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Bar lowered for private pilots

中国日报网 2013-12-11 10:10

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China has eased requirements for trainee pilots hoping to fly private aircraft, a move experts say will boost the general aviation sector.

Changes have been made to the standards for theoretical exams, flight tests and physical condition that a flight student for private aircraft must meet before obtaining a certificate, the Civil Aviation Administration said in a statement.

"Before the standards were loosened, physical requirements for private aircraft pilots were as stringent as for those wishing to fly commercial aircraft," said Li Xiaojin, a professor at the Civil Aviation University of China.

In the past, flight students in China were subject to rigorous standards because most of them would fly military or commercial aircraft after they graduated from flight academies, he explained.

He added that equipment used on aircraft in the past was not as advanced as today, so pilots had to have a strong physique to handle flight controls.

Under the new requirements, those aged 17 or above who have received at least three years of education at a middle school will be eligible to apply for a private pilot's license, applicable only for noncommercial flights.

The biggest change made to the previous requirements is in the physical criteria an applicant must meet.

Requirements for height, weight and eyesight were altered and those who have chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension or coronary artery disease, which would disqualify them in the past, are allowed by the new rules to take flight courses.

After receiving a certified report of their physical fitness, flight students will also have to go through 40 hours of theoretical studies and another 40 hours of flight training before they sit final exams.

Passing the tests will allow them to hold a private pilot's license, the administration said, noting there are about 40 flight academies in China.

Questions:

1. China’s easing requirements for trainee pilots will do what, according to experts?

2. In the past, why were China’s flight students subjected to rigorous standards?

3. How many flight academies are in China?

Answers:

1. Boost the general aviation sector.

2. Because most of them would fly military or commercial aircraft after graduation.

3. About 40.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

 

About the broadcaster:

Anne Ruisi is an editor at China Daily online with more than 30 years of experience as a newspaper editor and reporter. She has worked at newspapers in the U.S., including The Birmingham News in Alabama and City Newspaper of Rochester, N.Y.

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