Varadkar: Trainee pilots may not get refunded05/07/2012 - 10:42:39
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said today that around 80 Irish trainee pilots, stranded in Florida, may not get all of their fees back.
The students could lose around €80,000 each, after their studies were cancelled because of a dispute between their Pilot Training College in Waterford and the Florida Institute of Technology.
Waterford PTC has had its licence suspended by the Irish Aviation Authority and is undergoing restructuring.
Minister Varadkar said that the college was not bonded or insured, which means there is only so much his Department can do to help.
"What we can do is what we are doing, which is to make sure that any training they have done is to be recognised and fully counted so that they don't have to repeat the entire course and don't lose all the money that they've spent," he said.
"We're trying to find and co-operate with other training schools who will take them on, perhaps at a low cost.
"I think something in future we'll have to consider is bonding or insuring these kind of bodies, but at the moment, they're not bonded."
President of the Irish Airline Pilots Association, Captain Evan Cullen, said that this is not the first time this has happened and he wants an inquiry into the matter.
"There was a training college in Cork which also had difficulties in a similar manner," he said.
"And a lot of....young pilots and their families who were borrowed up to the hilt were left high and dry.
"I'm very much concerned that because this is the second time, the regulations are neither being in place or what regulation is there is not being enforced.
"Now these people are the victims of that."
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