Flight Train­ing

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Bris­tol's Brexit-proof ex­ams; Air France's pi­lot train­ing

Bris­tol Ground­school has an­nounced a so­lu­tion for pro­fes­sional pi­lot li­cence stu­dents tak­ing EASA the­ory ex­ams with the CAA that safe­guards against a Brexit ‘no deal’.

Direc­tor Rod Wren ex­plains: “The EASA reg­u­la­tions al­low pi­lots to com­plete their pro­fes­sional ex­ams with any EASA Mem­ber State – even if they want their li­cence is­sued by an­other State. How­ever, all four­teen pro­fes­sional ex­ams must be taken with the same State. As it is usual to split the ex­ams into two or three sep­a­rate sit­tings, there is a dan­ger that can­di­dates will com­plete some ex­ams with the CAA, cur­rently an EASA exam au­thor­ity, but EASA has an­nounced that it will not recog­nise those ex­ams if the UK ceases to be an EASA Mem­ber state. This could be dis­as­trous for our cus­tomers un­der­tak­ing their pro­fes­sional stud­ies. For­tu­nately, we have a great so­lu­tion to this prob­lem.”

That so­lu­tion is an agree­ment with Aus­tro Con­trol – Aus­tria’s equiv­a­lent of the CAA – to open an exam cen­tre at the Bris­tol Ground­school’s train­ing cen­tre at Cleve­don, near Bris­tol in the UK. Ex­ams taken with Aus­tro Con­trol will be recog­nised by all EASA reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties for is­sue of an EASA pro­fes­sional pi­lot li­cence. In the event that the UK leaves EASA and starts is­su­ing its own pro­fes­sional pi­lot li­censes, the CAA will recog­nise EASA ex­am­i­na­tions, and will pro­tect the can­di­date what­ever the out­come of Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“The other great news is the cost of each exam taken with Aus­tro Con­trol is only €39.60 com­pared to £71 for a UK CAA ex­am­i­na­tion,” says Rod Wren, “so if the UK re­mains an EASA mem­ber state there is no down­side to in­di­vid­u­als switch­ing to take their ex­ams with Aus­tro Con­trol and ob­vi­ously a sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ing.”

Bris­tol Ground­school’s owner and man­ager Direc­tor Alex Whit­ting­ham adds: “Aus­tro Con­trol have been great to work with and fo­cussed on the needs of the can­di­dates. This so­lu­tion re­moves un­cer­tainty and will al­low our stu­dents to con­cen­trate on their stud­ies, safe in the knowl­edge that they will be able to ap­ply for a li­cence what­ever hap­pens in the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions. The exam ques­tions are the same as the ones the CAA uses, and from the same ques­tion bank, with the re­sults is­sued directly af­ter each exam. The ex­ams will be taken on ipads.”

The first sched­uled dates for ex­ams at Bris­tol Ground­school are 20-23 No­vem­ber and 3-6 De­cem­ber. Can­di­dates who have al­ready booked their ex­ams with the CAA may can­cel those book­ings and get a full re­fund if it is at least seven days be­fore the ex­ams are due to take place. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion please visit: bris­tol.gs

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