Flying Schools: Liquidation - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 2:47 pm ar 13 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Tunnicliffe Lord Tunnicliffe Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Minister (Transport) 2:47, 13 Tachwedd 2023

My Lords, this issue is essentially a financial one. It is a matter of the chaotic planning of pilot training. Ever since the Second World War, there have only been periods of it being properly done. I was trained in the 1960s, paid for by the national airlines. That yielded a group of pilots which has created four decades of ever-increasing safety. Mistakes were made in demand; I was also responsible for those, having got the number of pilots catastrophically wrong—we had too many. It has gone on like that. In the recent past, we have had this magic formula of leaving it to the private sector. Now, things have happened to the private sector that have put these relatively small businesses under stress. The Minister’s department needs to study the whole thing and see where we are.

I think there must be a real crisis because, as the Minister will know, British Airways has launched the Speedbird Pilot Academy for 60 candidates—wholly paid for, including board and lodging. The problem that has emerged is twofold. First, becoming an airline pilot is probably the profession that needs the right parents more than others as £120,000 is the sort of figure you need. Secondly, there is instability among the flying schools. Will the Minister look into this problem and see whether she can bring some stability to the situation?