Colin Rydon MBA FRAeS

Vice President Training, Safety & Compliance, L3 Commercial Training Solutions

Over my 16 year management career and 27 years flying experience, I have been lucky enough to have touched most functions of an airline and training organisation. I started my flying career with British Airways (BA) where I flew the B737, B757, B767, B747-100/200 and B747-400 aircraft. I became involved in all forms of pilot training and examining and was a TRI/TRE/SE on a number of aircraft. Being passionate about training and the desire to drive standards higher I became involved in management at BA. I held a number of different management positions at BA before leaving after 20 years’ service. Following BA I enjoyed a number of years at easyJet where I held a number of management roles whilst flying and training on the A320 as a TRI/TRE/SE. In 2013 I moved to Jetstar as Head of Flight Operations/Chief Pilot and I completed my Hong Kong and Singapore ATPLs along with my Hong Kong TRI/TRE. I returned to the UK as Director of Flight Operations at Flybe flying the Dash 8 turboprop, but managing a fleet of ATR, Bombardier and Embraer aircraft.

I joined L3 Commercial Training Solutions as Vice President Training, Safety & Compliance where I am now responsible for all training across the academy and airline training organisations around the globe. I am delighted to be able to focus my energy now on the next generation of commercial pilots and to look to help drive standards of commercial pilot training to the highest possible level. During my career I have amassed over 10,000 flying hours and am still training and examining on the A320.

Demand and the Diversity Dilemma

‘A shortage of pilots affects XYZ Airline’ is a headline not uncommon from newspapers around the world, for many years we’ve known that there is a significant shortfall in the future number of pilots required. Paradoxically we’re also well aware of the issues of limited diversity within the profession and the seeming inability of the industry to fully open up the profession to make it more appealing and accessible for those without access to the necessary funds. Solving these dilemmas will be key to the continued growth of our industry.