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UK CAA on Corona Crisis

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has announced, that all sessions up to the 4th of May will be cancelled. Updates will be posted to their dedicated COVID-19 page shortly.

You may find the page following this link: UK CAA COVID-19 page.

25 Mar

CATS during Corona crisis

The message from the UK Government is loud and clear where we can, we should stay at home, protect our NHS, and thereby save lives if we possibly can.

As such, CATS is reducing physical staff levels to 1-2 from Monday 23rd March 2020.

CATS TV commences broadcasting at 1000 h UTC 23rd March 2020 and will include live and catch-up video streams of In-House, Distance Learning Brush-Up, and Key Facts lectures as News Briefings as required. This means current face-face teaching is suspended until further notice.

We await to hear from the UK CAA with regard to exams but I personally feel it is highly unlikely that they will proceed until further notice. With regard to Austrocontrol exams on 9/10th April 2020 at Luton it is very likely that the exams will be cancelled until further notice.

Further updates will follow on CATS NEWS section on our website home page and on social media.

Dr Stuart E. Smith
Head of Training CATS

22 Mar

From the UK CAA

This advice applies to all CAA examinations candidates and associated Approved Training Organisations and follows Public Health England guidance. 

The CAA has been closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to regularly check Public Health England and World Health Organisation guidance. Please be assured that the safety and health of the public is our utmost priority. 

We currently taking precautions concerning CAA examinations (Flight Crew and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering) conducted at all venues.

Candidates will be unable to enter the examination room if they have:

  • travelled from a Category 1 location in the last 15 days.
  • have any symptoms that could be Coronavirus. The symptoms are a cough, or a high temperature or shortness of breath.
  • been in contact with someone with confirmed Coronavirus in the last 15 days.

Candidates will be required to review and complete a declaration in accordance with the above when arriving at the venue for an examination.

At all times, candidates will follow the instructions of CAA staff including when a candidate may be declined entry to any examination should the CAA staff conclude that there is a risk to safety and public health, including for that candidate and others. 

CAA examinations may be cancelled (including at short notice) in response to an unforeseen or change in public health circumstances.  Such cancellations will be at the sole discretion of the CAA.

Any travel and related expenses incurred by the candidate to attend any CAA examination will not be refundable by the CAA in the event a candidate is declined entry to an examination or where the CAA cancels any examination.

The decision on whether a candidate attends a CAA examination is at the discretion of the candidate (and candidate consultation with their Approved Training Organisation, if applicable). We urge candidates to take this decision with care and with account to these extenuating circumstances and protecting public health. 

For a period of three months, from 16 March 2020 to 16 June 2020, the CAA will waive any fees normally incurred for cancellation and/or transfer to a future CAA examination sitting

Should there be any changes to the current status, the CAA will take account of any recommendations from the relevant authorities and implement all appropriate instructions accordingly.

16 Mar

CATS is in contact with several aviation authorities. This is the response from Austro control.

On the occasion of the decrees published by the Austrian Federal Government containing measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, our invigilator staff is subject to a travel ban at the moment. Due to the recommendation of the Federal Government and the current situation, we also felt compelled to close our examination room in Vienna. Please be assured that we will try to develop and offer appropriate alternatives for the continuation of examination events.

As a first step, the upcoming examination events will be monitored by camera, if appropriate support can be offered by the respective flight school. In this way we try to avoid a cancellation of exam events, but are dependent on technical and personnel support. In this regard, the respective invigilator planned for the event will contact you immediately to discuss details. We ask you to inform your students accordingly and to encourage them to follow the information on our homepage.

In conclusion, we would like to ask for your understanding and help to deal with this situation in a professional and rational manner.

There follows a message from our Head of Training, Dr Stuart E. Smith:

If you are booked in for examinations at CATS LUTON please be assured that refunds will be processed should you require it.

  • Do follow our social media posts for updates.
  • We will also contact you directly on this matter.

From a technical point of view we can support these exams however Austro control will be informing me shortly of whether we get the go-ahead or not.

12 Mar

CATS Luton will have Austrocontrol exams on the following dates:

21/01/20 to 22/01/20
13/02/20 to 14/02/20
5/3/20 to 6/3/20
9/4/20 to 10/4/20
7/5/20 to 8/5/20
11/6/20 to 12/6/20
16/7/20 to 17/7/20
20/8/20 to 21/8/20
10/9/20 to 11/9/20
1/10/20 to 2/10/20
5/11/20 to 6/11/20
10/12/20 to 11/12/20

The CATS Austrocontrol Booking portal opens from 20th December 2019.

18 Nov

CATS Brexit Guidance

There has been some consternation about whether UK PART-FCL theoretical knowledge examinations will remain valid under conditions of a ‘hard’ Brexit deal. For students wishing to continue their examinations in a European PART-FCL state guidance has been sought from a European PART-FCL member state, Austro Control.

There follows a reply to Dr Stuart E. Smith, Head of Training of CATS, from Austro Control:
“By way of derogation from Commission Regulations (EU) No 1178/2011 and (EU) No 1321/2014, the competent authorities of the Member States or the Agency, as applicable, shall take account of the examinations taken in training organisations that are subject to oversight by the competent authority of the United Kingdom but which have not yet led to the issuance of the license prior to the date of application referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 10(2) of this Regulation, as if they had been taken with a training organisation subject to the oversight of the competent authority of a Member State.”

“Although the Article refers to “examinations taken in training organizations” we [Austro Control] interpret this provision in a way that theoretical knowledge examinations taken with the CAA-UK are to be considered as if they had been taken with Austro Control, as this is the only way this article makes sense, since there are no examinations in training organizations foreseen by the Aircrew Regulation, except for the issue of class or type ratings according to FCL.725 (b) which then again would not “lead to the issuance of a license”.

“We are aware that there are different interpretations, but this is the way we understand this Article, because it would not make sense to refer to the Aircrew Regulation, if the provision was not meant for the Aircrew Regulation.”

This infers that students already part-way through the UK theoretical knowledge examination system may continue their examinations with Austro Control should they choose to do so.

Dr Stuart E. Smith
Head of Training, CATS

22 Jul

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CATS, 110 Butterfield,
Luton, LU2 8DL
+44 (0) 1582 434 222