An increasing rate of unemployment among Thai pilots due to lack of aviation knowledge has prompted the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) to embark on an audit of flying schools across the country over the next six months. Expected to start in mid-April, the country’s first such audit would aim to weed out poorly performing institutions, according to a senior official at CAAT in Bangkok, Supachai Boonrak.
The CAAT will issue warnings to schools with shortcomings to improve or risk license revocations. Supachai said the crackdown will address schools that turn out low-rated pilots. The number of jobless individuals carrying a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) has increased from 220 in 2013 to 650 in December 2019. Authorities expect the number to increase this year.
Ten flying schools operate across the country and graduate an estimated 90 to 100 pilots every year.
Supachai said a major concern centers on a poor command of the English language of some instructors and students. “The hiring process by local airlines is very stringent and there is no provision for these carriers lowering standards,” he noted.
In a recruitment exercise in November by a local carrier, only two recruits of 98 candidates that finished their training passed written and simulator tests.
An instructor with a Thai airline who identified himself only as Surawonglee told AIN that the high failure rate among newly graduated pilots clearly indicates that the course offerings in some of the schools need review, especially in the areas covering aviation law and navigation. “Many of the flying schools do not meet international standards, making it difficult for the new graduates to secure employment,” he pointed out.