Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

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A Canadian group is trying to get formal recognition for pilots as professionals in the same league as doctors, lawyers and engineers. Tom Machum, president of the College of Professional Pilots of Canada, told AVweb that if successful, the College would set and enforce standards for commercial pilots and provide needed input into regulations and laws that govern aviation in the same way that the governing bodies of other professions operate. "We're hoping that we can transform piloting from its current status which is really kind of recognized as more of a trade into the true realm of being a professional," Machum said. He said the overall goal is to enhance safety by providing the framework for pilots to excel at their jobs. If successful, it would be the first professional pilot designation in the world.

Largely through word of mouth, the College has attracted more than 1,000 members (out of about 24,000 eligible pilots in Canada) and Machum hopes it will gather the support it needs from government to become the self-regulating body it wants to become. Machum said its principal functions would be pilot certification and accreditation of flight school curriculums along with ongoing support and education to ensure professional pilots achieve and maintain the highest levels of expertise. He said it would be open to anyone with a commercial license or higher.

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