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14 September 2012

A change of contributor to the weekly newsletter; Irene has suggested and I think it a very good one that occasionally "red boots" has a rest and a different 'pen' has control.  To continue with at least one of Irene's themes let's call this week's writer "new boots".
To introduce myself; I'm Dale Webb and as those that were at the Conference last month will know I took over the post of AIA President from John Jones; perhaps JJ should be known as "big boots". 
Whatever the name my CV in brief is:-
RNZAF from 1965 until 1990 with a gap in the middle when I trained, qualified and worked as an accountant but discovered counting money is only fun if it's your own.  In the RNZAF I flew C47, C130, Andover and Cessna 421s plus a stint instructing on CT4s.  I was also the Safety Officer for 3 years which included qualifying as an accident investigator.  My civil aviation career includes Safeair, Air Nelson, Macair (Australia) and Mount Cook Airline where I was Flight Operations Manager for 4½ years following the same John Jones.  In summary a transport pilot with a bit of other things attached but safety and training remain very strong interests.  I am now self employed based in Marlborough so that I have the opportunity and time to supervise the wine industry and the fish in the Sounds; yeah right!
Enough of me, what do I hope to achieve for the AIA and wider aviation industry?  There are three areas I think need to be worked on;  continue the successful launch of 'One Industry', ensuring we have a sound financial base to deliver the support the industry needs and most important of all a renewed and fresh emphasis that the AIA is a 'Membership Organisation' hopefully for all aviation.
One Industry.  This is a great initiative and I fully support it.  It is my view though that many in the AIA and most of our rank and file members do not understand the new structure and how it works.  That's not surprising as I'm not entirely sure I do either so top of the 'do list' is to rectify that and then do my best to pass that understanding on to you all.  To that effect I recently had a meeting with Roger Sowry, the Chair of the Governance Board and we both seemed to be on a similar page.  As Irene said in last Friday's newsletter the GB has had its first meeting since the AGM, which I attended, and it worked well.  More on that to come as the picture on this very new bit of kit comes into focus.
The financial base.  Like every organisation in NZ at present the AIA is trying to do more with less.  We clearly cannot just keep putting up the subs and there are no obvious areas of waste to sort out.  The office is running one staff member down but that can't go on forever without cracks appearing.  Like many membership organisations what we achieve is done by a mix of professionals and volunteers.  There are some things that though that really can only be done by qualified staff such as Irene, Sarah our finance manager, Andrew our website manager plus John Nicholson who looks after AvNZ and John Sinclair the NZAAA and NZHA.  It can't be much leaner unless we get out of what most of us would see as core business so, it comes down to other sources of revenue.  The finance committee is myself as chair plus JJ, Kevin England and Graeme Martin.  Rather than just rearranging the deck chairs I plan initially to get Board agreement  to have Irene and Sarah, with as much finance committee support as is necessary, conduct a full review of where our costs are incurred and then attempt to get industry partners to look after items that have a particular interest and benefit to them. 
New members are, of course, always a great benefit so please work on anyone in the industry that you know is not "inside the tent".  Receiving what is due to us on time is also a great help so if you are yet to pay your sub, conference fees, training course or whatever else, we would love you to remember us in a very tangible way on or before the 20th of this month.  Finally any thoughts that you have to increase revenue or reduce costs, so that we can put more resource in to desirable projects, would be appreciated; in case you were wondering the Council and Governance Board are all volunteers, they cost nothing.     
The AIA is a membership organisation.  In recent years I believe it has been a bit too busy looking inward.  There have been issues with the CAA, with TEC, with MOT and challenges of one sort or another with most government departments.  Most recently it has been focused on the organisational changes associated with One Industry.  No criticism of those involved with any of those things, they are the bread and butter stuff of our organisation and needed to be done but occasionally we all need to check that we are still going in the right direction.  I would like to be as informed as possible on what is happening in YOUR part of the industry.  That will mean attending, though rarely participating in the divisional meetings and visiting as many centres of aviation activity as possible.  As far as possible to be informed as to what is happening though not normally involved, that is for our staff and the divisions.
If there are any issues you want to vent on my email and mobile phone numbers are on the website.  I don’t promise to solve everything, who can, but I do promise to listen.
It's a great industry operated by great people and I continue to thoroughly enjoy my time in it.  For you, I hope your skies stay blue and the balance sheet is all black.   

Thanks new boots for those words, we’re confident we will respond to the challenges. The chilly weather has returned with a vengeance this week.  We could almost hear the flapping of “heli” blades over the vineyards of Marlborough, especially when the southerly was “a blowing strongly”.  The “red boots” has been joined by the “red coat” which hasn’t really seen the light of day too much this winter, but I guess that’s climate change for you in New Zealand.
Now down to the real thorny issues of the day.
CAA charges - there’s been some fairly forthright commentary coming in on two of the proposed charges – audits which impact on everyone, and the licensing/medical certification charge impacting on pilots and engineers.
AIA’s position has always been the pain must be shared around.  Government takes a bit. Industry takes a bit.  The new charges propose industry accepting all the pain accompanied by some gain.  The problem is the gain and pain don’t cancel each other out...  We’re not saying the CAA fit out is in any way “gold plated” its just the rental rates are OTT.
The accounting methodology adopted means we have to pay both efficient and inefficient costs – the rents along with the medical charges represent massive inefficiency costs which, in a contestable market, could not be passed on.  On this basis, we feel a complaint to the Regulations Review Committee may be worthwhile however, we would have to stress that the consultation procedure from 2010 to 2012 was exhaustive.  Before making any complaint we’ve set out two challenges to CAA – come up with an exit strategy for Asteron House.  Even if it means exit after three years that’s better than 19 as presently planned. Put the licensing and administrative processing of medicals to a contestable bid process.  This is just normal stuff the private sector would do faced with a competitive market and customer resistance.        
AIRCARE is based around one of the fundamental elements of good business practice effectively managing your risks.  As we move more and more into risk based regulation and specifically risk based auditing, a poor risk profile with CAA will result in some very substantial audit bills going forward, assuming the proposed new charges come into being.  A quick calculation - CAA spend three days auditing your business today; because of a poor risk profile, your costs will go up from $3,192 to $4,992 on November 1 and by November 1 2014 you will be paying $6816.  It makes good sense to get on top of these costs and get your risk profile down.  AIRCARE gives you the tools to do just that. 
AIRCARE continues to attract more and more participants – two more applications for new accreditations this week.  However, the really good thing is we were able to use the noise abatement assurance programme this week to help one of our members tackle a “pain in the blade” type problem he was having with a Council.  While we don’t know the outcome yet, we do know implementing the “fly neighbourly” programme has had the effect of dramatically reducing noise emissions, and potentially increasing by as much as 400% per day the permitted number of take off and landings, while remaining compliant with the 50LDn noise discharge requirement.  A “win win” for all.  We’re also receiving a lot more phone calls from private operators who are being told if they want to retain their concessions, then they have to do the training.  Some are opting to hand back those concessions they are not using, and these should become available for others.
The next AIRCARE Management meeting is in early October and we’ll be looking at some new avenues to expand the programme.  One area it might help is in engineering. However, we’ve not talked that through with AEANZ, who meet on 17 October.
The quality of advice provided to Ministers particularly in the Tertiary education space. We’ve questioned this on a number of occasions and each time the answers are modified.   In response to our submission on the forward demand for pilots and flight instructors we got an answer that there were over 1000 students undergoing aviation training per year each year between 2008 and 2011, and it’s the number of students and not the number of licenses issued that influences employment outcomes.
Given that pilot student EFTS were capped at 600 per annum throughout the period, we thought how this can be, so we asked the question.  As it turns out the count includes all students studying for aviation degrees at Massey University, and pilot students undertaking “post graduate” qualifications such as C cat and IFR ratings. So a pilot student can be counted up to five times but only one license holder is produced at the end.  So, students don’t equal pilots and many students counted aren’t even studying for pilot qualifications.  We’ll be writing back to the Minister pointing out the flaws in the analysis. click here
The Auckland International Airshow January 26/27 – we’ve now received a full and comprehensive briefing on this and are in the final throws of seeking Governance Board approval to run a careers expo in conjunction with the show.  We’ll release more information shortly, but if you are interested in participating, please forward an expression of interest to
Legal Information Bulletin Four – the definition of crew member. CAA say crew are the pilot (s) and everyone else is a passenger.  We say crew includes a passenger who is assigned by the operator to perform a duty associated with the flight during flight time. CAA has agreed not to apply LIB 4 until the difference is resolved. There’s now some urgency in getting this resolved as a number of affected or potentially affected operators are coming up for recertification . Presently, we have a draft legal opinion and will finalise this shortly.  This, we hope, will trigger a sensible resolution process around the plain ordinary meaning of the word “assign”.  We’ll be back in touch with you with the final opinion and keep you briefed on progress to date. If you want to participate in discussions, let us know on 
Next round of meetings    
  • Governance Board 14 November
  • NZHA 11 December
  • NZAAA 12 December – note the change
  • Stakeholders Christmas function – 13 December.
  • AIA Council/ Governance Board/Advisory Council 13 December
Next week we have a joint meeting of AEANZ and Flight Training to discuss progressing rule part 141 and 147, as well as an additional meeting with the Flight training executive group to progress improving productivity and performance in the community.  We’ll also be discussing some rebranding initiatives with them so we can tell the storey of flight schools in New Zealand.  

Until we speak again take care and stay risk aware

Red boots
red boots

What's coming up?


AIRCARE™ Noise Abatement Training Courses
27 Nov. Auckland (PM) venue tba
28 Nov. Rangiora (PM) venue Black Hanger
29 Nov. Queenstown (PM) venue or exact location tba

AIRCARE™ ACCREDITATION process read here


AIRCARE™ accreditations Click here


New and topical on the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Website - 11 September click here

Your September 2012 Tourism & Hospitality Newsflash! click here

Non transponder aircraft operations click here


Five LCCs in Asia/India worth looking out for, according to Business Traveller click here

Can Innovation and Education save Australia's aerospace industry. Some interesting ideas and suggestions that will resonate in New Zealand. This opinion piece originally appeared in Australia in July. click here

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A Passion For Flight click here
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