Let’s start with some of the upcoming events. Meet and greet the executive, In Mosgiel on 14th October an event we have the night before our normal Executive meeting on the 15th. Murray Paterson and his team are organising this and the details are on the website so if you are in the area come along meet your hardworking exec members. It is worth looking at the Website to get details of what is coming up so that you do not miss out. The 2017 AGM details are on there with hotel booking information. Wanganui will turn on a good patch of weather for us to have 9 holes of golf on the Friday then the AGM on the Saturday with maybe some flying thrown in on then Sunday. There are Christmas fly-ins in both Islands so look them up and come along.
Some of you have attended the New Southern Sky (NSS) road show and I would be interested in comments on what you thought about it and what you got from it. Send me an email with your comments and I will make sure they get to the right people.
Airways have announced the signing of the contract for the supply of ADSB equipment with Thales who are a French organisation. At last we will start to get some certainty on coverage and placement of towers so that we can then compare the benefits for GA VFR. There is a lot of discussion going on and I am on the NSS future surveillance group, pushing hard for the best solution for GA VFR.
The funding review has stalled in a big way and I am about to get on that bandwagon again. It is not good enough and we need to be pushing hard on the matter. It is with the Minister at the moment being prepared to go the Cabinet for approval.
There has been a bit of an issue around access to Milford Airport recently. In the past we would ring the Tower at Milford and advise we were coming then receive a landing charge along with an associated Airways charge. Then DOC decided that we also needed a concession to land on DOC property. They would send an account plus a reminder that under the DOC Act we needed a concession and could be fined if we did not have one. Shaun Gilbertson has been negotiating with DOC to get 60 landings a year for AOPA members which would tidy that up. I have also been dealing with Ministry of Transport, who run the airport, and they are looking at certifying the airport which would may the need for a concession. Plenty to come on this issue over the next months but if you want to go in there just give Shaun a call and he will fill you in on the details.
The 2018 World Assembly preparations are well in hand with venues and functions that are critical all booked and in place. We are looking at holding the AGM for 2018 at the same time so that we can get a good NZ contingent along. The timing coincides with the 2018 30th anniversary Warbirds over Wanaka so this will make it a good event. I am giving lots of notice so that you can start planning your holidays and save up for what will be a great time. The world assembly starts on 24th March and Warbirds on the 31st 2018. It is Easter so holiday time.
Steve Horne has launched an AOPA NZ Facebook Group that is having a very positive effect on new members joining up. It may be a bit different for many of the older members (including the Executive) but this is a way of communicating to a whole new sector of aviators. It is not taking over from our website where you will still go to get all the news, information and register for events but it provides an instant communication portal for those that are glued to their Facebook account. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
We also have a new website dedicated to weather cameras. Have a look at www.aopawebcams.co.nz and see what you think. There will be more added as time goes on and Shaun Gilbertson is the coordinator for this. There are also other weather sites on the main website under “useful Links” on the left side menu.
A new event appeared on the calendar last weekend. A Fly-in at Charlie Draper’s strip in Darfield. First reports in say it was a great weekend with lots of new members, potential new members and some that have not been seen for a long time There were lots of new strips that Charlie knew about and he was helped in organising the event by one of New Zealand’s top balloonists, Michael Oakley from Hororata. There are photos on the website now and if you have any others either put them up or send them to Mary or myself to put them on the site.
We have had some issues relating to instrument departures at quite a few airfields. Fortunately, we have members like Gerald Grocott that let me know about them and we can get involved with CAA and Airways to sort out the issues. This is an area of AOPA business that keeps us involved with the airspace and procedures departments. I also met Nick Tabor, the Airspace representative from the NZ Hang-gliding association, at the NSS road show in Nelson the other day. He probably knows more about airspace than most people I have met because it really does affect them. You will notice more hang-gliding icons appearing on the visual charts now which is a great visual indication of where the areas are. We swapped a few ideas and agreed to keep in touch with each other on these airspace issues. Just another reminder also on airspace around model flying areas. They are well noted on the VTC charts and generally notamed when active. That is another good reason to get the new Airways app for your smart phone as it will give weather and notams wherever you are.
The latest Vector magazine from Airways has some interesting articles in it including one by Air Nelson regarding Q300 flights into uncontrolled airports. This has been happening in Australia for years but now that the Beech 1900’s are gone we could see more of the Q300’s at any GA uncontrolled airport. We just need to make sure our radio work is up to scratch and that we have our transponders on at all times.