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Pilot numbers compared to population

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Pilot numbers compared to population

Old 19th Sep 2021, 23:43
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Pilot numbers compared to population

Readers of this thread may be interested in some recent figures I have been given in relation to the number of pilots per head of population.


Dick Smith is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2021, 05:51
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But what category of licence and are RAA pilot certificate holders included in Australian numbers? Analysis should also exclude all people below minimum legal licence age. Otherwise the ratios are useless
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Old 20th Sep 2021, 06:00
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There's also the question of what a 'pilot' means. Do those stats cover all Australian licence holders, including overseas trainees that have learnt in Australia, or just cover Australian citizen pilots. Same for other nations. I would expect Australia to have a very low proportion of local pilots with CASA issued licences, private GA flying is virtually dead, and has been for years now. For a long time now 98% of everything you hear flying GA wise is a trainer, most likely training a foreign pilot. While there is nothing wrong with that, I would imagine GA would be 90% deader without that foreign input.
43Inches is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2021, 14:42
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But to what are you going to attribute this, Dick? Because I can assure you there is one over-riding factor- disposable income.

If you look at the cost if living vs wages, particularly in relation to housing-of the countries you list, Australia will come out worst. Because we have saddled people with immpossibly expensive real estate, few have the extra income to induge in expensive leisure activities such as flying.
Wizofoz is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2021, 17:51
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Assuming the numbers Dick provided are correct and recent then it’s a damning indictment of government policy, over regulation and bureaucratic over reach.

It will be interesting to somehow quantify the cost flying in each country, I would not be surprised to see the ordering in that table reversed.

A vast country with among the most benign flying conditions in the world becoming an aviation backwater..

The sad part is that it’s now irreversible. Too many clueless and cowardly politicians have over the years caved in to the dramatic projections of compromised “safety and security” by the bureaucrats. After all they are the experts… aren’t they?

Dick, you’re best placed to offer a solution. Am I wrong about irreversibility?
lucille is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2021, 20:20
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Originally Posted by Wizofoz View Post
But to what are you going to attribute this, Dick? Because I can assure you there is one over-riding factor- disposable income.

If you look at the cost if living vs wages, particularly in relation to housing-of the countries you list, Australia will come out worst. Because we have saddled people with immpossibly expensive real estate, few have the extra income to induge in expensive leisure activities such as flying.
Bollocks. The fact that NZ is included in this very short list invalidates your comment - lower wages, higher cost of living.
oldm8ey is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2021, 21:31
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I’m with Lucille. It is a disgraceful and national tragedy that this wide brown land where light aircraft can be the bush Ute of remote areas, has almost come to a stop.
Those that really want to fly , will do, in spite of CAsA, not because of it.
CAsA is the lead boot crushing GA and VH pvt flying. And the terrible damage done has come at a colossal cost to the taxpayer.
But wait !.. there’s more. Politicians have just let it all rot away on the CAsA mantra of “safety”,safety, safety” !

Economics do have something to do with it, but how come NZ is lively and dynamic in that little, mountainous, diabolical wx environment,
Attitudes, freedoms, less onerous reg bs and ‘can do’?.
Oz could be like the US… just cut the BS let the people free .

We have a tyranny of distances but worse still a tyranny of bureaucracy and power crazy control freaks.
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Old 20th Sep 2021, 22:34
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Originally Posted by oldm8ey View Post
Bollocks. The fact that NZ is included in this very short list invalidates your comment - lower wages, higher cost of living.
On average, possibly- but that is very much skewed by Aukland which is substantially (like double and more) the rest of the country- and GA tends to happen in the country. You are now paying prices that would have got you a house in outer Sydney five years ago to live in Tamworth.

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Old 20th Sep 2021, 22:35
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Originally Posted by lucille View Post
Assuming the numbers Dick provided are correct and recent then it’s a damning indictment of government policy, over regulation and bureaucratic over reach.

It will be interesting to somehow quantify the cost flying in each country, I would not be surprised to see the ordering in that table reversed.

A vast country with among the most benign flying conditions in the world becoming an aviation backwater..

The sad part is that it’s now irreversible. Too many clueless and cowardly politicians have over the years caved in to the dramatic projections of compromised “safety and security” by the bureaucrats. After all they are the experts… aren’t they?

Dick, you’re best placed to offer a solution. Am I wrong about irreversibility?
I simply don't think this is so. It doesn't matter what it costs, it matters how much you have to spend, and that is much less on average then in previous eras.

Bear in mind we have an active RAAUS sector, for whom regulations are actually laxer than the US equivelent, and our Experimantal rules are basically a cut-n-paste.
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Old 21st Sep 2021, 04:00
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IMO it is not a simple "change X and everything will be better" type problem.

That GA in Oz is declining is due to many factors. Changing the regulatory framework and oversight will not solve it because the issue is due to more than that.

It includes (but is not limited to):

* infrastructure weaknesses (local councils not able to support aerodromes following withdrawal of commonwealth support),

* lack of affordable new aircraft in GA coupled with an aging fleet,

* competition for land use at aerodromes where operators/owners/councils can see more $$ using (or selling) the infrastructure for non-aviation uses,

* a world where young people (and older people sitting typing away on facebook or PPRuNe or streaming immersive TV/movies) get quick gratification without having to go out and do things (like flying) and so no longer interested,

* the commodification of air travel and a race to low cost removing a lot of the mystique and allure of aviation meaning fewer people see it as something worth pursuing as a job or a hobby.

* The organisation that advocates for aviation - Oz AOPA seems to be dying (go to their web site home page, it advertises the latest weekly edition of their magazine - the latest being Feb 1 2020 and under the advocacy pages there are only 3 items dating this year, the fourth item dates from 2019)**.

* Add to the mix COVID, lack of jobs, a industry that seems more intent on pulling each other down, general negativity and discouraging of new pilots, rather than standing together, respecting each other and mentoring people (I read the pages on this forum and wonder sometimes is this really what most pilot's are actually like).

* A society that increasingly is looking for someone/thing to blame when things aren't the way we want rather than one that works together to improve stuff

What could make it better?

1. A robust, thriving advocacy body. Government will not listen without it. Look at the role of the US AOPA compared to our AOPA. It needs commitment from us.

2. A community wanting to put in to make it better and being active in ways other than typing on internet forums "oh woe is us it is all the government/CASA/flying training industry/airlines/women pilots who get an unfair advantage/VET Fee Help Students/greenies/people who use wrong spelling/Other pilots/Air Services/people who don't vote the same as me's fault - strike out whichever is inapplicable - we are all doomed!". It needs a sense of comradery amongst us.

3. Lobbying of the commonwealth and state governments to see the value to the community of a strong general aviation industry rather than a short term cost view. Means us making noise.

4. Mentoring and encouraging new people into aviation. Means us looking beyond ourselves

Regulatory change alone will not do it, change of CASA policy/behaviour alone will not do it, Airspace change alone will not do it. The industry itself (and I lump in private pilots as part of the industry because they are 100% part of the GA industry) alone can make a change - it will not be made for us but by us. Or it will continue to wither.





**AOPA - I am not saying this is AOPAs fault - AOPA is a reflection of the membership. Are you a member? Are you involved? Are you questioning why it seems so quiet? Are you offering to assist? I have to admit I just pay my fees and do nothing else. Well, other than type away on internet forums and bore my students and co-workers so I am as guilty as most.



strewth. got all preachy there but what the hell.

Last edited by jonkster; 21st Sep 2021 at 04:59. Reason: speling
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Old 22nd Sep 2021, 05:52
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OK, Dick. You’ve thrown the burley in the water. The fish are circling. It’s time to hang your properly baited line in here and propose a solution.

Bluntly, you are the ONLY one in Australia with the gravitas to effect change. CASA and their sock puppet minister will only laugh at people like us raising issues.
lucille is offline  
Old 23rd Sep 2021, 01:26
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The main issue killing GA is cost, nothing much else will save it. Yes regulatory burden adds to this problem but the driving factor remains cost of operation vs what can be charged to cover such costs.

A small step in the right direction would be to deregulate GA aircraft up to 4.5 tons for private operations and training exactly like road vehicles.

* Relax maintenance standards for private and training aircraft. We used to do 100 hourly oil and filter changes on PA28s, never had one engine problem in 10 years I was there, then came AD-ENG 4 and we had to do 25 and 50 hour changes, depending on equipment.
* Relax security measures and requirements for private and training operations, ie airports like Moorabbin should not need ASIC entry requirements or ID cards etc, just photo ID on request so a drivers licence or pilots licence.
* Merge RAA and GA to 4.5 tons, one rule set for all private operations (to the lessor standard) none of this stupid, oh a 700kg has less mass and inertia than a 1000kg, we know that. Anyone can drive a 4 ton loaded truck with no training or security, with the possibility of crashing into a bus stop or bus with the chance to injure hundreds, let alone do something 'illegal' with one.
* Get rid of liability issues and extend the limited liability to include all private/training aviation, only gross negligence to be covered. It is something you choose to do, knowing the risks.
* Get rid of liability issues for private and smaller airstrips, covering only gross negligence.
* Return all theory up to private licence accreditation to 'in-house'
* Mandate all significant majority GA airports to cater for and foster the growth of GA operations, including set aside areas for parking including affordable maintenance, storage and operational hangar space.

If these measures work for Private and training operations without planes dropping from the sky (which they won't), extend them to small charter ops etc.

Further things to do,

* Fund the resurrection of the local GA production and maintenance industry.
* Fund country infrastructure and tourism to include building airstrips for private visitors.
* Change taxation rules around light aircraft.
* Fund local light aircraft production.
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Old 23rd Sep 2021, 13:09
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When I was learning in the late 80's, you could walk anywhere on Moorabbin Airport without question, there were no fences higher than your waist and PPL exams were in house.

I've no idea what's there now - haven't been in Australia for 20 years, so I'm guessing that's not the case now?
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Old 24th Sep 2021, 06:18
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The statistics provided are not useful when apples are compared to oranges. The Australian numbers do not include RAAus which significantly alter the ratios.. There are also more CPL and ATPL in the USA as there are more people to be served by airlines etc. Population distribution also has an impact on regional services. Australian population is predominantly around the coastal fringe and 67%of the population is in the capital cities,another 7% live in 5 cities close to capitals or have their own airline services.

There are so many influencing factors involved that the comparisons provided are irrelevant.
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Old 24th Sep 2021, 21:50
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I do laugh like a drain when CASA in effect says: "But look over there at all the RAAus pilots and flying hours. They're going gangbusters!"

They would be, wouldn't they? They are exempted from most of CASA's overreaching rules. It's easier to survive and thrive when the regulatory Frankenstein's monster is concentrating on 'safety-izing' everyone else.
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