• Regional airlines are the RAAA's core members, but the association has several FTOs on their books as well. (Steve Hitchen)
    Regional airlines are the RAAA's core members, but the association has several FTOs on their books as well. (Steve Hitchen)

The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) is taking a cautious approach to the new flight training association that was announced last week.

The Australian Flight Training Industry Association (AFTIA) was formed in reaction to what some flight training organisations (FTO) believe is under-representation of the sector, a task the RAAA has proported to champion in the past.

RAAA CEO Steve Campbell said whilst he wished AFTIA all the best, many questions still needed to be answered.

"I welcome the new AFTIA initiative and agree that training in general deserves more of a focus," he told Australian Flying, "but we do need to understand more detail in AFTIA’s policy platform with their ideas on how they will make a difference for their potential members.

"I am personally not one for more associations in an already crowded space, so it would be interesting to hear how AFTIA believes they will be able to stand out in the crowd."

Campbell also pointed out that RAAA had several members who were FTOs and that the association had ongoing projects with Canberra and felt a co-operative effort was better than presenting a divided facade.

"The RAAA has already been working in this space of course with the Department of Infrastructure, focusing on key skill shortages in our industry and will be looking at bringing some of our members together, who are the largest training providers in Australia, to put forward solutions for future government consideration," he said.

"The RAAA also recently put in a submission to the general aviation senate inquiry calling on the government to produce the Future of Aviation paper, which will be key in understanding where the government’s focus will be in the short to medium term for aviation and in particular skills shortages.

"It would be more advantageous for us all to be putting our shoulders to the same wheel, but none the less I wish AFTIA the very best."

Several other advocates in the flight training sector have expressed similar sentiments to Campbell, but have preferred to remain off the record.

AFTIA has released some preliminary material and is believed to be in the process of producing a prospectus for potential members.

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