines

Old 28th Apr 2017, 00:40
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,453
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unintended 457 consequences could ground airlines

In a comment piece in this morning’s aviation section in The Australian by Mike Higgins, Chief Executive of the Regional Aviation Association, Mike objects to the change in 457 visas which, it appears, will now exclude pilots and avionics engineers totally, while airframe and engine engineers are only eligible for temporary visas without any access to residency.

Can someone put me in the picture here? By the look of it there is a real shortage of pilots locally. Does that mean we solve that problem by having to bring in pilots from overseas? Is there any way of training more pilots in a short time here, or is that not possible?

Will this mean in the years to come that even airlines like Qantas will be forced to have Chinese and other nationals as pilots?

I would love to have some really good comments on this.

Last edited by Dick Smith; 28th Apr 2017 at 01:10.
Dick Smith is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 02:15
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 223
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's no shortage of pilots.

What there is, is a shortage of pilots prepared to work for the wages and conditions that are on offer.

Last edited by De_flieger; 28th Apr 2017 at 02:36. Reason: Improve layout
De_flieger is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 03:16
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney
Age: 59
Posts: 1,543
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What De_Flieger said.

A company can cry "no pilots, we need 457s" when what they mean is :
" there are no pilots with X number of hours on Y type aircraft prepared to work for $Z."

Plenty of pilots here willing to be endorsed on any aircraft type they wish to use, for a reasonable pay and conditions.

If the companies get their way in reducing conditions then in the future I can see Australia importing pilots while ours work in China for the dollars!
Tankengine is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 03:18
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: nosar
Posts: 1,242
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I see Sydney Seaplanes is also making noise ....

"Seaplane Owner Will Struggle"
Aussie Bob is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 03:36
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here and there
Posts: 386
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is there any way of training more pilots in a short time here, or is that not possible?
There has never ever been a shortage of pilots in Australia, that's for sure. But the ridiculously high costs involved with learning to fly frightens people away. For example the costs of an MCC course typically $6000 is phenomenal and that is for a few days of lectures and sitting in a simulator learning how to read a checklist, talking to a simulated ATC, a simulated cabin crew, simulated ground company etc. In other words play acting. The MCC course was never a previous requirement. You learned on the job within a few days of flying in an airline. But $6000 up front is a real hit.

Have a look at all the new flying instructors hanging around flying schools waiting for a new prospective student to walk through the door. No doubt they would like to get into Regional Airlines. But those airlines copy the main airlines with exhaustive aptitude tests that have no real bearing on flying an aeroplane. Those aptitude tests knock many young pilots out even though they may good flying ability. And they even have to pay money to do the aptitude tests. Do the RAAF charge prospective candidates to undergo their aptitude tests. No way.
It is also certain that the Part 61 introduction has greatly increased the costs of obtaining pilot licences. Yet even so there is no shortage of qualified pilots in Australia. Ask a major airline like Qantas how many applications they have on their books. Probably a thousand or more?

Last edited by Judd; 28th Apr 2017 at 03:46.
Judd is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 03:42
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 223
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flying seaplanes sounds like a thoroughly enjoyable job, and I've looked into getting my seaplane endorsement. The problem is, every single job ad I have seen for seaplane operators requires a couple of hundred hours on type and a few hundred water landings.

That, and most likely a wage for line pilots (not the Chief Pilot or business owner) that means that a career in seaplanes ensures you can never afford a house in Sydney and will be renting the rest of your life, with all the follow-on effects of housing insecurity and relying on a pension in retirement, make it a much less appealing proposition. Sydney? A median house price somewhere around a million dollars, with a commute taking up a couple of hours of every day, because you certainly can't afford to rent long-term close to the harbour on a GA-type wage, means you'll add a couple of hours onto every work day and then slump face first into your two minute noodles from exhaustion every night. Or do a degree in Commerce, work at a bank 5 days a week and have your evenings free, and you can afford to hire someone to fly you around the harbour in a seaplane whenever you see fit - you can even drink champagne while someone else does the work!
De_flieger is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 04:18
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 380
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To answer your question, one has to ask another question... why are regional airline pilots in Australia packing up and dragging their family to the sandpit to work for Emirates?

Therein lies your answer, Dick.
Slippery_Pete is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 04:31
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The wrong time zone...
Posts: 776
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
+1 for De Flieger, who put it so accurately and succinctly.
josephfeatherweight is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 04:55
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Sydney
Posts: 262
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Beancounters with short arms and long pockets

In days gone by, organisations would put resources and funds into training people. These days it is a simply a rush to import someone who has already been trained elsewhere, rather than investing in personnel training. Aviation is one of the worst industries in this regard. There are plenty of junior pilots and pilot aspirants who would dearly like to be trained, but the beancounters with short arms and long pockets rule the day and insist on self-funded training. It is time that those organisations that rely on 457 visas to get cheap overseas employees actually change their philosophy and invest in training Aussies, rather than bleating about government policy.

Seabreeze
Seabreeze is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 04:58
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Paradise
Age: 66
Posts: 1,460
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Float flying certainly is specialised, however I think the available supply of experienced foreign float pilots might dry up (no pun intended) whether 457 visas are possible or not. Canada and the US probably have the greatest supply of float pilots, however those pilots now have plenty of employment options close to home, in both landplanes and seaplanes.

Whilst I am not very familiar with Australian float operators, those operating elsewhere in the country seem to find a way to keep their aircraft flying. Is this just a Sydney thing?
chimbu warrior is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 06:33
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NSW
Posts: 435
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Go to NW Western Australia you will meet many pilots trying to live the dream. Movement in the industry is slow. Maybe airlines want fully trained pilots and don't want to spend on training.
Hasherucf is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 07:00
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 406
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The backbone of aviation is a healthy GA industry.

It is flying schools turning out new pilots, young people deciding they want to fly and working through a CPL, heading out to try and get a job with at least the incentive of hearing of a previous crop of new CPLs getting a job up north or with a good chance to build hours instructing because there is a need for instructors.

It is the maintenance operators who can make a buck because there are enough aircraft flying that need to be kept airworthy.

It is folks wanting a PPL and can afford to do it, who keep the schools going, giving those new CPLs with a grade 3 instructor rating a chance to get their hours and experience up and willing to slog it out to get a leg in the game. And some of those PPLs thinking... maybe I could get a CPL and do this for a living?

It is charter operators who have enough work to pick up CPLs with a bit of experience and are hungry to step up.

It is enthusiasts restoring old planes and flying them and haunting the nooks and crannies of airports across the country but who inspire youngsters who think... what a cool thing to do! - go flying!

It is country towns having an aerodrome that employs a LAME or two and a little flying school and some Ag operators and with luck a scheduled passenger service all that bring some money into the community.

It is airlines who can draw on the pool of CPLs who have done their time in GA and are hungry to step up.

It is a whole ecosystem. Cut out bits of it and it gets sick. It is sick now.

My recollection was yes, there was always either a boom or bust in the numbers of pilots needed to fill the posts at the higher end of the food chain but hey, if you could afford to hang around during the lean times and build hours in the less glamorous parts of the industry, your chance would come.

The difference back then (I believe) was the cost. I don't know how young people can afford to get a CPL and pay their rent at the same time. Particularly if there is not a guarantee of a job at the end.

As less new blood comes in, the whole ecosystem dies. Flying schools close up. Look at how many schools at Bankstown today compared to 20 years ago. Flying schools disappear. Smaller maintenance operations start to disappear. Operating costs go up as they compete over less work. Charter gets expensive. Jobs get fewer and the ecosystem gets sicker.

When the median house price in Sydney is heading towards a million bucks , why, as a young person, get a massive debt (the money for a CPL now could've bought you a house 20 years ago) to earn a CPL where your career path is anything but a massive gamble, where you may never make enough money in GA to pay it back so pay it back doing a job where at least you get paid a decent wage?

So when the top end of the food chain needs new pilots there is nothing much in GA anymore so they either look overseas or train up green newbies who can play computer games and program a GPS under the eyes of older folks who worked their way up from C152s at the bottom... until even the captains will be computer game players who wouldn't know what carburetor heat was if it burnt them on the bum.

How to reverse this? How to keep GA alive? Wish I knew but it is not simply a matter of "make medicals easier" or "cut costs" or "cut red tape" or "pay pilots more" or just whinging.

A more lenient medical and less red tape aren't going to reverse that. May help a bit but it is not going to save GA on its own. Hard to pay pilots more when you are struggling to pay the hanger fees.

30 years ago I could afford to rent my house and pay for hours to get a licence with an average job and a little bit of money I had saved. I also could rock up to Bankstown briefing office and chat with a meteorologist and go over the NOTAMS in the briefing office and have someone check my flight plan and suggest maybe I plan a different route. I am not saying I want that level of service back again but now 30 years later we pay our way, get less and it costs more.

And so flying schools turn into Bunnings and Direct Factory Outlets and weeds build up under the old aircraft sitting on the grass (where it remains) in what was once a busy and humming aerodrome that once had bright eyed young new blood walking in the door every day and champing at the bit to become a pilot (or LAME or ATPL or instructor or buy their own plane or run a flying school or dare to try and set up a regional air service and maybe go broke but have a go).



Like I said - how to reverse this? How to keep GA alive? Wish I knew. Tired of whinging. Wouldn't it be great if we could get it back again?

Last edited by jonkster; 28th Apr 2017 at 07:11.
jonkster is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 07:14
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Sydney NSW Australia
Posts: 3,051
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hasherucf View Post
don't want to spend on training.
here is 99% of the problem. or, if training wasnt so bloody expensive here...

what ever happened to the idea of investing in staff, and providing training?

i even offered to work for Sydney Seaplanes for min 5 years if they will pay for training to get me up to speed. like a good old fashioned apprenticeship.
Ultralights is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 07:58
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Brisbane, Qld
Posts: 1,325
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I echo what most people in here are saying, it's Employers unwillingness to invest in Training. I understand that training people and investing in their training costs money and involves risks, but there are ways of mitigating that, get people to sign a contract that says they agree that if they leave within a year or 2 they are required to pay back training costs at a pro rata rate! That way no one is forced to pay upfront, it keeps people in the job for a couple of years and covers the Employer as well.

Also paying Pilots properly would be excellent, the training is so damned expensive yet the EBA for a SE Pilot of a normal C206 or Airvan for example is just shy of $43,000 a year? Bump that up by a couple of grand I'd say and start cutting the red tape and overheads generated by CASA for GA Operators to help adjust for it and you'll start turning the tide I'd say.

Surely CASA should be audited and have it figured out how much it costs for a GA Operator on Average, find where those costs are coming from and figure out how they can be reduced. This should be simple for them to justify, they're promoting GA which means Pilots are able to get more experience before moving on and are paid better which means no longer having to work second jobs and flying with their eyeballs hanging out their heads just to make ends meet!!
Ixixly is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 08:06
  #15 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,453
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"The backbone of aviation is a healthy GA industry"

Never have truer words been said on this site!

Trust the CASA board will put on a new chief who has the ability and experience to reduce all the unnecessary costs. Yet I here that a suitable person has been rejected by the board!
Dick Smith is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 09:57
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: nosar
Posts: 1,242
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I did several years on seaplanes and when I started my full pay began on the day I commenced work. This was also the same day my (provided) seaplane training started. My boss did the same for subsequent seaplane pilots.

If Sydney Seaplanes aren't prepared to do this then they don't deserve 457 pilots. Flying a Beaver is not rocket science and there are plenty of boat savvy pilots around.
Aussie Bob is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 11:37
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 912
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So who [email protected] who first?

Was it the pilot who [email protected] his pilot mate flying for free, an employer saw this [email protected] going on and said '[email protected] this, these dickheads will fly free, why pay them?'

Or was it the jetstars & virgins that started out charging for endorsements, are they [email protected] pilots by doing this or is it the pilot who agreed to pay for it, [email protected] every pilot that came behind them?

Awesome, you're not paying for your endorsement anymore...........but you're on reduced wages for how many years? Proudly, the pilot can stand up and say indignantly 'I didn't pay for my endorsement, not me'

Or was it the pilot who [email protected] the employer who said 'you pay the endorsement costs and I'll give you 5 years' then [email protected] off after 18 months knowing that bonds can't be legally enforced. That's all right, indignantly the pilot can say 'I didn't do anything illegal' knowing full well they'd [email protected] off for a better gig.

I got a good mate who spent 10 years building experience, working towards an airline job. It got too much for him, working in a shithole while his wife and child were in another city, supporting the decisions he made. Whenever a Qantas or virgin eba comes up he says:

'All of them can get [email protected], I hope they get a pay cut. They came through GA, didn't work for the award, [email protected] it up for everyone else behind them, now they're on 300k, whinging about not keeping pace with inflation, they couldn't give a [email protected] when my mate gets killed at Horn Island in a piece of shit that they probably flew and survived'

He actually thinks it's you who [email protected] GA.

Fact is, GA is pretty putrid. Everyone whinges but won't get off their arse and do anything about it.

Another fact is, GA is where the [email protected] starts in the aviation industry, so that's where it's gunna stop if it ever will?

Thoughts Dick?

Last edited by The name is Porter; 28th Apr 2017 at 11:47.
The name is Porter is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 12:14
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cab of a Freight Train
Age: 39
Posts: 994
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
An appropriate description of the industry. But one or two pilots jacking up and refusing to be paid any less than the award means sweet FA in the big scheme of things, because there's a half-dozen waiting in the wings who will quite happily do so. It is too widespread, too entrenched and too far gone for anything to be done about it now.

Best bit of advice for someone who wants to fly for a living: don't...find a job that pays better, has you home most nights, and fly for fun. The stress on your family is not worth it in the long run, and you will likely set yourself up much better in life without a $70K debt and a $40,000 income. If that screws over the airlines, they have only themselves to blame.
KRviator is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 12:19
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The wrong time zone...
Posts: 776
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We are but our own worst enemies as we love what we do...
josephfeatherweight is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2017, 12:45
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 50
Posts: 931
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ixixly wrote:-
Also paying Pilots properly would be excellent, the training is so damned expensive yet the EBA for a SE Pilot of a normal C206 or Airvan for example is just shy of $43,000 a year? Bump that up by a couple of grand I'd say and start cutting the red tape and overheads generated by CASA for GA Operators to help adjust for it and you'll start turning the tide I'd say.
A perspective on this, is that it is roughly inline with what a 4th year apprentice Panel Beater or Spray painter would expect to earn.
Or if you dig deeper into the wages regs, the minimum adult wage.
jas24zzk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.