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30 November 2012

 In this weeks edition:
  • Leveraging the opportunity created by others – the film industry and aviation
  • CAA charges – what we are doing , working with the regulator and future directions
  • Health and Safety submission – supporting the specialist regulator undertaking all investigation in the air and on the ground
  • Specialist aviation assurance more critical than simply providing an audit ticket   
“The boots” this week has been observing an increase in hairy feet, pointy eared small green people rushing around the town. Now we know the silly season is on us but to see these people at the Beehive just shows how far our film industry has come in 15 short years.  For Wellington – the middle of middle earth, another film premiere is such a fantastic opportunity to showcase the Capital.  Of course the real middle earth – Matamata has Hobbiton and the residents tell me that upwards of 75 coaches of visitors are coming through most days at this time of the year.
My point is that the growth in our film industry and the global recognition it now receives has arisen from leveraging a number of opportunities.  By doing that, there have been tremendous downstream opportunities for this industry whether it is attracting overseas visitors to whisking high net worth individual to media events at Hobbiton.  Leveraging the success of other sectors gives us the opportunity to create wealth for our own businesses.  Next year we will be talking to you about more opportunities  emerging to engage in high profile NZ Inc activities.
Speaking of NZ Inc our work with government and particularly the CAA will be intensifying.  CAA’s structural changes are now well imbedded in the organisation and next year we are hoping to see more focus on actions which will drive “value for money”.  We know the ag aviation risk profiling project is progressing smoothly and we’re hearing some good comments from operators who have had recent audits completed.  Of course there’s stuff that’s hitting a bit of “clear air turbulence”.  The most significant of these inevitably would be the increased charges.
AIA’s petition for exemption is progressing quite well – "the boots" understands that it’s been considered several times by the CAA management team. For those of you unfamiliar with the petition click here . At its essence it will give pilots the opportunity to seek that the equivalent medical certificate issued by CASA can be attached to a New Zealand license. While the New Zealand charge will remain – our view has always been that CAA must have time to restructure and modernise its systems - it will give pilots some immediate financial relief if they want to opt for an Australian medical certificate. 
The exemption is one of a number actions we are taking – as we have repeatedly said we think it unwise and we believe unnecessary for this issue to be debated in public.  The last thing any of us wish to do is undermine public confidence in our regulatory system.  However simply because we are not debating this issue in public doesn’t mean to say we’ve accepted the increases.  Far from it.
We’ve launched a series of official information requests.  The objective here is to ensure the Officials have accurately conveyed our advice to Ministers.  One of the key assurances we were given by the group who undertook the pricing review is that they would accurately convey our views in any papers they presented to Ministers.  We were careful in that we placed our views in writing to them and ensured they had received the correspondence.
Another of our objectives is to understand why the matter of how much government pays for civil aviation services was outside the scope of the pricing review.  It did seem to us that if we were required to pay more because of a lack of inflation adjustment over the previous 17 years then any review of the amount of cross subsidisation had to answer the basic question what is public good, what is private good and what is common good.  The review conducted never addressed these issues. 

No matter which way we look at the numbers we cannot escape from the fact that the premises rented by CAA are simply too expensive for a small industry such as ours to afford.  For example, around 50% of the $313 medical charge is driven by overheads.  So even if we had a massive leap in efficiency the low numbers being processed through CAA combined with high overheads is never going to see us as competitive as the CASA charge of $A75 a transaction.  This is telling us that some more fundamental changes have to be made.
A combined Australasian medical system may be a solution – certainly if the exemption is granted this would be the next logical step.  Alternatively contracting the service out may be an option or combining data capture and medical assessments in a central “transport” related unit may be another. What we do know is one way or another $313 is not sustainable in even the medium term.
AIA has been very clear in articulating its position and has been very mindful of the very diverse church we represent.  We have attended every meeting called by the CAA over the two and a half years to review and set charges.  We have responded in detail to every request for consultation.  We have communicated with you in over 100 newsletters sent to you during the period.  We have had feed back from you as to what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.  We are now entering a new phase and it’s called CAA delivering value for money.
It was pleasing to see they did just that with one company we worked with last week.  Initially "the boots" was extremely concerned with the apparent lack of customer service displayed but we have to say that by mid week CAA’s customer service was exemplary.  As we said it is now a matter of CAA consistently delivering value for money.  This is the undertaking they have given us and this is the undertaking they have given the public because after all CAA is a creature of statute.
If you as members are unhappy with the stance we are taking keep speaking to us as it’s important that we do get this particularly challenging issue solved for the benefit of all. 
Equally again this week there have been a number of sad events.  It was a time yet again to reflect on Erebus and the lessons we may have forgotten.  There are dangers in rushing to conclusions.  The Regulator’s role is to play a slow hand to display professionalism throughout an inquiry and to be just and fair in their dealings.  Equally, those who are key stakeholders who can influence and mould businesses activities if required to act because of perceived shortcomings should only do so after the Regulator has concluded its work. To act without the full facts can precipitate disastrous consequences.
This is one of the reasons why we lobby hard for the continuance of a specialist regulator and for the regulators powers to be extended to all matters of safety in the air and on the ground which impact on aviation click here .It is also another reason why our expert panel in evaluating who would deliver assurance under our AIRCARE programme had a strong preference to appoint an organisation who had demonstrated competencies in aviation risk management first and foremost.  If as aviators we are to place aspects of our safety and environmental  assurance, whether it be for the purposes of assuring local or international customers, with a third party we opt for those with extensive operational experience in our industry.  That may not be the way others do businesses but it is a core and fundamental value in the way we operate our AIRCARE assurance programme.          

Until we speak again take care and stay risk aware

Red boots
red boots

What's coming up?


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CAA has AC139-08 (Aerodrome Design Heliports) out for consultation. Whilst the intent of this AC apparently was to bring downtown and offshore heliports into compliance with ICAO requirements, what it in fact does is to apply those standards to all places a helicopter uses to land!! Compliance with this AC completely negates the ability of rotary aircraft to access unprepared landing sites in remote areas – which was why, more or less, the helicopter was developed.

You can read NZHA’s proposed submission in full here. We welcome feedback from members on this submission and suggest you might like to write your own as well. Read the proposed AC here
Closing date is 14th December.

Flight Training – draft NPRM CAR 61 released. Your comments are sought urgently.  Our initial reaction to the draft is that its based on the thinking of about 10 years ago when the flight traing community and CAA worked on drafting changes to CAR 61. It now needs a rapid updating and modernization.  One thought is to ditch 61 as it presently exists and replace it with the EASA rules as this is where the rest of the world seems to be going. We’ve asked CAA to come to the meeting on 12 December to talk to us however at this stage it would appear that they would rather receive our written responses.  The date for responses to the NPRM has been extended to early February. read more
Engineers – is there any interest in doing a further fatcom course next year?  Probably central north island venue.  Could you respond to                                 

Beef and Lamb Newsletter read more

Student loan funding read more

New study could see workplace injury fees rise read more

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