Hi folks, sad news that we are cancelling the North Island Safari. At your Committee’s meeting on Saturday it was a unanimous decision. The decision was not hard in the end, we have members who are unhappy, stopovers who are unhappy and laws we have to live within which makes the whole organisation just too difficult. So there it is cancelled Safari, the first time that has happened in my time as an AOPA NZ member.
The online AGM is coming together well, we have the process in hand; you will all be hearing from us shortly with nomination forms, reports from your Committee and instructions as to how to log in and how to practice logging in before the meeting. I think it will be an effective meeting and we may even have a higher turn out than usual. Written questions will be able to be submitted prior to the meeting but also written during the meeting. We will be turning on your microphone and camera if you wish to speak. The Committee will be able to be seen and heard by everyone. The meeting will also be recorded.
Enough of admin. Our website is alive… great. It is not fully functional yet but the start is there. www.aopa.nz that is a much more appropriate address as we are not a company as our old web address implied. Have a look at it. The webcams which are one of our successful initiatives are on there and have been for a month or so. Don’t be surprised by finding a few gremlins, they are alive and well, we are working on eliminating them as fast as we can.
Ian Andrews and others through AOPA and NZAF have been battling for years for pilots to get the road tax back from the Mogas they burn in their planes. We have not succeeded. The boaties road tax goes to fund marine safety. Ah is that a precedent? So yes, we have been successful with an allocation of $550,000 from the road tax fund. This is to enhance aviation safety at the smaller airports and airfields around NZ. We are keen to improve ‘National Resilience and Security’ so funds are being spent on getting low level IFR routes all around our coastline – below icing levels, also IFR approaches for places like Wairoa and Karamea. If an IFR approach had been present at Kaikoura after the earthquake it would have made flying in there much easier. We are also looking at funding ADSB receivers in the back blocks of central North Island and West Coast of NZ, it is great having ADSB kit but no good if Airways cannot get the transmissions. Airways data goes to some of the non-government flight following providers but not all, we would like all providers to be treated equally. Plus, that is only a fraction of our funding so keep watching.
The AOPA NZ webcams are being used by an increasing number of pilots and organisations. If the area you frequent is not covered do get in touch with us, we are looking at plugging holes in the service. Plus, we are keen to hear if you have a site which would be suitable to put a camera on. Sites need power and preferably internet, or at least cell phone coverage.
The threatened airports still give us sleepless nights…. Ardmore owners are busy building new hangars so that is reassuring. The large residential development at the end of runway 21 has not been approved. Raglan is open but do get a briefing as required before you go in there; the protestors are doing an effective job and I am not sure what the future holds. Paraparaumu has gone quiet, but the war is not yet won, we are on our guard.
The reviewed IFR syllabus is now 15 months overdue, we thought we had done the work, but obviously not. I guess all good things take time.
Watch out for midweek emails informing us that the weather forecast is good for a One Day Flyin, these are planned up and down the country, we just need the weather gods to cooperate. Plus, there are two ‘Back to Basics’ flyins in the planning stages, one in each island.
We have had a great summer for flying, I hope all that wanted to managed to get some air under their wheels. The Covid issues do seem to have caused us lots of grief, but they have not curtailed our flying over the last few months so something to be thankful for.
Lets all keep healthy and safe.