AOPA working for you
I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season and are ready for a New Year full of promise, hope, resolutions and good economic times. Let’s face it, the elections are last year’s worry now and we have at least two years to work with what we know before starting it all over again. I am optimistic.
In the UK they have a president’s diary which is called “AOPA working for you” and it is a summary of what their President is doing. I thought I would give it a go and try to explain what is being done for you by AOPA.
On 10th December I had a meeting with the CAA New Southern Skies team leader to put the case for GA VFR flyers who will have to comply with ADSB by 2020. The day before I had taken a walk of no more than 50 meters from my hangar and counted 15 planes of which only one would have been able to meet the proposed new standards. Every other plane could need up to $15,000.00 spent on it to be able to fly out of or into Nelson after 2020. To put it bluntly that is not acceptable so we need to work through a solution with CAA and Airways.
Then on December 11th It was the NZ Aviation Federation (NZAF) AGM and Council meeting where I was elected President of NZAF. www.aviationfederation.co.nz Ask any of the past Presidents of AOPA and they will tell you this body should have a lot of clout with CAA and Government but has been a bit behind the game over recent years. I aim to change that as it is the only truly representative body for GA in New Zealand. We need to make it work.
Following that meeting still on the 11th was the ACAG AGM where we elect the members of the group that will represent GA at the highest level with CAA. https://www.caa.govt.nz/rules/Rule_Dev_Process/ACAG/ACAG_Membership.htm
Click on this link and see the members and realise how influential this group is. Gerald Grocott, an AOPA member, was elected as a new member and his airline experience plus his GA experience, in all types of planes, will be invaluable.
The two weeks before Christmas were hectic, one day into the job at NZAF and The Aviation Industry Association (AIA), who are the NZAF partner in Aspeq Ltd which owns ASL decided to sell some of their shares. This has required NZAF approval and we are still working through this issue at the moment.
You have heard me talking about SBAS in NZ & Australia which has been a pet project of mine for the last year or so. We are making serious progress on this and I have a joint presentation to make in February with Airways at the Australasian PBN seminar. www.approach15.com Then in March there is a Joint AU/NZ meeting in Canberra which will entail another presentation on SBAS with Government from both sides attending. Then capped off with another presentation at the ICAO ASPAC ADS-B Task Force seminar in April, specifically on GA VFR ADSB and you will see that there is quite a lot happening this coming year.
Luckily I have a good committee backing me up with Jack and Marion Schulte co-opted and organising the AGM in Whakatane while being ably assisted by Phil Pacey. Clair Patterson (another ring –in) and her team are doing the golf match the day before. Pat Lyford has organised our next Exec meeting in Blenheim on 30th Jan coinciding with the Healthy Bastards short landing competition at Omaka. Steve Brown is handling the medical meetings with CAA, Guy Sanders the Z card discounts, Shaun Gilbertson just doing what Shaun does best which is organising fly-ins at short notice. Then Ian Vercoe is beavering away at the accounts and CMVP while Angela Hunter our admin person (who is getting more pregnant by the day), does the web-site, magazine coordination, AOPA benefits and anything I need in a hurry. Now that leaves Don Ryder looking after Anna Mackenzie who does the magazine editing and production and finally Peter Glaistar, Paul Hood and Graeme Donald who all pull in to whatever else we need done at the time.
I am extremely grateful to all these guys and girls but please, ask yourself if you have a particular skill that you think would be an assistance to the executive. You don’t need to actually be on the exec as we are happy just co-opting for a specific task. If you are an avionics expert your knowledge would be great. Have we got a retired Judge out there that we could run a few things past when we need to? We are working on the CAA Act review and sometimes it would be good to get some in depth knowledge on what we can, or cannot, expect to get through Parliament. A good political lobbyist who can steer us in the right direction when trying to get access to the politicians would be invaluable. We need young people involved at Exec level and old people to advise them. So come along to the AGM and put your hand up. It is your association and it is “working for you”. Alternatively email me and let me know who you are.
So that is what AOPA is doing for you. Come to the AGM and meet the Executive. There are still some rooms at the Tuscany Villas but book now. This year we have a guest speaker from the Canadian AOPA and we want to keep the formal meeting short to allow time for you to raise any issues you have and discuss all the things in the above acronyms. You can see why Gerry Brownlie has forbidden the Airforce to use acronyms in any briefings to him.
Another thing you can do is to put pen to paper, along with some high definition photos, for the next magazine. The deadline is 31st January so you should have some good holiday stories to add. Those of you on the Hunter valley trip take your cameras and get some GOOD shots. We always need a good high definition photo for the front cover.
Fly safely and enjoy.