A new scheme to improve the skills levels of private pilots has been launched today by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The initiative aims to encourage GA associations and organisations to provide 'life-long' learning programmes for their members and other pilots to help improve safety.

The Pilot Recognition for Operational Up-skilling and Development (PROUD) scheme provides a framework for pilot training programmes to meet in order to achieve the CAA endorsement. Programmes, therefore, must include a number of levels and show a logical progression of learning and development. To achieve a higher level, pilots may have to obtain a new rating or undertake differences training, for example.

The CAA said it was introducing the PROUD initiative not only to close individual skills gaps, but also to help tackle the high 'drop-out' rate amongst recently qualified PPLs, many of whom lack confidence and motivation. The regulator said it was keen for as many GA organisations as possible to join the PROUD scheme which it would be promoting in particular to all newly qualified PPLs.

Tony Rapson, Head of the CAA's GA Unit, said: “We know that pilots who continue to develop their flying skills are safer than those who do not. That is not a surprising fact, so we therefore really want to encourage all private pilots to find the time to acquire new skills and complete additional training after getting their licence, other than their biennial flight check that is. They will hopefully find that flying becomes more rewarding as a result.”

More information, including details of the PROUD framework, can be found at www.caa.co.uk/ga

For updates follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA.

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on 00 44 (0)207 453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk.

Notes to Editors

The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy.