Group Questions Viability of GA in Australia

 - February 1, 2007, 7:15 AM

The chairman of the Aviation Safety Foundation Australia, a private-sector organization, expressed “grave concern” over the sustainability of general aviation in the country. Addressing a recent aviation conference in Australia, John Sharp said the federal government is not doing enough to foster the growth of GA. “Wherever you look, general aviation is in decline,” he asserted. “Eighty-six percent of the current GA light aircraft fleet was manufactured before 1980. The average aircraft age is about 25 years.” In addition to an aging fleet, Sharp noted that the average age of pilots is 48 and mechanics 54. “The aviation sector needs a government/industry program to foster recruitment, training and retention of pilots and mechanics.”