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Estonian Aviation Academy to dial back pilot training

Estonian Aviation Academy.
Estonian Aviation Academy. Source: Estonian Aviation Academy.

Growing expenses mean the Estonian Aviation Academy cannot keep training the same number of new pilots as recently.

Rector of the academy Koit Kaskel told ERR that the school's expenses have grown so much that it simply cannot afford to offer training in recent volume while maintaining quality. For example, the price of practical flight training has gone up 25 percent in the last year. The academy has no certainty in terms of being able to secure additional funding this year or in the near future.

"Were we to try and save on other curricula that are cheaper to offer, we would have to ax a lot more students to achieve meaningful economy. Overall availability of education would take a far more serious hit compared to what we have decided to do in pilot training that is the most expensive for us."

"Aviation is recovering at a brisk pace, which is good news for pilots and the labor market. Unfortunately, we are forced to take this decision that in a way goes against market expectations in the condition of ballooning costs," Kaskel remarked.

The flight academy wants to start offering unmanned aerial vehicles training.

Kaskel explained that the use of drones is important in many walks of life today and the Estonian Aviation Academy is seriously thinking about offering training and pursuing research and development in the field.

"We do not have a separate unmanned aviation or drone study program right now, while we are working on developing the field, and it is likely that manned aviation will be complemented by its unmanned counterpart in the future, allowing for more effective, economic and environmentally friendly operations."

The Estonian Aviation Academy is a state vocational higher education provider that trains specialists for Estonian aviation companies.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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