'I see an industry being destroyed': Dick Smith calls for Australia's aviation protection

25 April, 2018

Australia's Government has destroyed the pilot training industry and led it into bankruptcy, according to former Civil Aviation Safety Authority chairman Dick Smith (9news.com.au/Daily Advertiser, 24-Apr-2018). Mr Smith noted that over the past five years,  the aviation industry in Australia has seen pilot numbers decline by more than 30%, while noting that flying schools are closing across the country or are being sold off to Chinese buyers. Mr Smith is, as a result, calling for the government to change the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to make it more affordable for Australian pilots to obtain their commercial licence. Mr Smith stated: "Teenagers leave school and want to become a pilot but find it too expensive... Everything is more in Australia – the cost to set up a flying the school, the staff required, and the number of flying hours needed and exams to do to...  get a commercial licence. I believe we have an incredibly safe aviation system but we don't have enough pilots because the government has sent the flying school industry broke... I'm concerned about this because I'm a proud Australian. None of this affects me. I have my own aircraft but I see an industry being destroyed".