The amount of time spent doing flying related stuff that isn’t directly related to the flight on the day is actually getting silly.
To get access to the flight school requires a permit. Now you can acquire a day permit for the princely sum of R10 but this requires someone to walk/drive over from the flight school to the gate and pick you up. This sometimes means having to wait for ages for them to come through, and always requires a trip to the permit office where they now know my name. So ideally one needs a permanent permit. Which requires a couple of logical things like a copy of ID, police clearance, form from flight school etc. It also requires attendance at an Aviation Safety Course.
This is what took 4 hours of my time this morning. I’d love to say it was fascinating and useful information but to be honest there was nothing there which wouldn’t have been obvious to even the most dimwitted, and due to the scope of attendees – from baggage handlers, to PPL students to airside workers the scope was so broad that there was no time to delve into any of the modules. Coupled with an exam which was nothing more than a formality I’d say it was a waste of time. Surely everyone knows that you don’t walk behind or in front of a running jet/prop engine? Or am I giving people too much credit?
Look, I’m not for a minute saying that Aviation Security and safety is not a big deal. It is. But I’m not sure this is the best way to get that message across – I do not feel any more empowered re saferty or security than I did this morning. On the plus side, I can now put a big tick in the column that says “AVSEC course”. Additionally, holders of pilot licenses do not have to repeat the course every 2 years. Which is a relief. (Unless of course I haven’t managed to go solo within the next 2 years….)