he security crackdown meant to keep terrorist hijackers out of American flight schools has forced thousands of foreign students to train overseas, weakening the country's global dominance in aviation training, officials in the industry say.
That shift, they warn, could ultimately mean greater risks for air travelers, because American flight schools are the main source of well-trained commercial pilots for foreign airlines.
"The United States has always made most of the aircraft in use around the world, we produce most of the instructors and we train most of the pilots," said Joseph E. Burnside, vice president for government and industry affairs of the National Air Transportation Association, the trade organization for the general aviation industry. "But now we're concerned that we may be losing that market."
"If the government doesn't get its act together, students are going to begin training overseas, and that training will be of lesser quality than they would receive in the United States," Mr. Burnside argued. "There will be an impact on aviation safety worldwide."