Central Fla. flight school closes; license revoked

Published On: Aug 01 2013 11:43:23 AM EDT
ORMOND BEACH, Fla. -

A flight school has closed after the European Aviation Safety Agency suspended and then revoked its license.

And officials at Ormond Beach Municipal Airport, where the flight school was based, are wondering if other flight schools around the state will be affected by the more stringent regulation recently rolled out by the European flight agency. The Euro American School of Aviation trained European pilots in central Florida.

In a memo published on the school's website on Wednesday, President Adrian Thompson wrote that the school will not take any new students but will try to finish the flight programs for those currently enrolled.

In the letter, Thompson said the agency is "hell bent" on closing down overseas operations to drive up costs for private and commercial licenses. "You've been warned," he wrote in a comment directed at other aviation schools.

Meantime, Thompson said the school is appealing the "unlawful and arbitrary action" by the agency, which is similar to the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States.

Michael Justiniano, who recently came from Norway to get a pilot's license, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that he didn't learn the school had closed until he arrived in Ormond Beach.

"We should have been told this before we applied for visas and the cost of tickets and the school," he said, noting he spent about $4,000 coming to Florida and then flying back home.

Ormond Beach airport Manager Steve Lichliter said the school was having difficulty complying with the agency's new guidelines. He suspects other flight schools across Florida are having similar experiences.

"I imagine they're all dealing with this problem," Lichliter said.

Nick Mayhew, the general manager at Bristow Academy in Titusville, told the News-Herald officials are working hard to meet the agency's standards.

"Some of it has been a bit demanding," Mayhew said.