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1 February

“Red Boots” and the team this week have been focusing on fast forwarding the future.  It is becoming very clear that unless the speed of change in Government and other regulatory policy settings are accelerated growth opportunities for the aviation industry will be frustrated.
Regulatory policy settings – glacial change unacceptable
While there are clear indications that change is occurring, it could best be described as “glacial” in some areas.  We have largely deferred the issues associated with rule making to the Industry ACAG forum but there are some fundamental issues that need addressing urgently.  Our suite of existing rules is now quite dated and could do with a refresh but there is simply no funding or mechanism to do this.
In other areas we do not have rules essential for the protection of safety information and data analysis. In the US, for example, there are robust protections around the use of safety information and even more robust protection around open disclosure. By contrast New Zealand never uplifted these rules despite the fact that “open reporting” is the essence of our safety systems and will become integral to the soon to be released SMS rules that are eagerly awaited.
SMS rule implementation update
We understand that our suite of operating rules will all be amended to refer to a requirement for a safety management system.  The recently released advisory circular will provide you with the guidance material. Of course our AIRCARE programme provides further information and templates, especially for the smaller GA operators who come from an environment of essentially no or limited quality management systems to a full blown integrated system.  “Red Boots” would caution do not be afraid of the big words but equally do not be lulled into a false sense of security.  Here’s an article which we thought particularly relevant to the issue of culture and this is at the core of all the fundamental changes. click here
NPRM draft 61 – doesn’t pass the tests of advancing safety and improving industry competitiveness
Today we will be submitting our response to NPRM draft 61 . This is a rule which impacts on all license holders. The draft rule itself is a construct of best thinking in the year 2000 – i.e. essentially before good risk management practices became an integral discipline of every aviation business and before the operating rules were really bedded down.  Our submission click here essentially makes the case for a rethink.  We acknowledge that there are aspects of the rule that remain in good sense but on balance, the proposed rule itself, if it proceeds, is a missed opportunity to refresh and modernize. The rule does not examine whether the benefits are greater than the costs and without this fundamental yardstick it is simply not possible to conclude that this rule change represents “better regulation”. We’ve also attached a copy of the NZHA and NZAAA submissions Click here and here.
One other aspect which we must all consider is whether the dual tests of enhancing safety while concurrently improving our industries competitiveness are met. If we are to seriously compete on global markets and train licensed personnel then we must deliver a product which is “match fit” for those markets. 
Match fitness includes our medical certification system
There’s general acknowledgement in Wellington that the imposition of the $313 medical charge highlighted the problem of system inefficiency. So what’s the solution?? In a competitive market we would just go next door. Well we have tried that by suggesting to CAA they introduce competition via the exemption process. As I said last week there are strong indications that this is not going to fly. The next step in this process would be to petition for a rule change. Officials assure us that under the new rule making process these can be made within five months.  However, while this type of change would bring in choice, the fundamental issue is “system” efficiency i.e. unless there is a radical change in the systems and processes, we are essentially stuck with a charge which does nothing for safety and causes deterioration in our competitiveness.  
So the real solution is a review of our medical system, not simply from a cost perspective but also whether some of the policy settings need to be aligned with Australia.  I cannot for the life of me understand why a colour blind pilot is acceptable on an Australian registered carrier operating in the domestic New Zealand sector and a New Zealand pilot is not.  This tells me, excuse the pun, that our New Zealand risk assessment process is “colour blind.” This is just one example – there are a number of others where the two assessment systems, both seemingly ICAO compliant, are different.
Match fitness also includes our ability to take advantage of international market opportunities. John Nicholson has just returned from Indonesia and Singapore. See his comments below.
"Indonesia continues to grow and has addressed a number of the safety concerns that have affected the industry. We are planning an aviation mission in May to follow up some of the opportunities evident at the ASEAN Aviation Training and Education Summit held 22 and 23 January." More here

Subscriptions rates held at the current level if you pay before 20 April
Subscription rates have been posted earlier than usual because we want to explain to you a number of features we’re introducing. If you pay by 20 April, you are paying at the same rate you paid last year.  If you pay after 20 April and before 20 July the new rate applies which is a 5% increase; and if you pay after 20 July, unless you are on monthly payment arrangements, there will be a 15% penalty.  We’re introducing the 15% penalty because that’s the amount of time it costs here in the office to chase up those debtors who go past 90 days. Almost 75% of membership subs are paid before 20 April and a further 15% prior to 20 July but chasing up the outstanding 10% requires repeated statements, telephone calls and conversations.  With now well over 600 members, the last 10% takes some time to resolve; and with the office resource poor, we think we can be doing better things for you by freeing up our time. We’d also say that we are empathetic to cash flow issues but please let us know early.
New Zealand helicopter crews in Antarctica click here,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

From media reports you’ll be aware that a New Zealand helicopter and crew were involved in a recent search for an aircraft in Antarctica.  These photos highlight the operating conditions and general terrain of the region.  A few years ago “Red Boots” had the privilege of flying over the area and these photos were taken. All I can say is if you get the opportunity to go there – even if it’s in the comfort of a 747 and at a height of 15,000 ft, go for it!!!
New Zealand cocktail function at Heli Expo
If you’re going to Heli Expo and want to be part of the NZ cocktail function can you please get in touch with us at as its an invitation only function and we’re targeting the movers and shakers of the global helicopter industry.  If you’re exhibiting at Heli Expo you’re automatically invited.  P.S you just need to be an AIA member - your business interests could be anywhere in the world.
Tickets to Avalon Trade show
One of our members has kindly offered up some tickets to the Avalon Airshow trade days.  If you are going and want some trade show tickets please get in touch with Heather Fitzpatrick       
Mexicans, mankinis and 80 Adam Eves – for those who think the Capital is a very conservative place, that’s the sight from the office window as “Red Boots” finishes writing this as we look down on party central. Its time for that amazing Sevens’ fever – go New Zealand!!!!                                      

Until we speak again take care and stay risk aware

Red boots
red boots

What's coming up?


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Game Animal Council Bill read more


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