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31 May

Aviation its in our DNA – the double helix Safety and Growth  
The 2013 conference takes approximately 1000 hours of office time to organise - as a number of you have remarked its been a very quick turn around since last year in Rotorua.  That's very true we've turned the conference around in something less than 8 months with one fewer permanent staff member and two of our five staff now working part time.  In saying this we're absolutely certain for those attending and enjoying the hospitality of the deep south it is going to be an event with all the bag pipes and haggis you could ever dream of and I am not permitted to mention the 150 year old malt whisky so just remind "the boots" that they didn't mention the whisky.

Lets hope it won't snow - that's another topic I'm not permited to mention but if it does just think of the skiing Dunedin does have a nearby hill or two.  We're assured Coronet Peak and the other ski fields will be open so for those who have been thinking about a holiday either end of conference here's your big opportunity.

India and China Markets at the Conference.  Sudha Palit from the NZTE office in Delhi will attend the conference and provide an update on the Indian aviation scene.  The market is going through considerable change with new airlines emerging, overseas investment in existing airlines and airport developments proceeding apace.  We have an aviation arrangement, basically a MoU at Government to Government level, and we should be using it more!  Some research is also underway in China and we’ll be reporting that back at the conference.  Information on this and the targeting of some specific regions of China in next weeks newsletter

This week we've effected a Palace will have to read on.....       


First exclusive interview with DCA Graeme Harris Part One -
when Graeme was apointed to the role a year ago it would be fair to say that the Industry was marching in one direction and the CAA well I'm not sure they were marching at all or huddling in their new surroundings.  With the appointment of Nigel Gould as Chairman and Graeme as DCA the winds of change have been blowing  - gale force !!!

As part of the change process Graeme agreed to a two part exclusive interview with "the boots" however we agreed it would be after the first 360 days - a 200 day extension on normal timing to allow for the magnitude of the change to start to become more obvious.  Some of the changes we have seen are a more inclusive style - putting to one side the matter of CAA's charge out consultations which was more akin to a "bear hug" process. The flow of safety information - instead of an Official Information Request every time we wanted some safety informaiton it now flows on a regular basis and there is talk of a joint working party to get to the nub of the concerning escalatng incident rate with Helicopters which incidentially we are aware of another bad one this week. There is also the Agricultural Aviation risk profiling exercise the results of which will be released at conference and the SMS road show which takes place the week after next are a few examples.

So now for the interview Part One The Man this week.....Part Two the Job next week ...

Part Three well you'll have to come to conference to meet the man in person.  No autographed book at this stage but we'll have some from the other great Captain of our time Ritchie McCall   

Tell us about your DNA how did you get into aviation? Have you always been passionate about aviation and what’s your career path?

My father served in the RNZAF in the Pacific during WWII and  I'm sure that his photos of Corsairs and the like on sandy strips in the Islands must have made an impression on me as a young lad.  When I abandoned my initial plans to go teaching after high school I ended up following in his footsteps and joining the air force.  It turned out to be the right move for me and I was very fortunate in the way my air force career went.  I started as a ‘Radar Mechanic’ and left as an Engineering Officer.   I think I ended up spending about six years overseas in a number of different roles and countries.  I eventually decided to leave early enough to start a second career and was really fortunate with a move into the electrical power industry working for companies such as Alstrom and Transpower.  I learned a lot - not just about the electricity sector but also the commercial realities of business.   Aviation called, however, and after a few years there I was drawn to the CAA for a short time - mid 1998 to early 2000 - as a safety auditor and then 'Team Leader Airline Surveillance'.  In early 2000 I moved again, joining the management team at Mount Cook Airline.  I spent 4-5 years there learning lots and enjoying working with a great group of people before coming back to the CAA. 

What made you want to join the CAA ?

If you're referring to the second time around, it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  While I enjoyed my time at Mount Cook I do think that after about 4-5 years in the same job it is time to think seriously about whether it is time to move on.  Probably more significantly, at the time a General Manager position at the CAA became vacant and it was suggested by someone that I apply for it.  Before you ask, it wasn't someone at Mount Cook that made the suggestion!   If I'm honest I have to admit that I had previously left the CAA slightly frustrated with certain things about the organisation.  I guess I thought that as a GM I might have the ability to change some of those things.  

What are the things you particularly value?

Integrity, professionalism, honesty, curiosity, agility, drive, commitment, courtesy, diversity, empathy  - all the normal things.

What’s your likes and dislikes?

Likes? - the things I just mentioned.  Dislikes? -  warm beer - and self-interested people that can only see an issue from their own perspective.   

What do you do in your down time?

Try to catch up with my emails. 

Do you enjoy travelling by air ie do you have faith in the system you regulate?

I certainly have faith in the system - and in the vast majority of the people in the system.  Whether I always enjoy flying is another question.  I recently flew all the way to the UK sitting next to a large gentleman that occupied all his seat and a third of mine.  Unfortunately the aircraft was full and there was no ability to move.  That wasn't so enjoyable.

As the Director what’s the one thing that would keep you awake at night?

The CAA comprises a group of people who are committed to improving the safety and security outcomes in aviation – acting in the public interest.  However, despite the best intentions we all know that to err is human.  It follows that from time to time the CAA through act or omission will make mistakes.  The thought of such a mistake being a contributing factor in a fatal accident concerns me greatly.  It's why I’m committed to continual improvement in the performance of the organisation and the up-skilling of the people in it.

What does a good day look like?

Everybody that goes flying in NZ lands safely.

Do you think engineers make good Directors and if so why?

I'm aware of the stereotype but don't think it’s particularly valid.  If I understand the suggestion correctly, it is that engineers are analytical thinkers who are systematic and organised in the way they go about things.   Anybody that has seen my office knows that is not me!    It is probably true that I'm reasonably analytical, but I think that there are a range of other characteristics and skills that are more important in the role.  First and foremost, the role is a chief executive one and the skills associated with that role are the most important.  The independent statutory functions of the Director are certainly important, especially to the parties involved when they are exercised, but overall they are transactionally focussed and in the big scheme of things definitely rank second in terms of importance.   Overall, whether a Director does a good job or not, is not about vocational background: it’s about having a genuine interest in people, executive management skills, a knowledge of safety regulatory theory and practice, an open mind and a focus on achieving outcomes rather than process.

You have both an Air force and Industry background is this a help or a hindrance?

There’s no doubt that it assists in my understanding of some of the technical and people issues involved in aviation.  It also helps me to test some of the advice I’m given.  That said, I shouldn’t really be spending a lot of my time focussing on technical issues.  At the end of the day, the CAA is part of the State Sector charged with certain legislative functions and with implementing Government priorities for the transport sector - as they apply to aviation.  My background must influence the way I approach that task but I don’t think it is either a significant advantage or hindrance.  

What do you think you will be doing in five years time?

If I’m to be consistent with the view I expressed earlier about the optimum time people should spent in a role then I should be doing something else and looking in at the Authority with a degree of satisfaction that it is a more capable and effective organisation than when I started as chief executive.  If I haven’t moved on by then I’m sure someone will remind me of that view!  Time will tell.

Graeme's committed to spend a lot of time listening and talking to the industry over the next two to three week as he leads the SMS consultation and then heads into conference week with commitments to speak to the Ag Aviaiton Community - fixed and rotary on the Tuesday; talk to engineers and fixed wing operators about the new organisation and how it can deliver better value and finally present the Directors awards.  
The CAA will be holding a series of National SMS Forums around New Zealand from 10-13 June. We encourage our members to attend one of the Forums, particularly if you have responsibilities for quality management, safety management, or are an operational manager. These are an opportunity to hear about the resources available for proactive implementation of SMS, as well as the rule making process for taking a risk-based approach to safety. Click here for access to all of the Forum details. Locations: Palmerston North (10 June), Auckland (11 June), Christchurch (12 June) and Queenstown (13 June). The Flyer for the Forums has also been attached.
Pilot medical issues - colour blindness issues got air time in Parliament this week Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Transport: Why does Civil Aviation Rule Part 67 require that the applicant for a commercial or airline transport pilot licence have no deficit of colour vision to an extent that is of "aeromedical significance"? "The boots" awaits the answer on the specifics however my view is that the issue is symptomatic of a wider concern and that is the lack of transparency and assurance that infact our aeromedical rules are appropriate in the context of rapid advances in medicine.  Now I am not completely convinced that our rules are out of line but neither are we in line.  We do know that that powerhouse of Aviation (sorry you Australian readers), the United States, applies a more liberal medical regime to pilots than we do.  They seem to take a true risk based approach but concurrently don't seem to get into any great debate over whether or not they are compliant with ICAO and it is the question of or fear of non compliance with ICAO that seems to drive the issue.  To be frank are we really that concerned an 80 year old private pilot had a heart attack and crashed killing himself.  Now an 80 year old commercial airline pilot with 220-280 pax down the back that is quite a different issue and a very different risk.  Incidentially to my knowledge there are no 80 year old's flying as commercial airline pilots in Australasia so its a hypothetical example!!!!          

The Indonesian Mission is now back in New Zealand. 
There look to be good opportunities in the institutional support, training and airport technologies areas.  The team spent time with government agencies, government owned companies and the major airlines.  It was extremely helpful to have our MoT as part of the mission and, working with NZTE and Foreign Affairs, they helped give credibility to the New Zealand aviation offer.  Companies are busy with follow ups and we’ll remain involved in this to help ensure that new business results.  There is good aviation engagement with Indonesia already but the seeds have been sewn to broaden it.

New Zealand aviation promoted extensively in Indonesia.  Minister Maurice Williamson, the New Zealand Business Mission and the New Zealand Aviation Mission, were all ‘news’ in Indonesia.   There was extensive media coverage of the visit, with several TV interviews promoting ‘New Zealand’.  The aviation team, through NZTE, participated in a one hour aviation media conference/interview session.  Subsequently, there was extensive coverage of the New Zealand aviation offer in the leading online and business publications, in Bahasa Indonesian and English.  This is expected to continue over some time as the periodicals also write stories.  Significantly too, Herry Bakti, the Director General of DGCA, in a wide ranging aviation interview reported in the Jakarta Post on Monday this week, referred to the developing relationship with New Zealand aviation.

Nadi Airport Redevelopment announcements due soon. 
EOIs were received from Australia, China, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.  Fiji companies also submitted EOIs.  An announcement on the successful bidder is due soon with construction expected to start in July.  Interesting to see the amount of international interest in a market where a few years ago, Australian and New Zealand companies would have been competing against each other.  But also interesting to see some New Zealand consultant interest in aviation strategy and airport master planning development in Tajikistan – that wouldn’t have happened a few years ago either.

Aviation is in our DNA
Red boots
red boots


Conference 2013


AIA Media release read more
AAA Media release read more

Information Pack + Bookings

Trades essential information for those who have booked click here

Trades Hall to book click here

Sponsors click here, sponsorship available
Programme click here

Hotels click here

Ladies Tour - Book Direct click here

Careers Expo - Dunedin Town Hall  co sponsored with Service IQ  

Friday  21 June 0900-1300
Booking trades display  - space restricted to Wednesday 19 June PM to Friday 21 June 1300, ie after vacated by NZAAA displayers click here cost $300 for stand and furnishments. Persons manning booth to register in normal way click here
Seminar Booking, Promoting your business click here $200, for 15 minute speaking slot - first in first served.
Media and Promotion - Schools SERVICE IQ; Otago University Careers; RNZAF present; local media will be contacted with promotional opportunities.
Entry on controlled basis registration at AIA desk.

Trade Stands read more

Delegates read more

Sponsorship read more



AIRCARE™ ACCREDITATION process read here


AIRCARE™ accreditations Click here


China Opens Skies to Privately Owned Airlines read more

Singapore A388 enroute on May 26th 2013, clear air turbulence read more


The importance of matching livestock to environment: Tips from the 2012 National Ewe Hogget Competition winners read more

Wellington Airport to commence with resource consent for runway extension read more

SMS Audit Results read more

Metservice: Confirmation of Automation of NZAA, NZWN and NZCH METARs read more

Notice of Proposed Rule Making - NPRM 13-02 Omnibus 2013 - submissions close 28 Jun 2013 read more

Product Announcement and Information

Travel Careers & Training has classrooms available for lease at the AKL Airport (opposite the IBIS – 10 minute walk to Domestic Terminal). Available on a causal or long-term basis. Also available in AKL CBD. Contact Guy Domett on 07 853-0294

GSB Trade Card click here
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