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Are some large ATOs artificially causing training delays??

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Are some large ATOs artificially causing training delays??

Old 14th Sep 2020, 23:39
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: six micro tesla zone
Age: 29
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Are some large ATOs artificially causing training delays??

Well itís no secret that there are huge backlogs at some ATOs. Businesses obviously need cash flow to survive, I think this is why so many businesses love subscription type services as it guarantees income for a fixed period of time......

Iím wondering if some ATOs are purposely signing up way more cadets than they can handle and delaying the cadets for as long as they can get away with it. If they have a big backlog of cadets(cash cows) then in theory they can almost guarantee x amount of income for x number of months/years in advance; itís win win for the accountants, managers and investors. I think some ATOs are just treating flight training as an instrument to generate money and could care less about the training itself.

Does my theory have an basis?? Am I just stating the obvious? Is there anything we can do to demand more standards and accountability from ATOs? Why is there not an independent body that audits flight schools and licensing like in a lot of other industries? Commercial flying is such a safety critical and highly specialised profession, why do we pilots have to navigate through such an unprofessional, outdated, jiggery pokery, corrupt system full of con men and sharks to get our licences??
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Old 15th Sep 2020, 06:46
  #2 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,282
ATOs would indeed be fortunate having a queue at their door.
Any reputable ATO will be taking reasonable staged payments; so to generate that income, the next phase of training is about to occur.

The only way to improve accountability is by legislation. That is only achieved by lobbying your MPs / Lawmakers, as the present arrangements are only concerned with the Training, not the financial aspects.

Eventually the lack of funding can severely impact the business model which in turn causes the Training to suffer.
It is only at this point that a Regulator calls STOP. Seacoats at Lydd in the 1990s were told by the UK CAA to stop taking new customers until they sorted themselves out. Cash flow became even less, and they ceased trading. A few refugees ended up at PIK with BAeFC.
Invariably, the ATO has already stopped due to insolvency or lack of cash flow. Fraudulent trading is never easy to prove, and needs to be blatant for the Authorities to take an interest.

Thinking back to 9/11, heavy indebted companies simply had the plug pulled overnight by the Bank. Cut their losses now.
GILLAIR at NCL being an instant STOP.

The reason for Ďmiddle mení and others etc referred to in your last sentence, is caused by gullible, naive, desperate, Junior Birdmen wanting to get ahead of the game.

They clearly didnít subscribe to PPRuNe.

Last edited by parkfell; 15th Sep 2020 at 09:25. Reason: syntax
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Old 15th Sep 2020, 09:31
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bristol, England
Age: 61
Posts: 1,538
I think some ATOs are just treating flight training as an instrument to generate money and could care less about the training itself.
IMHO that is certainly correct. Business demands a continuous inflow of cash. Undoubtably the managers of these ATOs thought that they could match the training throughput to the level of recruitment but discovered, even before coronavirus, that they could not and so significant backlogs built up. One, L3 Harris, tried to deal with the backlogs by laying off their IR training to their competitors. This is to their credit as far as the customers are concerned but it does not strike me as a brilliant idea commercially as it allowed new competitors who would otherwise have had a difficult time building a position in the market to establish both their businesses and reputations at L3's expense. Now big ATOs with a training backlog will be relying to a large extent on stage payments from their existing students to keep them going. That is, unless they took all the money up front. Current market feedback is that the PPL and FI schools are extremely busy, that integrated and MPL recruitment has fallen off the edge of a cliff, but modular is still continuing. When you talk to the managers of the large integrated ATOs they will tell you that business is booming, but you can see the fear in their eyes.
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