• Ryan Calleja Urry

Student Pilots In Malta Desperate For Help Due To €150,000 Course & Unfair Stipend Situation 🤔💰

Students in Malta regularly reach out to us with difficulties and questions. As a rule we can't help everyone as most educational matters are out of our control, however, what we can do is use our platform to raise awareness and potentially cause change 🙂

So, today we want to introduce you to a pilot in training who has reached out to us about the fact that they do not currently receive any stipend - despite the very very expensive course which costs upwards of six figures to pay for.

*Note* - The student has asked to remain anonymous for job security purposes.

The Interview 🎤 ✈️

Question 1) - What course are you taking? Is it expensive?

"I am currently enrolled in a course which takes me from PPL (Private Pilot License) to ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot License). My course costs around €150,000 - with multiple exams costing €60 each not included in that price exams."

"Furthermore, in the €150,000 I only have up to 15 flying hours paid, and to be eligible to continue to ATPL I need to have 40hours - the remaining 25 flying hours I have to pay anywhere between €120 - €150 per hour of rental."

"On top of all that, after I get the ATPL, I have to pay for a Type Rating which can cost minimum €70,000" - Who knew being a pilot was so expensive? 😭

Question 2) - Why can't you get a job?

"For me, as well as the friends I have in my course, since our course is full time with only 1 week holiday from school for Christmas, it is quite difficult to find part-time jobs. ATPL students usually spend the majority of the day studying since it is a very challenging course, so finding jobs that suit our study schedule is very very difficult."

Question 3) - Do you have free time to meet friends?

"Social life for ATPL students has to be very limited. I know students who are in the latter stage of the ATPL and also instructors who recently finished their ATPL they told me that usually they had to spend from around 9 till at least 6 studying."

"Some of the subjects covered in ATPL are very in detail and require a lot of time and effort to understand. Furthermore, the passing grade is 75% with some airlines requiring 1st time passes - so there is no room for slacking if you want to have a successful career."

Question 4) - How is quarantine affecting you?

"As of January I was in the practical part of the PPL course which is flying hours. I am currently still under the instruction hours (instructor has to be present in the aircraft with me), hence until the social distancing measures are removed I cannot continue my course."

"This not only means that my course has stopped, but that my career has now been delayed by at least another year."

Question 5) - Have you always wanted to be a pilot?

"I was always fascinated by 'big metal flying tubes' when I was a child and my parents used to take me to the airport to see aircraft landing and taking off. My passion for aviation grew up with me and has been my only dream job from a very young age."

Question 6) - Have you tried reaching out to people about this situation? Have they helped?

"Yes, I have tried to contact the Minister of Education, Minister of Finance, the OPM and also the Prime Minister but never got any response back."

If you're also a student pilot or have a friend that is, please make your voice heard on this issue 🙏

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