Changes: Why are we waiting? Because we’re at the bottom of the pile
The GAA has sat down with Civil Aviation Authority Board Chairman Nigel Gould and Director Graeme Harris, and a major topic was the length of time it takes to achieve a rule change.
Just to give you an idea of the problem: a GA-based exemption petition submitted more than four years ago to the NZ CAA has made no progress at all, whereas an almost identical request to the UK CAA was approved and implemented in less than 12 months.
Graeme Harris explained why. It’s all about a pyramid and a vicious circle…
Fuel Excise Duty refunds: Time to plan a different route?
For GA pilots who use Mogas, it’s double taxation; and now for Auckland-based pilots, it’s triple taxation. We’re paying fuel excise duty to build roads which our aeroplanes have (we all hope) no chance of using.
Who’s fault is this? Answer: The Ministry of Transport, which six years ago used the Treasury’s mantra of User Pays to impose a $330 medical application fee. The CAA and the ministry were eventually proved faulty on that piece of sophistry.
But, ho hum… User Pays doesn’t apply to duty on petrol because… ahem… that might mean some hard work to fix.
Five years into this issue, and we are not one millimetre forward, thanks to political and public service procrastination and a litany of feeble excuses, ranging from “it’s not a priority” to “we’ve been restructured” and all the way back to square one.
Perhaps it’s time to take a different tack?
It’s official: The CAA has a virtual licence to extract unlimited money
Parliament’s Regulations Review Committee has rejected a complaint about the Civil Aviation (Safety) levies Amendment Order 2017 and the Civil Aviation Charges Regulations (No2) 1991 Amendment Regulations 2017. The Committee Chairperson, former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee (who was responsible for the draconian GA increases of 2012) said his committee was concerned at the level of charges, but “large increases are not necessarily problematic under Standing Order 319(2)…”
What Brownlee says about large increases begs a big question: If the scale of increased charges has no limit, where can GA go to seek redress?
Clearly not the RRC, which rejected similar complaints in 2013 purely on the basis that nobody had broken the rules…
The cockpit video and audio recording case
A judge has allowed in-cockpit audio and video recordings to be admitted as evidence in a New Zealand court case involving a GA pilot. This opens a can of worms, with worrying implications for incident reporting and the use of camera and audio recordings in flight training. The pilot involved in this case has decided not to appeal.
What did the Judge say? How could her decision affect general aviation? And what can be done?
The global pilot crisis. At last, people are waking up
An additional 640,000 commercial pilots will be needed worldwide over the next 20 years, 40 per cent of them in the Asia Pacific region. This crisis has been forecast for years. Politicians ignored all the warnings, airlines put off the evil day – but in 2018, reality has arrived with a vengeance.
Air New Zealand has announced that it’s working on the issue behind the scenes with the Airline Pilots Association, and there is agreement that trainee pilots need better support and more funding.
Is this just too little, a little too late? Some people are grabbing hold of the issue, and you could help them.
Remember Geoff Kitto
Geoff Kitto had a huge passion for the GA industry, particularly the agricultural side. He flew all over the world, amassed more than 20,000 hours and was an important mentor to the next generation of New Zealand’s agricultural pilots. He was an advocate for agricultural aviation and opposed attempts to monopolise control of his industry. We pay our respects to him and his family.