Transport Spokesperson Timmy Dooley has said there is a moral obligation on the Government to ensure the trainee pilots stranded in Florida can complete their training at another flight school. Students are still stranded in the US unsure of what to do next, having paid thousands of euro for their training.
Deputy Dooley said: “These students have been put under enormous financial stress and strain over the past three weeks and they are still in the dark about what happened to the training course they paid for in the first place and what options there are for them now.
“This is the type of issue that arises from time to time where swift Government action is necessary. Minister Varadkar must clearly set out what exactly the Government is prepared to do to ensure the welfare of the students in Florida is taken care of and, if necessary, the Government should be prepared to put in place the funds needed to allow the students complete their training and reach their final qualification.
“These students have forked-out up €85,000 and they should be able to finish their training without being required to borrow yet more money.
“Looking beyond the immediate crisis of this incident there are serious questions for the Government and the IAA. It’s clear that some bonding or insurance system is needed for this type of situation. Where there is so much money involved it’s crucial that people taking up these courses have some protection from a repeat of this situation.
“However my main concern is for the trainee pilots coming home from Florida at the moment with their hopes for completing their training in tatters and the students still stranded who need to be brought home before the visas expire. I am calling on Minister Varadkar to state clearly what exactly is being done for these students and what options the Government is looking at to ensure their training can be completed.”