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Trainee Pilots Disadvantaged in Budget 2011

Trainee Pilots Disadvantaged in Budget 2011

Thursday 19 May 2011, 5.45pm

For immediate release

Over 600 future student pilots nationwide will be disadvantaged by changes to the Student Loan scheme in Budget 2011, which signals the exclusion of solo flight hours from the scheme.

SANITI Student President Rachel Boyack, who represents over half of the current student pilots in New Zealand, said that talented young pilots with potential for success in the industry may now have the door closed to their training.

“Each student will need a slightly different number of hours to complete their solo time, but our initial calculations suggest a cost of about $25,000 for each student that won’t be funded through student loans”, SANITI Student President Rachel Boyack said. “This will seriously limit access to pilot training in New Zealand.”

Industry and users of aviation services in New Zealand, including the general public, should be concerned about such changes.

“A pure market approach will restrict aviation pilot training to those who can afford it, rather than those who are likely to be successful pilots”, Rachel Boyack said. “Alternatively, some students will source personal bank loans with high interest rates, further adding to their already large student loan debts”.

“Student pilots already face an uphill battle in their quest for a career in the aviation industry and this budget will make their training even more difficult”, Rachel Boyack concluded.

ENDS

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