Amongst a global pandemic and despite all the hardship due to lockdowns, SFC has recently announced our intention to bring six brand new 2021 Piper Archers to the club direct from the USA. For use by members and students, and for training and private hire, these new machines will help SFC bring our fleet up to date. Improved serviceability versus our existing Archers will also mean fewer maintenance issues, and a more efficient training capability.
We have invested heavily in ensuring that these aircraft are safe and comfortable for members, and also equipped for the Australian operating environment. Each aircraft includes air conditioning, wet compass, TAWS-B terrain avoidance and warning system, TAS GTS 800 enhanced traffic advisory, GFC 700 AP fully integrated dual axis auto-pilot, AMSAFE seatbelts and a hot weather kit of sure-start mag booster magnetos, fuel return, second oil cooler and CHT gauges. I am also pleased to announce here for the first time that these six new 2021 machines will be rolled online early October, and they will be joined by a further four in 2022, bringing the total to ten. Look out for the snazzy new SFC paint scheme too.
This week we will also complete the pilot (no pun intended) of our rapid antigen testing clinic. This is a significant investment by SFC designed to keep staff and students safe, and entirely within a guaranteed ‘clean’ zone while teaching and learning. Every person operating at SFC will be subject to daily on-site testing by our team of dedicated nurses, and only permitted to enter the clubhouse environment on receipt of a negative result. We believe this is an industry-leading approach in both general aviation and face-to-face training in general. If you are interested to learn more about the protocol, you can read the document here.
SFC Diploma student Aiden Mcinerney undergoes rapid antigen testing at SFC's testing clinic at Bankstown Airport
For self-paced members, once we prove the concept of the rapid antigen testing clinic, we hope to expand our re-opening to include you as well, subject to the same controls. Watch this space for updates.
For our Diploma students, or those considering a career as a pilot, the long-term future looks bright as the world begins to move towards a post-pandemic future. Disruption has pushed forward opportunities for those seeking a career in aviation, and the demand in the coming years will be significantly higher than anticipated.
If you have ever dreamed of chasing your dream job as a pilot, then now is the time. Those who start training today and graduate fully licenced in 18 to 24 months’ time will most likely have jobs waiting for them. Boeing have recently published their first Pilot and Technician Outlook since the pandemic began, and they confirm that the longer-term trend of a pilot shortage will continue. Boeing forecast that the world will need 763,000 more pilots over the next 20 years with the biggest need in the Asia-Pacific region with 248,000 required (ref: Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook 2020-2039).
The future looks different, and the way we do things will never be the same. However, one thing is certain, and that is that most in this world will take their first opportunity to travel and catch-up with their loved ones around the world once things recover, and that’s good news for pilots.
SFC has grown from strength to strength over the past 7 years and our Passion for Flying has pushed us to deliver training in new ways in these uncertain times. We are not only surviving but thriving, and remain true to our vision of fostering the aviation community through the joy of flight.