Industry calls on government to enact student funding protection

Industry associations are calling on government to enact financial protection measures to prevent students from losing their training investment in the event of a flying school folding.

Following the recent demise of two large Approved Training Organisations (ATOs), Tayside Aviation and FTA-Global, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), Bristol Groundschool, Wings Alliance and Seager Publishing have written a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Transport asking for new protection measures for students.

The letter requests that the UK Civil Aviation Authority imposes a £5,000 limit on the amount an ATO can take in advance payment for a training course; that the CAA reviews its regulatory oversight procedures in order to comply with current law; and that a consumer protection scheme similar to the travel industry’s ATOL scheme be given due consideration.

Alex Whittingham, Managing Director of Bristol Groundschool said: “The CAA have been asleep at the wheel. They need to fix the system so this doesn’t happen again.”

BALPA Interim General Secretary Miranda Rackley added: “Flight schools going bust is financially devastating to hardworking students who deserve to have their money better protected from flight school failures. Pilot training is amongst the most expensive training of all professions, and unlike other careers such as law and medicine, there is no student funding available. Many trainees’ resort to family support to fund their training, such as remortgaging family houses. 

“Government needs to step up and protect students that are so vital to the future of the UK aviation industry.”


Author: FTN Editor

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