This month’s issue comes from Geelong in Australia. I have just had a couple of days at the Avalon airshow with Steve Brown our medical expert. I was asked to be on a panel that AOPA AU ran at their seminar day which consisted of the Acting Director of CASA, Shane Carmody, the CEO of Airservices Australia, Jason Harfield and the Commissioner of Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB), Greg Hood. We each gave a 10 min sum up on General Aviation (GA) and I concentrated on our desire for a world standard, drivers licence medical equivalent for PPL. This is at the front of things in CASA also at the moment with a consultation paper out looking for ideas and suggestions.
That was the primary reason for Steve and I to attend the airshow as it gave us a chance to meet with not only AOPA and CASA but also Recreational Aircraft Assn of Australia (RAAUS) which is the light sport group / microlight Assn for Australia. We spent good time discussing options and desires that we all want to see happen in the medical reform area for PPL’s. Steve is leading this challenge for AOPA NZ and it will be given a good hearing at the IAOPA conference in March 2018. It is very timely with FAA introducing the new Basicmed and CAA UK getting their medical standards reformed. We have too many different standards now for PPL type flying and what we are working on is a proposal to get an ICAO accepted standard for PPL “not for hire or reward” flying. There will be a lot more on this in the coming months mas Steve puts our case together.
Apart from all that, the airshow was very impressive even though it was more military than GA. Australia has a very active Airforce and the USA put on some brilliant demonstrations with their Raptor Fighter. There must be some very sophisticated computers working very fast to make it do the things it did. We did make contact with Garmin and other avionics suppliers but this is a show for defence forces.
Back at home we have an issue with a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that is out for consultation now. Go to the CAA website and search for NPRM 17-02. It is what they call a small issues rule that covers several issues at once. One of these is the Biennial Review of Airworthiness we have been pushing and it is great to see that it is in the final stages. Unfortunately, CAA have added in a rather large change to Part 61 that we object to being called a “small Issue” and we will be submitting that this should be removed and more time for consultation allowed as it involves a change that makes a CAA Directors Notice part of the rule. This has been discussed at the Aviation Federation and we all agree so there is some work going on in the background to get this matter sorted.
The rest of March is going to be busy with the AGM and a visit by Craig Spence from IAOPA to have a look at the venue and arrangements for the 2018 conference. Then the Ground Based Nav Aid Review Panel will start in earnest looking at the minimum operating network for NZ Ground based Nav Aids. That is followed by the New Southern Sky working group meeting which is still focusing on how we navigate by GPS and the new rule for IFR GPS. Hopefully, we are getting to the end of some of this work.
So, to the AGM. If you have time and an ability to assist AOPA in the work we do for GA why not put your name forward for nomination for the executive. We are going to need some new blood on the committee soon. Do you have the skills to handle the advertising for the magazine, or do you have some other skills we could use. Is there a retired Judge out there that can give legal advice on some of the issues we face. Over the next couple of years, we see a change in the way we operate and it needs people with individual skills that can take over a role and run with it. You all see and participate in the social activities but it is the constant watching for changes in CAA regulations that we need to keep on top of.
Now a plug for the IAOPA conference in 2018. We are giving an “early bird” discount to our NZ members of $100.00 if you register and pay by 30th June 2017. Registrations are coming in well now, so if you want to get in and lock in your accommodation go to our website www.iaopa2018.com and register.
See you at Whanganui on the 17th - 18th March.