New Straits Times - - Letters -

YOUTHS as­pir­ing to take up fly­ing as a ca­reer should check with the Civil Avi­a­tion Depart­ment (DCA) in Putrajaya to find out whether cour­ses of­fered by fly­ing schools in for­eign coun­tries are recog­nised by the govern­ment and air­lines op­er­at­ing in the coun­try.

Re­cently, one of my cousins’ sons at­tended a sem­i­nar con­ducted by an agent for three fly­ing schools — one lo­cal and two for­eign.

The lo­cal fly­ing academy of­fered a fly­ing course, in­clud­ing twin-en­gine in­stru­ment rat­ing, for an Air­line Trans­port Pi­lot Li­cence (ATPL), which is recog­nised by air­lines world­wide.

The for­eign ones train cadets only for a Com­mer­cial Pi­lot Li­cence (CPL), which is not recog­nised by Malaysia Air­lines, AirAsia, Malindo Air, AirAsia X, MASwings and Fire­fly.

As one who works closely with the avi­a­tion in­dus­try in the Asia Pa­cific, I would like to say that those who ob­tained a CPL abroad need to train at a lo­cal fly­ing school to ac­quire an ATPL if they want a job with a lo­cal car­rier.

While on assignment in a for­eign coun­try re­cently, I met five Malaysian cadet pi­lots who were at­tend­ing a CPL course at a fly­ing school that was rec­om­mended by an agent. They said they only re­alised it was not recog­nised by DCA on the first day of the course.

On a dif­fer­ent note, lo­cal fly­ing schools should con­sider rais­ing the ad­mis­sion re­quire­ments, which is cur­rently five Si­jil Pe­la­jaran Malaysia cred­its.

Many cadets with ATPL are un­able to se­cure jobs be­cause they have failed the ap­ti­tude tests con­ducted by the re­spec­tive air­lines.

There are an es­ti­mated 620 job­less grad­u­ates who com­pleted their cour­ses at lo­cal fly­ing schools. My nephew is one of them. He sent ap­pli­ca­tions to four lo­cal air­lines and a car­rier in a neigh­bour­ing coun­try, and only re­ceived neg­a­tive replies.

The ATPL is only valid for five years. Dur­ing this pe­riod grad­u­ates must get a job as a com­mer­cial pi­lot and ac­ti­vate the li­cence by log­ging 1,500 hours to be pro­moted to a se­nior first of­fi­cer be­fore he can har­bour hopes of be­ing pro­moted to cap­tain

Eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment will not be mean­ing­ful with­out mu­tual re­spect among the di­verse races, in­ter-racial har­mony and unity.

Malaysians can also show their love for the na­tion by re­sist­ing at­tempt to po­larise and di­vide the peo­ple through in­sen­si­tive re­marks with­out due re­gard or re­spect for race and re­li­gion.

We must teach our chil­dren that they can grow up to­gether and ap­pre­ci­ate friends of dif­fer­ent with the re­quired num­ber of fly­ing hours when he is due to be up­graded.

Stu­dents who want to en­rol in fly­ing cour­ses lo­cally must take note of the fact be­sides ba­sic aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions with ATPL, they also have to sit for pre-en­try writ­ten pa­pers set by the air­lines. There is also an in­ter­view fol­lowed by a strin­gent med­i­cal check-up by a doc­tor au­tho­rised by DCA.

Par­ents must re­alise that hav­ing the money to fi­nance the course does not guar­an­tee their chil­dren a job af­ter ob­tain­ing an ATPL.

This is the painful ex­pe­ri­ence that my younger brother had to go through, more so as his son is only anSPM holder.

My brother spent RM320,000 eth­nic­i­ties and build the na­tion to­gether. Mul­tira­cial liv­ing and com­mu­nity are part of our his­tory and her­itage.

They have be­come an im­por­tant source of racial in­te­gra­tion for many years and have cer­tainly played a part in mak­ing Malaysia a har­mo­nious place to live, learn, work and play.

Achiev­ing unity among the di­verse races, re­li­gions and cul­tures is the na­tion’s big­gest chal­lenge and all of us, in­clud­ing on his son’s course which dragged on for three years and seven months when he should have com­pleted it in 18 months, as stated by the fly­ing school. The school has since closed.

The de­lay was due to the fact that the school did not have an air­wor­thy twin en­gine air­craft. To­wards the end of my nephew’s course, the school had one leased twin-en­gine air­craft while an­other was grounded for tech­ni­cal rea­sons.

Stu­dents with higher aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions and re­cruited by an air­line and sent for train­ing are the ones who are as­sured of a job when they fin­ish their course with an ATPL.

WIL­LIAM DEN­NIS Subang Jaya, Se­lan­gor

big cor­po­ra­tions, must play our role to unite our na­tion .

I hope the spirit of pa­tri­o­tism that is be­ing in­stilled through the Ne­garaku ini­tia­tive will make us proud of our coun­try and help unite the na­tion.

As proud cit­i­zens of Malaysia, we must al­ways en­sure that the Ne­garaku spirit soars high in the sky like our na­tional car­rier.

TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE Trus­tee, 1Malaysia Foun­da­tion

File pic

Malaysia Air­lines’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Ne­garaku ini­tia­tive is a noble move as it could help in­stil the spirit of pa­tri­o­tism and fos­ter unity.

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