It seems that much of the evidence given by CASA, Jetstar, Boeing Australia and other flight training programs to the Senate Inquiry into pilot training and airline safety may need revision.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has released proposals to radically improve ‘real world’ training procedures that would check and enhance pilot proficiency in dealing with emergencies, and overhaul cabin attendant safety training and checking procedures.

The FAA also says it has framed the proposals in a manner that imposes limited additional costs for recurrent training and compliance on the airlines yet would mandate real safety benefits.

In submissions and testimony to the Senate Inquiry, which has delayed its reporting date to June 15 to further explore issues with Tiger Airways and CASA, the safety regulator, the training schools, and the Qantas group, all argued that everything was fine and dandy.

Some of the testimony verged on the comical, if it wasn’t such a serious matter, and trivialised concerns that training standards that applied in Australia were commercially expedient, inconsistent in quality or delivery, superficial or over reliant on automation.

The FAA is clearly not as relaxed about these matters as its more secretive Australian counterpart.

The Senators may see a need to question why second best is all that Australia needs.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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