Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (866, 867)

Finian McGrath

Question:

880 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the rules or regulations that are in place on the setting up of public or private colleges that offer professional training (details supplied). [35015/12]

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Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

882 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he and his Department have taken to address the situation that has arisen for a significant cohort of Irish trainee pilots in the United States as a result of falldown on the part of Waterford based Pilot Training College, a business with a substantial public investment through Enterprise Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35249/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 880 and 882 together.

The Pilot Training College Waterford (PTCW) is a privately owned and operated flight training college. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has responsibility for approving flight training organisations in Ireland. In this regard their primary functions are the oversight of the safety, quality and standard of the training being delivered, the conduct of examinations and flight tests. I have referred the questions to them for direct reply regarding their functions. However, I have agreed with the IAA that they will fund the flight costs of those self-financing students in Florida who have an existing contract with PTCW and who wish to leave the USA. I will also give consideration to a bonding/insurance scheme in future to provide financial protection for students of flight training organisations; however, such a scheme would most likely be on a voluntary basis.

The IAA is also endeavouring to ensure that the students affected will be able to avail of alternative training arrangements and it will strive to facilitate the crediting of all flight and ground training carried out to date towards the students' final qualifications.

I am not in a position to comment on Enterprise Ireland's involvement with the company as the role of the agency is not within my remit.