From your President
The AGM at Whanganui was a great event highlighted with the mustang fly-over while we were cruising up the Wanganui river on a 100-year-old paddle steamer.
Graeme and Marie Donald did a great job of what is sometimes like herding a mob of cats. Everyone enjoyed the breakfast cruise and thanks must be given to Brian Gilmour from Aon Insurance for sponsoring the cost of the boat for the trip. There is a competition being run by AON at the moment with details down the page.
The Friday Golf went off well also with a fun afternoon for all concerned be they real golfers or not. The North Island took home the Christine Taylor Memorial trophy with some excellent burgling by their team of supposed non players. Wendy Thompson comes out of hiding for these events.
The actual AGM is always important as it is where you can have your say on what the executive is doing on your behalf. We were privileged to have Craig Spence from IAOPA at the meeting and he brought us up to date on what is happening at IAOPA. We are fortunate to belong to such an organisation and to benefit from the experience that a world body has to offer.
At this AGM Pat Lyford and Shaun Gilberston stood down and were replaced by Murray Paterson and Ian Sinclair. Both Pat and Shaun have contributed significantly to AOPA executive and fortunately they are going to stay available to help where they are needed. Shaun Gilberston received the Award for the GA Champion of the year for his dedicated service in getting concessions from DOC for back country landings on their airstrips. A well-deserved recognition of the time and effort that Shaun has put in over the last few years.
Stephen Brown was elected as Vice President unopposed and he is doing some sterling work on the PPL medical reform Issue. You will be hearing more from Steve on this throughout the year but in summary he has prepared a document to be taken as a starting point for discussions on not only a New Zealand level but through IAOPA at a world level to try and align the various PPL medical standards that are emerging in other countries.
I made a power point presentation at the AGM outlining the achievements we have made for the members of AOPA. It is not hard to justify the membership sub when the benefits are shown so please continue to encourage new members to join us. Click here to View the PDF of the presentation.
We try to keep the AGM at a reasonable cost and Arden Jennings from Avsure makes that easy in the pre-Dinner drinks department which everyone seems to enjoy. Many thanks Arden.
After the AGM Craig and I went to Queenstown so he could view the facilities we have booked for the 2018 World Assembly starting with the Earnslaw trip to Walter peak then the next day to Nokomai Station. I have done these trips many times and may tend to take New Zealand for granted so to see the pleasure on Craig’s face at a sheep being shorn then the amazement at the sight of 1000 cows and calves being weaned on Nokamai makes me think we have a good program in store for our visitors. Rydges Hotel is still undergoing the refurbishment but the dining room is now finished with new Chefs installed. They don’t call it a Buffet but refer to a market place bazaar with many chefs and different foods cooked in front of you. With the dining room overlooking the lake it was a very pleasant place to stay. Our rates for the hotel are phenomenal by Queenstown standards. By booking last year we secured a room rate of $209 including GST when the rack rate at the moment is around $270 and in March 2018 will be closer to $300. If you are contemplating coming to the Assembly, you should register and book now because these rates are for us alone. Register and view the program here.
There are many things going on now with CAA and AOPA is taking the lead on a number of the major Issues via the positions we hold in various CAA advisory groups. The Aviation Community Advisory Group (ACAG) met with CAA and the MoT last Tuesday and expressed our concern at the continuing lack of engagement with ACAG prior to an NPRM (notice of proposed rulemaking) being issued. This will be an ongoing debate but we took exception to the current NPRM 17-02 which is on the CAA website. That is a so called “small Issues Rule” which includes the change for a biennial review of airworthiness. We do not want to hold that up but had to object to some other inclusions in the NPRM.
We have concerns over the wording that is proposed in a range of rule changes brought about by the New Southern Sky Performance based Navigation implementation. This is just normal input we have but it is very time consuming and sometimes driven by inexperienced policy writers who just don’t have the practical experience in some of the issues.
That is about it for this month, we have a good team installed and ready to take us through to the March 2018 IAOPA World Assembly. This is a big event for AOPA NZ and one that we want to make special for our visitors. There is an early bird discount for Kiwi Members of AOPA so get in to get the benefit. The work behind the scenes at CAA is ongoing and I now have started to bring other exec members in to handle some of it. Especially Steve Brown on Medical and Steve Horne on ACAG from later in the year. This is part of the hand over process that we are working through to ensure some continuity for the coming years.
I have almost got my new plane finished in the avionics shop at Avcraft in Fielding so hope to be in the air again for the Kaikoura fly-in.
See you there