AOPA Short Approach

July 2020

Presidents Report

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 Hi folks, well winter is upon us, it’s has been pretty dreary at times in Canterbury. However, we have had some great days after the southerlies and the days are getting longer…

Haast ‘fly away’ has happened, it was always going to happen; under the new way we run these gatherings there is no cancellation date and we will run the event even if we have to drive or walk.. 51 aircraft arrived and a good time was had by all. The flying down and Saturday morning were all carried out in ok weather, Sunday had 100mm rain and then Monday was a perfect blue-sky day to get home. Well done organising committee led by Murray Paterson and Ian Sinclair. West coast hospitality was as welcoming as ever and we enjoyed injecting some money into the southern West Coast economy. I am not a great fan of Facebook, but it is a great medium for sharing photos and experiences of our activities. I have really enjoyed looking at the photos which have been posted this week.

CAA senior management are travelling the country to introduce themselves to us aviators. I am not sure what has happened to their advertising but I have only just become aware of this and our Christchurch meeting has been cancelled. However, Steve Horne got to the Ardmore event and it was well attended and was a lively productive meeting. Shelly Turner is the Acting Director and Dean Winter is Acting Deputy Chief Executive. Dean has responsibility for aviation safety so will be the person we have most contact with, he has a Police background. Shelly has an extensive government executive background with much of it in security. Neither have direct aviation backgrounds but this is not a problem as what GA needs is effective and timely governance and appropriate structures these should lead to effective regulation. Shelley and Dean both indicated that they are looking to engage with us, the regulated, and to work collaboratively moving forward. This will all take time but it does augur well for the future.

Progress with the ‘New Medical Standard for PPL’ has come to a bit of a standstill. We are very frustrated. We will not get IFR, night, agriculture or probably aeros below 3,000’. However for most of us that does not matter, what we will get is the 5 passengers and flight over built up areas. This will not be a PPL with a new medical standard; it will be an enhanced RPL. This is a good result, if only we could get the wheels of Government to work on the Regulations and pass them into law. Realistically we cannot see this happening before the election. I am sure you share our frustration.

Steve Horne and Don Ryder are working hard on the updated VNC Book which is due out in November. We have listened to the feedback from the survey and it will have more of the 1:250 scale rather than the 1:500, also it will have less advertising. I’m looking forward to getting it..

Covid has come and gone, well maybe not gone but it is imposing less limits on our flying. However, I’m glad I don’t live in Victoria at the moment…. Australia presently has one of the highest rates of new cases per 100,000 in the world. It is interesting that the death rate from Covid-19 appears to have fallen, I am sure this is due to many reasons but it does seem to me that the diagnosis and medical support for the cases is now more streamlined and effective. Melbourne hospitals are apparently very near capacity, sad for all the cancer and heart ops which are being postponed. We must not allow Covid to control our destiny, and I have not yet seen a logical plan to see us through the next few years.

I missed Haast, the photos are nostalgic; I trust the next AOPA NZ event we engage in will be as much fun. We have another letter on it way to CAA so hopefully I will be able to report some progress with our engagement next month.

Best wishes,

Steve Brown


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