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Tuesday, 28 April 1987
Page: 1933

(Question No. 1652)

Senator Sheil asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 26 February 1987:

When can the Australian aviation industry expect a more complete alignment with the International Council of Aviation Organisations (ICAO) pilot licensing practices-specifically across the board licensing interchange between signatory countries, given that the Minister for Aviation regularly refers to ICAO conventions.

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

Australia's flight crew licence requirements are based on Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). They are therefore already broadly aligned with the practices of other signatory countries. There is for instance reciprocal recognition of private pilot licences, subject to a satisfactory medical check and other basic requirements. However many countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom are more cautious when considering recognition of foreign qualifications for the issue of commercial pilot and higher licences. At this level Australia requires applicants to demonstrate that they have an equivalent level of aeronautical knowledge and skill before being granted the Australian licence and recent reports indicate that the U.S. is also moving towards a similar policy. There are no plans to vary the Australian practice at this stage.

However I am advised that ICAO has recently conducted a review of licensing standards and procedures. The changed procedures and practices addressed in the ICAO review have been studied in some detail by my Department and are being taken into consideration in a recently initiated review of the Australian flight crew licensing system. The Australian review has just entered the consultative stage with the aviation industry through the medium of a discussion paper. This paper has been sent to over 500 representative organisations, operators and interested individuals. One announced objective in the paper is to maintain the recognition of Australian flight crew licences by overseas authorities.