Select Committee on Transport Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by G A Alliance


  Response to a question from Clive Efford MP.


    (a)  The applicant has a basic PPL licence and a reasonable amount of flying experience.

    (b)  The applicant has to travel to each training location and stay in a local B&B or hotel accommodation, (B&B assumed in costings).

    (c)  That food costs are equivalent in each Country.

    (d)  The applicant would take three to four weeks holiday time to obtain a licence in USA but would have to agree additional time in UK with consequent loss of earnings.

    (e)  UK applicant initially has to obtain a USA basic PPL (but as the applicant will have a UK PPL this should be a relatively short procedure).

    (f)  The UK licence to be acquired will be a JAA IR licence. Note that the control/issuance of these licences will be taken over by EASA in due course.

    (g)  The licence is obtained on, and limited to, single engine aircraft operation.

    (h)  A first time pass is achieved in both ground and flying exams.

    (i)  Dollar exchange rate $1.70 to £1.

Course price—including aircraft hire 9,850.00
Aircraft hire for test (approx two hours) 390.00
Approaches practice other than at base 250.00
CAA flight test fee691.00
Ground school course costs 1,300.00
Ground school compulsory two x five day week revision attendance accommodation costs 250.00
CAA Ground school exams fee (seven exams over two days) 420.00
Time for course—seven x five day weeks—accommodation costs 875.00
Exams at Gatwick two days—accommodation costs approx 140.00

NB.  Allowance for loss of earnings for c4 weeks not included.

Total time commitment = 9 and a half weeks.

Allowance for converting UK basic PPL to USA basic PPL three days aircraft hire + instruction. Ground test is computerised. 300.00
Course price including aircraft hire5,100.00
Ground instruction costs 625.00
FAA written exam fee 80.00
FAA flight test fee 350.00
Time for course—three weeks—accommodation costs approx 735.00
Total 7,190.00
Cost in £ 4,229.00
Plus cost of flights to/from USA (BA in Feb/March) approx 350.00
Total say £ 4,580.00

Total time commitment = four weeks.


  Whilst the direct comparison of costs shows that the JAA IR licence costs are three times the cost of that in the USA, it is by far from the only consideration.

  Applicants who are self employed or hold senior positions in business find it difficult to devote the concentrated time required to do the JAA course.

  Furthermore the content of the JAA ground school with, seven exams, is more demanding that that of the USA and is recognised as including subject material more related to commercial air transport flying. As the private pilot wishing to improve his skill base does not intend to continue to take up a commercial career (if they did they would be taking a different and specific commercial course), we argue the ground based examinations should be more geared to the private pilots' needs. Discussions have been held with the authorities concerned and they are finding it difficult to agree to incorporate revisions that would make the rating more suitable for the private pilot. This is most unfortunate and as a result only some 2% of UK private pilots have an instrument rating compared to some 50% of USA pilots.

19 January 2006

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