Good morning folks,
Well Canterbury has had a beating with the southerly but now we have perfect flying weather. Only problem is I have let my BFR lapse, even though the date is written in big print on my white board…. Monday is the day and I am busy reading up on JPN’s POH. Actually I do really enjoy going through the process of the BFR, the revision on weather and reminding my self of the capabilities of a C182 plus my instructor always seems to take me to a place I am uncomfortable with, so the learning happens.
I cannot let a month go by without mentioning the C. word. Our sympathies go out to our northern neighbour’s who have been ‘locked down’. The limitation of personal freedoms due the Covid response is a significant point in New Zealand’s history. The freedom to fly a plane is a small component of this limitation but significant for our organisation. Vaccinated or not, hopefully we will all be able to get into our planes soon.
The AGM season is only months away now and I do wish to reiterate that the hotel and meal prepayments will be refunded if the Covid response prevents us having our meeting in Tauranga. We would initially try to rebook at a later date but if not possible the room and meals prepayments will be refunded (minus $10 admin fee).
Another NOTAM you may or may not be aware of is that Raglan airfield is closing due to the council putting a fence around the runway. The runway will be narrower but still very generous and I have always been concerned about the freedom of the public or their dogs running across the runway as we are approaching. We understand that this is a long-term solution and much better than the closure of the airfield which was rumoured earlier.
Speaking of airfields, the Kapiti airport is still under threat. Demand for housing sections is unsatiated and big acreages of airfields are very tempting and very profitable when subdivided. We have supported the Save Kapiti airport group strongly and have assisted with funneling funds from the NZ Aviation Federation to support the preservation work. I am impressed with the alternate pathway which the group have presented. This can be found at www.kapitiairurban.co.nz .
We are also closely involved with the ‘Save Milford Airport’ movement. Flying into Milford is not an every day visit for most of us but is a great ‘bucket list’ experience. Plus, the airfield has a significant safety and resilience role.
AOPA and the Aviation Federation are looking to produce a ‘toolkit’ which can be wheeled out whenever an airfield is under threat, still in vestigial form at the moment, but watch this space.
Talking about plans we are also very supportive of the NZAF producing a ‘GA Roadmap’ which will be modeled on the recent roadmap which UK have produced. We need to go on the front foot to promote GA flying and show our community all the good things GA does. Have a look at this if interested https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/980399/general-aviation-roadmap-spring-2021.pdf
I am pleased to report that the fledgling GA flying organisation in India has applied to join our International AOPA organisation, great to hear. Also I am getting a lot of emails from Russia where they have significantly opened up their airways to GA flyers, bit of a long haul in my Cessna but someone will be keen to fly there when we are able..
Looking forward to meeting some of you at the Christmas Flyins. Keep safe.