Australia's Opposition seeks inquiry into pilot licence proposals

The Federal Opposition has called for a Senate inquiry into a new type of pilot’s licence.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is considering using a new licence for co-pilots, including those on jumbo jets.
Labor’s transport spokesman Kerry O’Brien says the licence requires a minimum of only 10 hours flying.
Senator Eric Abetz, representing the Transport Minister, told the Senate the Government will not do anything that will compromise safety.
CASA says co-pilots of large passenger jets can learn more from using 747 flight simulators than flying solo in single engine planes.
Peter Somerville, from the Australian and International Pilots Association, says he is worried standards are being lowered to attract overseas students to Australian flight schools.
“There’s a looming international shortage of pilots, as the Chinese and Indian aviation industries grow, and what we’re calling on the Minister for Aviation, Mark Vaile, to do is to reign in the Civil Aviation Authority, review this new multi-crew pilot’s licence and make sure that Australia’s high safety standards are not reduced,” Mr Somerville said.
16/10/06 ABC Online, Australia

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