Select Committee on Transport Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 460-464)


25 JANUARY 2006

  Q460  Chairman: Do you think new pilots have got to go abroad to get adequate practice because of the climate and things like that?

  Dr Braithwaite: It is certainly an option but whether they get adequate practice of the sort of weather they might fly in is a different matter altogether. I would certainly agree with Mr Mans' comment earlier on that GA is a part of the industry that we need to nurture. The supply of pilots is drying up not just in the UK but across Europe and beyond that. Without a ready supply of pilots the growth of the aviation industry will start to struggle.

  Q461  Chairman: What about this 2% of private pilots in the UK who hold instrument ratings as compared to 50% in the United States?

  Dr Braithwaite: I do not think the answer to that solely lies with the CAA.

  Q462  Chairman: But is it correct?

  Dr Braithwaite: I do not know.

  Q463  Chairman: You do not know?

  Dr Braithwaite: No.

  Q464  Chairman: So you do not have any view about the effect that would have on safety?

  Dr Braithwaite: It is a different flying environment. There are some reasons why holding ratings would be rather more useful and we should encourage more people to do so. There are other factors such as people holding those qualifications may already have been snapped up in the airline industry, so I do not think there is a simple answer to that.

  Chairman: Gentlemen, you have been very helpful, thank you very much indeed.

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