More of a Missed Approach:
Our ‘Right to Fly’ has been suspended by Government decree.
Our aircraft need to stay on the ground.
To fight Covid-19 our Government has taken ‘War-time’ like powers which gives them the ability to control our lives in an almost unbelievable way.
AOPA-NZ fully endorses these moves.
Initially I was somewhat surprised by the level of control and limitation which the Government via CAA bluntly informed us that our ‘right to fly’ was being removed. It took me a few days to get my head around it; I suspect many of you were in the same situation. Member emails to me were initially angry and demanding we ‘fight the move’; over the next few days the tempers settled and most communications indicate acceptance of the situation.
Our ‘Exec’ met last night and unanimously and strongly, in fact very strongly endorsed the flying limitations. We need to do our part in reducing the risk of spreading Covid-19, but more than that our Health System is at risk of being overrun by demand from Covid infected cases. Our people in the Health System are working incredibly hard to set up isolation beds, quarantine hospitals, extend ICU departments in anticipation of the tsunami of Covid cases needing intense, lifesaving care. The system does not need thoughtless citizens going out side and engaging in dangerous activities which may need search and rescue, ambulances and hospitals. Private and recreational aviation is not that dangerous, but yet it does have risk and we will need to play our part just like the boaties and golf players who are all being asked to stay safe at home and exercise by walking in our local environs.
There are exempt business’s in our membership and it will be tempting to justify using our aircraft for ‘essential work’. However, your ‘exec’ is asking you to consider carefully the risks you run and the caviler image which this may portray to the rest of our community. Our engines like a regular run but they will survive a month or so in the hangar, they have in the past when we have been overseas on holiday…..
We all have a part to play in this ‘health war’, we will all pay a price, I just hope that we only pay a price of money and limited freedoms, not a price with our lives or the lives of our loved ones.