Other pilot courses 'being sourced'
The Irish pilot-training firm at the centre of a financial row that has left trainee pilots stranded in Florida said this evening it was continuing to do everything it could to source alternative training courses for its students.
Some 80 students, 34 of them Irish, paid up to €86,000 to train with the Pilot Training College (PTC), a Waterford-based flight school.
They had been receiving training in the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), which had a contract with the Waterford school, but, due to a financial dispute, the Florida centre has stopped their training.
In a statement this evening, PTC said of the 180 students in Florida, 70 already had their training taken care of by their respective airlines.
“In relation to the remaining 110 students PTC has been in dialogue with CAE Oxford Aviation Academy over the past several days in an effort to formulate an alternative training facility for most PTC students in light of the cancellation of the training contract between PTC and the FIT,” it said.
“A detailed analysis of all student training records has been undertaken by both PTC and CAE Oxford Aviation Academy and a formula has been arrived at on a student by student basis.”
PTC said the first group of 39 students had been informed of the details of this plan and that "they would not be financially impacted by the difficulties in PTC Florida due to a credit being offered by CAE on the initial deposit amount that the students have already paid."
“The remaining 71 students have been categorised in groups depending on their stage of training and performance to date. Before the end of this week, PTC will let students know individually whether CAE Oxford Aviation Academy intends to make them an offer to continue their training. The students who receive such an offer and who intend to avail themselves of it will be invited to contact CAE Oxford Aviation Academy directly and to enter into a new training contract. This process will take a few more days to run its course,” the statement continued.
PTC said it had furnished the Irish Aviation Authority with all documentation required to confirm all training records are in order.
It added that while CAE will offer a “moderate discount” to offset part of the amount already paid for the course, “PTC recognises and deeply regrets that a number of students will incur additional costs in having their training completed as a result of the ongoing dispute between FIT and PTC”
The firm said it was doing everything possible to “mitigate any losses”
Earlier, Fianna Fáil’s transport spokesman said the Government has a “moral obligation” to ensure the Irish trainee pilots stranded in Florida can complete their training at another flight school.