Conference week is the event for members where you have your say about the issues of the day and the future of your organisation. If there was just one highlight, on reflection, it was the number of you who came up to me and said “the lights have really been switched on.”
Growing business in a safe and sustainable way dominated throughout the week. While we articulate to you the changes we see in the direction and performance of the Regulator, it is important for you to hear from Director Graeme Harris and Chairman Nigel Gould, and confirm for yourself the real positivity coming from this Organisation.
Time and again members said 'they really do get it’. The phrase "less is better" was reiterated time and time again by Graeme in his speech to the Ag conference. But with this catch cry comes a real responsibility for operators to step up and accept the challenge of ‘zero harm’.
Many of you intuitively live and work by this mantra everyday. However, what we have been doing for the last three to four years, is to put some formal tools in front of you that will help you 'systematically think and communicate’ the knowledge you have to employees and others who can learn from your experiences.
Without 'zero harm' it’s challenging for you, and most importantly the Regulator, to put resources into the growth agenda. Like all organisations it takes time for the CAA to rebalance resources. This is happening at a time when the organisation is challenged by also having to address high-risk low-consequence businesses in the likes of the adventure aviation sector.
We have secured a commitment that risk profiling will be used as one of the preferred tools to identify and collaboratively address safety issues across a number of key 'commercial’ sectors such Agricultural Aviation and probably flight training and EMS . The significance of this is instead of resorting to rule making as the first redress, industry will be integrally involved in agreeing the risk is in fact the risk, and development of the best remedy. One point of major caution is the CAA has consistently flagged an increased use of the Health and Safety in Employment legislation. Now "red boots" always gets herself into trouble at this point because, quite frankly, the present Health and Safety Legislation in this country doesn't work well because it is essentially focused on punitive reactive remedies, and does little to proactively address sector specific risks.
Sector streams focused on sharing stories on what works and what does not. It is these intensive learnings that will drive the safety gains of the future. A major failure of our present safety system is that it is data rich, if you can access it, but information poor. In a world of safety management, we will need both data and information. In the absence of robust data, sharing the 'war stories' is going to become one of the critical pieces in the proactive safety system encouraged in an SMS environment. One of the most chilling revelations was that many pilots survive the accident but are then burnt to death. This is not normally reported to the families because of the distress it can create. But the point made is that the non reporting creates a false impression that the accident wasn't survivable, whereas learnings from the motor industry is that with modifications to couplings and fuel tanks, accidents of this nature are survivable.
The ‘boots’ makes these points because minimising reputational damage is critical to the growth agenda. This agenda was rolled out in two parts. Firstly, affirming the goal of $16bn revenue contribution to the New Zealand economy by 2016 and secondly the specific strategies accelerating our growth objective from 5% to 9% per annum click here
Growth strategies focus on:
Developing and telling our story. This builds the brand. One opportunity to do this is the Auckland International Air show. The ‘boots’ knows there's skepticism as to whether it will take place but we need to grab the hearts and minds of our young people and encourage them to enter our industry click here
Growing the pie - concentrating on the key markets of China, India, Indonesia, the rest of Asia and the South Pacific Making the plane fly faster. We have major competitive advantages in anything to do with education and training foreign students. Certification of revolutionary aircraft is another. Both examples require a vision and dedication to crafting a visionary framework
Building tomorrow’s plane and the application of new technology and products. Much of this will require collaboration across both Government and the private sectors, as well as businesses which may not traditionally be involved in the aviation space.
Delivering increased value and profitability to member companies click here
Our role is to work on your behalf to create the best framework so your business can grow and prosper. Policy frameworks need to be conducive to success. The Government is firmly committed to investing in growing the foreign education and training market. Money and resources are being poured into growing Education New Zealand but in contrast government polices in the aviation training space are unstable and in the boots' view, this defies logic. While there is acceptance in some quarters that the changes have been destructive, there is generally an unwillingness to say ‘we've possibly got this one wrong’. This, for our money, is the most significant blot on the Government's copybook.
There are a few other issues causing a stir at the moment such as the introduction of the concept of relational procurement, lack of alignment in medical standards for pilots operating commercial services in Australasia, and the inability to get quick administrative redress for procedural problems associated with decisions of Government agencies. A recent example of this is a $3,000 bill for a pilot seeking to secure a fit and proper person status. These issues have the potential to threaten the industry’s reputation and reflect on the transparency (or lack thereof) in the economy. The ‘boots’ is a great advocate of the open competitive economy and ‘open all the time’ rather than being selective about it.
Conference week is also the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the leaders within the industry. This year we recognised:
John Jones, who received the AIA Award for “services and commitment to fostering the growth and development of all aspects of aviation.”
Metal Tech Engineering, which received the AIA Award for “commitment to advancing the practice of precision engineering.”
John Waterson, who received the NZAAA Award for “40 years dedication to the maintenance of Agricultural Aircraft.”
Tony Michelle, who received the NZAAA Award for the “promotion of high standards and industry leadership in Agricultural Aviation.”
LanzaTech, which received the Richard Pearse Award for “Innovation in the New Zealand Aviation Industry.”
Clive, our photographer, assures us that there are well over three thousand photos from the week and we’ll bring these too you shortly.
We’ve also announced the pricing structure for the "Black Boeing to Las Vegas" project. Go to our home page and see what HAI and Las Vegas is really like. It was great to host David York from HAI and listen to how the international helicopter community is tackling its reputational issues.
We would be remiss not to thank our fantastic sponsors who supported us financially. It was great to meet so many of you, diamond and gold sponsors are listed on our homepage click here
. Without the support of these fantastic sponsors, conference week would not have been the event it was.
Gird you kilts because next year's conference goes to the deep South, to be held in Dunedin from 17-21 June. We understand the pipes are already being blown and the drums are already beating. We're thinking we will start Conference at midday on Monday to allow those who want a weekend of skiing beforehand; and finish at 1pm on Friday and maybe charter a coach to Queenstown for those who want a weekend there before heading back home. As Conference is only 10 months away we are already in full planning mode, so if you have any thoughts let us know.
The ‘boots’ will be having a bit of ‘down time’ next week and hopefully catching a snapper or two - just chilling out and putting the batteries on recharge as we head into the second half of the year. Bob sends his regards to everyone as he acclimatises to PNG. On a sad note, another well known figure in the industry died this week - Dr Ross Ewing click here
Until we speak again take care and stay risk aware
We'd like to remind you about the exclusive offer we have for members from EFTPOS New Zealand for credit card processing and EFTPOS terminal rental which could save you money.