The Hanmer Fly-in really showed the benefits of all the effort with DOC to get access to the back country strips. This was well attended and the weather was good on the day allowing a great number of strips to be flown. It is thanks to Nigel Griffiths, Shaun Gilbertson and their team that we have this great relationship with DOC that enables these events. This is an event that will get better as the years go on so thanks to Paul Hood and Steve Brown for organising it. We are trying to make these events easy to organise by using the website to greater advantage. In future we will have all briefing material on the website so that it can be viewed and printed off beforehand.
Sadly, we are losing Angela as our administrator at the end of the month. She has toiled very hard in the background and has tidied up a lot of things that have been an issue on the website over the last few years. Angela has done a great job coordinating with Tourism NZ on the bid for the IAOPA World Assembly at Queenstown in 2018. She may just have some more time to assist when that comes around. We are just about finished with the bid so nothing will happen until we know for sure if we get it. That decision is made at the end of July at the Chicago World Assembly. We are in the process of interviewing several well qualified applicants as Angela’s replacement with a decision due in the next two weeks.
We went to Xero as our accounting package last year and this January was the first automated sending of subscription invoices. There was a hiccup when a reminder went out within a few days but that won’t happen again. However, there are a lot who have not paid their subs yet so please check and if you have not we would appreciate you doing so. We retained the sub at the same level as last year and you get good value for money from your volunteer Executive committee.
April the 13th I met with the Minister of Transport Hon Simon Bridges along with Don McCracken from Aviation New Zealand. There were two Ministry advisors of the highest order there and we mainly covered the need for SBAS in New Zealand and Australia which he will follow up with his Australian counterpart. The most discussion was on the funding review and how general aviation will be affected by the proposals that have been put forward by CAA in their phase two document. It is always hard to analyse how a meeting at this level goes because you don’t come away with a list of “wins” as it is all part of a process. However, I can say we were scheduled for a 30 min meeting that went to over one hour and that Minister was in a very jovial mood at the end. The Funding review saga continues with another Aviation Community Advisory Group (ACAG) meeting scheduled this month to review the changes that have been made due to all the submissions.
Also on that subject the New Zealand Aviation Federation (NZAF) has agreed to pay for the TDB Advisory report that will reduce the medical charge significantly. This report was instigated by AOPA but as it is for all industry it was thought that it would sit better as a NZAF document.
The magazine always needs more articles from our members. It is your magazine and there are so many of you doing interesting things out there that we all want to hear about. It may be just a day trip somewhere or there is always room for an “I learnt about flying from” article. We can make it anonymous if you are embarrassed about something you consider stupid but by talking about it you may just help someone else.
That was the month gone past and there is a lot on the agenda for May. The June Winter fly-in is looking to be well attended so we just have to wait for the weather to play it’s part. Up till now it has been a fantastic Autumn but that will change I am sure.