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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 41

(Question No. 1550)


Senator Sheil asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 28 November 1986:

(1) What percentage of all currently held Senior Commercial Pilot Licences and Airline Transport Pilot Licences are granted to the holders on the basis of being the holder of the equivalent or higher overseas pilot certificate and in which countries were these qualifications obtained, since in reply to Question on Notice No. 1335 (Hansard, 9 October 1986, p. 1156), the Minister for Aviation implied, but did not state, that this information was not held by the Department of Aviation.

(2) What percentage of past or present Department of Aviation staff have Australian Licences granted on the basis of foreign qualifications.

(3) If the Department of Aviation does not have this information, why not, and how can the Department justify such a cavalier attitude to safety as to grant Australian Transport Pilot Licences and Senior Commercial Pilot Licences to the holders of overseas qualifications without keeping a record of what it was doing.

(4) Why was the practice of granting licences to holders of equivalent or higher foreign qualifications discontinued.


Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) and (2) The Department of Aviation does hold information on every pilot who has been allowed some exemption against the usual licence requirements on the basis of foreign qualifications. However the information is held on the individual Flight Crew Licence History files and is not readily available in the form sought by the honourable Senator. To provide the advice sought every SCPL and ATPL file in Australia would need to be manually examined. I am afraid that development of statistics of this kind is not felt to be the optimum use of scarce departmental resources.

(3) The information is held but not in a form that would assist the honourable Senator. I can assure him that my Department takes a most responsible approach to these matters and exemptions from Australian requirements are only granted after a stringent examination of each application. Full details of these decisions are then recorded on each individual's licence file.

(4) This practice has not been discontinued. Exemptions from some Australian licence requirements are still granted where it can be demonstrated that the applicant has an appropriate level of foreign training and experience.