General Aviation

Published on July 16th, 2020 | by Mark Dwyer


Waterford Aero Club ATO Approval

Waterford Aero Club was founded in 1982 with the aim of bringing pilots and enthusiasts together to expand their interest in hobby aviation. The ethos of the club was to make flying accessible to the people of the South East of Ireland, that mindset remains at the very core of their operation to this day.

This week, Waterford Aero Club became the first club in Ireland to receive ATO (Approved Training Organisation) approval. This is a wonderful step for the club which we will begin to see emulated within Ireland in the coming months and years. It is widely known amongst aviators, that there is a chronic dearth of Flight Instructors in Europe and around the globe. One of the aims of the ATO approval in Waterford is for the club to have an opportunity to home grow their instructors and provide a credible alternative career to that of the airline and commercial world.

Speaking at the event on Tuesday this week, David Timpson – Club Chairman spoke about the renewed interest in General aviation since Covid-19 has reached our shores, and what the club can offer. “We’re particularly happy at the moment, that even since Covid-19, we’ve had a credible interest in the club. The membership has, thankfully shot right back up to where it would have been back in the boom times even, so we’re really happy to see the influx of new and local people coming back to the club. Amongst those people it’s not just the person seeking a career, it’s also someone seeking that unusual hobby that they can do locally. Thankfully, we’re in a position now that we can offer two modern aircraft, Cessna 172’s which we have also invested a lot in”.

The club in Waterford can now offer Flight Instructor Ratings along with their existing courses. It is refreshing to see so much positivity emerging within General Aviation in Ireland, especially given these uncertain and uncharted times.

Pictured above from left to right are David Timpson – Chairman, Chris Hennessy – Flight Instructor and Founding Member, Blair Kelly – Accountable Manager, Andrew Power – Head Of Training/CFI, Adrian Jackman – Director, Brian O’Keeffe – Treasurer.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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