The Irish Aviation Authority has suspended the flight training approval for the Pilot Training College in Waterford, Ireland, following a financial dispute between PTC and its US-based flight training provider Florida Institute of Technology. The IAA statement explains that at a recent meeting between the IAA and PTC, the IAA ‘sought evidence and assurances that sufficient funding is available to continue operations in Waterford, given that the Florida operations have ceased. PTC informed the IAA that they were investigating restructuring options but that this process would take 10 days to complete. The IAA has suspended the flight training approval for PTCW immediately.
The IAA will re-engage with any proposals emerging from this process but in the interim training in Waterford is suspended.’
PTC Executive Chairman Mike Edgeworth, was reported as saying, “We regret very, very much what has happened and we apologise fully to all our students. We have been trading very successfully for ten years and our current problems are due to issues that are beyond our control”. The situation means over 80 trainee pilots’ training has been suspended by FIT in Florida and they are shortly to return to the UK.
A statement supplied by FIT read, ‘Following the recent termination of its educational agreement with Pilot Training College, Florida Institute of Technology continues to work with PTC students to evaluate future training options. Florida Tech recently ended its relationship with PTC after the organization quit paying its bills, including costs for flight training and room and board. Currently, PTC owes the university approximately $1.2m. These funds owed the university are for services already rendered – any monies students paid PTC for training stay on deposit with PTC until services are rendered by Florida Tech.
‘Any assertion that Florida Tech has failed to act professionally or otherwise appropriately throughout its relationship with PTC is false.
‘The university has spent months attempting to resolve the ongoing payment issues with PTC, but with no success. Florida Tech’s priority remains assisting the affected flight students in any way possible. The statement added, ‘Legal action against PTC is anticipated.’
Former PTC students are now considering their next step after Florida Institute of Technology was forced to terminate their training and organising action against PTC.