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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 111

(Question No. 4827)

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 21 October 1986:

(1) What information does his Department maintain concerning the granting of licence dispensations for overseas pilot-licence holders.

(2) Will the computerisation of departmental records assist in keeping this information; if so, when will (a) computerisation of records commence and (b) a fully operational system be in place.

(3) If the computer system will not contain information on licences and dispensations, why not.

(4) When and why did his Department discontinue the practice of accepting the US air transport pilots' licence as an equivalent to the Australian senior commercial pilots' licence without the need for additional requirements to be met.

Mr Peter Morris —The answer to the honour- able member's question is as follows:

(1) All information concerning the granting of licence dispensations to individual overseas pilot licence holders is maintained on that individual's Flight Crew Licence History File. This would include the original applications, copies of any correspondence and the decision advised to the applicant.

Information concerning the formulation of policy in this area is contained in policy files held in Central Office. Internal guidance to Departmental officers implementing the policy is provided in the Department's ``Flying Operations Instructions''.

(2) and (3) The HP3000 computer network recently implemented by my Department services a number of complex systems and has limited capacity available for each individual system. The flight crew licensing systems include, for example, details of the level of qualification held and its expiry date. It was not considered practicable to maintain information concerning the basis on which the licence was issued.

However a Licensing, Aircraft Registration and Publications (LARP) project team is currently developing proposals for changes in these areas, including use of the Department's new high capacity General Computing Network (GCN).

At this stage it is anticipated that details of exemptions from departmental requirements on the basis of overseas qualifications will be included in the data base. However the LARP team has not yet finalised its proposals or timetables for implementation of its recommendations.

(4) The change of policy followed a review which showed that the written examinations for issue of either the Canadian ATPL or the US Air Transport Pilot Certificate are significantly less searching than Australian SCPL examinations. However it is recognised that practical commercial operating experience in the USA could lead to an equivalent standard through the influence of airline training organisations. Since 19 June 1975 the US Air Transport Pilot Certificate has not been recognised as the equivalent of the Australian Senior Commercial Pilot Licence unless the holder of the Certificate has made significant use of the qualification. ``Significant use'' means at least 200 hours pilot-in-command on heavy aircraft on scheduled commercial operations.