The month of March gives a lot to reflect on. A very successful Southern Safari and well attended AGM being the first things that come to mind. The AGM was held to coincide with the start of the Safari which would seem to be a good idea considering the turnout of around 70 people.
Safaris are a great way to improve your strip flying or to just have a lot of good times with likeminded people. It is always hard to predict the weather but this year it all worked out well. There will be full coverage of both the AGM and Safari in the magazine so I will leave it at that for now.
One of the main things that came to fruition during March was the final report from TDB Advisory Ltd “Review of Aspects of the CAA Triennial funding review”. This report is now on our website for your viewing
but more importantly has been delivered to CAA and MoT as an addendum to our submission on the funding review. This is an independent review that pretty much agrees with what your executive has been saying. In short, a medical application fee of $70.00 + GST and agreement that the data used by MoT in their “analysis of a Fuel Levy” is not that of a typical operator in the NZ environment. We still have a way to go on this but CAA are attending our Exec meeting on the 8Th April to discuss the report and I have a meeting with the Minister on 13th April where we will touch on it also. The main thrust of that meeting is to encourage the Minister to support our push for SBAS in NZ and Australia. As SBAS is needed for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) which will change the way we drive and use our cars in the near future, we want this to be part of the National Infrastructure.
I had a rather excited text this morning from one member who has just passed her DL9 medical in preparation for going solo and gaining her PPL. Until now this pilot would never have gained a PPL which can be converted to an RPL and is in fact the only way to get an RPL. Again this is one of the small steps we have made along the way to getting a PPL with full privileges on a medical that is not controlled by CAA. Progressing that further, in July this year I have been asked to moderate a session at IAOPA Assembly in Chicago on working towards a world standard, PPL medical, that is based on a drivers licence medical. Our resident Doctor, Steve Brown is working on this now and we will look at putting a resolution to that IAOPA meeting to encourage all states to cooperate on this single standard medical.
I was at the Royal Aeronautical Society 150th anniversary dinner last night which was held at Government House and hosted by Sir Jerry and Lady Mateparae. What a great venue for all New Zealanders to be proud of when we entertain overseas dignatories.
In the course of conversation at our table (which had two CAA managers present) the matter of certification of new Part 23 aircraft came up. Part 23 is the FAA design and certification standard for general aviation aircraft, mostly singles, light twins and some turboprop aircraft. It is good to hear that our CAA design and certification team are right at the forefront on input to a revision of that Part. It is intended to make certification easier and therefore cheaper so we may start to see some new fully certified aircraft on the market. Conventionally powered and electric. This is one area where our CAA stand up and get counted in International matters. Another is the work that Peter Lechner does as chair of the ICAO Meteorology Panel. This is all good stuff for NZ and something I applaud CAA for getting involved in. it is a good use of the CAA resources so long as it is funded from the Public purse.
The New Southern Sky programme has a conference in May with details on their website and a link provided below. I get the opportunity to again push the SBAS barrow. Following that I will be doing a presentation at the Australasian Satellite Forum in Sydney, again with the intention of getting the Ministries of both countries to accept the need for SBAS in our region.
You will notice some changes (subtle) on our website where you can now join up online. There will also be some changes in the Cessna Maintenance Variation Programme (CMVP) and the cost will come down for members of the programme. Things are happening out there albeit slowly. Our first Exec meeting since the AGM is on next Friday where Steve Horne will attend his first meeting as a full Exec member. Steve is looking after the OSH side of things and as of this Monday, the law changes to make us all more responsible for our actions. We are entering a new era and all the answers are not yet available but one thing is for sure, we will be preaching safety to you all on a regular basis. We can all do better by just thinking about it a bit more.
Fly safe and enjoy the experience.