Stop CASA Destroying GA & Use Australian Trained Pilots Not 457 Pilots

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The aviation community is fed up with continual bipartisan failures for the aviation sector as evidenced by the meetings in WAGGA WAGGA. CASA as you know has been single handedly responsible for the death of general aviation in this country with explicit permission from both sides of govt. The application of airline costs, rules, procedures and red tape on general aviation has killed it. Without the great Chinese buyout of aviation flight training facilities, most aerodromes would be in much worse shape than they appear. The govt needs to have wholesale changes to CASA. A head of CASA urgently needs to be someone with a very long history of general aviation. CASA must have a MANDATE to promote a thriving general aviation community. CASA must not have a head that comes from the military or airlines, as these people have no clue how costs affect an average pilot or business.

The pilot shortage in this country, IF NOT DEALT WITH PROPERLY is going to cause regional airline incidents, accidents and deaths, if not properly addressed by the govt URGENTLY. The importation of pilots when we have thousands of locally trained pilots just shy of the standard required is a national disgrace. 

By all means use 457 to bridge gaps that cannot be filled, but to use this as the default solution is short sighted, not the intention of the visa system and it completely disregards the VERY SIGNIFICANT investment thousands of pilots have made to become employable. 

2800 trainee pilots would like it urgently and vigorously discussed in parliament that the solution to the pilot shortage is not 457 visas. This is not in the interest of our nation, our taxpayers who elect and fund Canberra. Many of my 2800+ pilots have debts over $100,000 so you can imagine how devastating it is to hear from our own govt, that they intend to solve the pilot shortage with 457 visas, instead of Australian trained and debt ridden pilots.

Airlines should not be allowed to shirk their responsibility to consult and help bridge the gap between a freshly trained Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) graduate at 200-250 hours and the 400 hours they currently accept. The role of industry and RTO’s is to liaise with each other and ensure that people come out of qualifications with the skills and experience for employment. The airlines are shirking their responsibility in using 457 instead of ensuring the incredibly expensive training provides employment ready pilots.

The Australian travelling public also deserve locally trained pilots, many of whom are trained at much higher standards than many overseas pilots with significantly higher hours. 

We are extremely frustrated at the govt for the following
1. We need lower costs in general aviation, commercial pilots in the USA are trained at less than 50% of the cost of Australia (thank CASA for that)
2. Australia must develop a program to transition the thousands of CPL graduates from qualified with $100,000 debts and highly competent , into employment...and the govt and major airlines need to be accountable for helping with this process.
3. 457 visas should not be allowed when we have thousands of Australian pilots that simply need a small leg up to be airline ready.
4. You need to urgently stop the sale of any more Australian flight schools to the Chinese, as this only exacerbates our inability to train pilots. In doing so you need to be warned that if you don’t first address CASAs airline costs on flight schools, most Australian flight schools will go broke.

We request urgent changes including:

1. The next CASA head to have very significant General aviation experience (so they are sensitive to costs imposed on GA

2. CASA be immediately mandated to promote aviation and consider costs on general aviation in all decision making. 

3. The Govt, allocate funds to bridge the gap for Australian pilots to go from training into employment and use Australian Pilots to fill the shortfall

4. Stop the sale of flight training facilities and infrastructure to Chinese companies. In the locations they have already purchased insist they allocate a set percentage of places to Australian citizens. 



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