Happy New Year to everyone.
I said this newsletter would be late and it is. Time over the holidays is precious when families get together with this one being our turn to host the kids and grandkids and dogs for the Christmas feast. It is good to see them and just as good to see them go. However we would not change it for all the tea in China.
Great news with the FAA medical reform rule getting finalised. This is the basis of what we want in New Zealand and in fact all over the world. It is why AOPA NZ is putting a big effort into this over the next year. Steve Brown (our resident Doctor) is driving this reform for us and we have meetings scheduled for next week to help CAA in their analysis of the reform. If we can get what USA has achieved it will be fantastic. Steve will also be working with the Australian AOPA so that we have a common goal.
You have heard me going on about SBAS for NZ and Australia over the last 3 years so that we can be equal to USA and Europe in our technology. Well we have made a huge step forward with the Australians putting $13m and NZ putting $2m into a trial on a system to cover NZ and Australia. This has been a huge task getting Governments interested in it and it is the Intelligent Transport sector that has finally got it over the line. What it means for aviation is we will have the integrity and accuracy to use GNSS (GPS) in all phases of flight including vertical guidance equivalent to an ILS at any runway in the country. It is free to air and available to all that want it.
I have a meeting with Graeme Harris (Director CAA) on the 25th to look at issues that are of a concern to us and to look at where we are going in the future. Mike Groome, Chairman of the Aviation Community Advisory Group, (ACAG) along with John Nicholson from Aviation New Zealand will be with me and we will cover a wide range of topics that affect how we are moving forward in the future. This is not about dollars and cents but more about the big picture and process.
This is followed by two days of New Southern Sky meetings which should be very interesting considering what we will discuss with Graeme.
It was very sad to read that Nick Calavrias, the Chairman of Aspeq Ltd (ASL) was killed in a road accident at Taupo while riding his bike. Nick was a member of AOPA but was also the Federation appointed Chairman of the Aspeq Ltd board. I have had a lot to do with Nick over the last 3 years and his input into Chairing the board of the company has been enormous. He was well known in business circles through his 20-year role as CEO of Steel and Tube Ltd being awarded the ONZM for his services to business.
We need you to register for the AGM and the Breakfast boat trip as well as the golf. It is coming up fast and this year our guest will be Craig Spence, the Secretary General of International AOPA. Craig is out here inspecting the venues for the 2018 IAOPA event.
Go onto the website and check out what is coming up plus the new webcams site that will give you an idea of the weather you may be flying into.
Enjoy the rest of your holidays and fly safely