Select Committee on Transport Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Captain M A Claydon

  As a pilot with some 39 years flying experience I have, in the past, sat silently under the bureaucratic mountain that the un-elected members have created as the CAA.

  I feel now that the time has come for me to take this opportunity to voice my opinion in addition to those forwarded by AOPA whom I wholly support.

  If ever there was an over regulated industry, aviation certainly was, and is, it.

  During my career as a British Airways pilot I saw first hand the time and expense caused to the airlines whilst they tried to comply with ham-fisted rule changes generated by the CAA and latterly JAA. Many changes are now considered to be bad mistakes but the faceless personnel who made the changes have long since moved to other departments without any accountability.

  Now retired, and as an aircraft owner, I have allowed all my expensive CAA/JAA licences to lapse and have reverted to a NPPL to try to reduce the burden of regulation and charges. Charges on GA that the CAA now seek to increase due to pressure from the airlines and the Government's requirement for the Authority to produce an excessive profit.

  Quite simply, these increases will completely stifle GA and the training organisations operating within it.

  Is it any wonder that the CAA has won the epithet amongst pilots as Campaign Against Aviation!

  The CAA claims to exist to promote safety. Increasing charges on GA will be counter productive for safety. Existing already stretched finances will fund less flying per person, recency will fall, pilots will become less practiced.

  Sponsorship by the airlines has already effectively ceased due to the increasing cost of ab initio training.

  Where do the airlines think their future supply of pilots will come from?

  Recent articles in the latest BALPA magazine eloquently highlight the fact that GA will still need to provide future pilots despite the airlines claims to the contrary.

  If the CAA increases charges the only pilots coming through this route in the future will be those that can afford to pay for it. This will generate a smaller cross section of candidates to fill the increasing need for new pilots. Is this really the ideal selection procedure? Will such candidates be safer pilots than those selected from a much wider base by their ability and suitability for sponsorship by the airlines? I think not.

  With EASA looming over the horizon and organisations such as the PFA and BMAA already overseeing the regulation of sections of GA do we really need the CAA involved in GA at all?

  When they make their considerations about the future of the CAA, I trust that the Transport Committee will take account of the strength of the views of the end user" such as me and particularly those put forward by AOPA who represent the silent majority of GA pilots.

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