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CAA Launches PROUD General Aviation Pilot Training Initiative

by Jason Gorringe,, London

27 August 2015

A new scheme to improve the skill levels of private pilots was launched by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on July 31, 2015. The initiative aims to encourage general aviation (GA) associations and organizations to provide "life-long" learning programs for their members and other pilots to help improve safety.

The Pilot Recognition for Operational Up-skilling and Development (PROUD) scheme provides a framework for pilot training programs to meet in order to achieve the CAA endorsement. Programs, therefore, must include a number of levels and show a logical progression of learning and development. To achieve a higher level, pilots may have to obtain a new rating or undertake differences training, for example.

The CAA said it is introducing the PROUD initiative not only to close individual skills gaps, but also to help tackle the high 'drop-out' rate among recently qualified private pilots license holders, many of whom lack confidence and motivation. The regulator said it is keen for as many GA organizations as possible to join the PROUD scheme, which it will be promoting in particular to all newly qualified private pilots license holders.

Tony Rapson, the Head of the CAA's GA Unit, said: "We know that pilots who continue to develop their flying skills are safer than those who do not. That is not a surprising fact, so we therefore really want to encourage all private pilots to find the time to acquire new skills and complete additional training after getting their licence, other than their biennial flight check that is. They will hopefully find that flying becomes more rewarding as a result."

Subsequently, on August 12, the CAA announced that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) had become the first organization to be endorsed under its PROUD initiative, for its established Wings Award Scheme.

Commenting on the PROUD endorsement, Martin Robinson, Chief Executive of AOPA UK, said: "This new innovative scheme from the CAA is an excellent way for industry to work in partnership with the Authority. Any organization that focuses on improving pilot skills through education and training can now get an endorsement from the Authority. AOPA is ' PROUD' to be associated with this initiative."

TAGS: training | aviation | education

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