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Why is General Aviation declining?

Unfortunately, I don’t believe these figures are particularly useful. The CAA needs to rationalise/de-duplicate the figures to take account of many pilots wth both EASA and UK national licences.

However the drop in ATPLs is notable. Perhaps this explains why there is such demand for commercial pilots, with many (hour building) instructors being sucked up by increasing demand from airlines.

A more worrying indicator for me is the significant reduction in those taking the IR(R) (was IMC) rating, after a big surge when it was under threat in 2012/13.
CB-IR’s haven’t yet increased by a significant number (the IR total would include anyone converting an FAA to EASA IR)

PS: The legend is incorrect/swapped – Blue = full IR rating, Red = restricted IR (IMC) ratings.

Last Edited by DavidC at 26 Aug 21:50
EGBJ, United Kingdom

The CAA needs to rationalise/de-duplicate the figures to take account of many pilots wth both EASA and UK national licences.

I did wonder if that was a factor. But I have no idea how many UK PPLs kept that and went on to get the EASA PPL. If that % is significant then those stats are daft. It’s like me having an FAA PPL, EASA PPL and an FAA CPL, so I should count for 3

The IMCR / IR(R) has had an image problem for as many years as I remember. Basically as soon as pilot forums got going in the UK, say 2003, it was slagged off mercilessly (“it’s a get out of jail free card”) by certain obnoxious sky-gods, and I am sure everybody knows which forums and which personalities I am referring to. That was the beginning of its decline. But it’s a brilliant qualification.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

it’s a get out of jail free card

Sounds great to me.

Another non-negligible effect that probably skews the statistics (if you will) is foreign pilots holding UK licences but who neither live nor fly in the UK. I would say there are more of these than foreign licence holders flying in the UK.

Rwy20 wrote:

Another non-negligible effect that probably skews the statistics (if you will) is foreign pilots holding UK licences but who neither live nor fly in the UK.

Correct, there are loads of them, especially on the ATPL level. I personally know quite a few.

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