Foreign Pilots Back In Australia
Australia is relaxing recently tightened immigration laws and will allow foreign commercial pilots to work in the country on two-year visas. The country slashed the issuance of work visas last April but relented on pilots because a shortage is threatening to result in flight cancellations. Australia depends on aviation to serve its far-flung wilderness areas. The Regional Aviation Association of Australia welcomed the change but is also lobbying for four-year visas to bring some stability to hiring.
Opposition party politicians slammed the change, saying Australia, which boasts some of the most consistently good flying weather in the world, should be able to train enough of its own pilots to meet demand. They also raised concerns about foreign ownership of airports, calling for laws to ensure all Australian airports are controlled domestically.