More than 6000 GA pilots get EU grants to upgrade their comms
€4.3m of funding provided by the EU has helped more than 6000 GA pilots and private aircraft owners to change from their 25 kHz radios to 8.33 kHz equivalents.
This UK issue is essentially no different from New Zealand’s impending switch to ADS B transponders, because in both cases GA operators must incur costs for equipment in a change that profits commercial players in the aviation system and provides little or no financial benefit to the private, non-profit people.
Claimants were allowed to apply for a 20 per cent grant on any purchase of an 8.33 kHz radio. The UK CAA applied for – and won – the funding from the EU in 2016 to assist with conversion of the UK GA fleet.
We think it’s long overdue for the New Zealand authorities to front up with similar help for the low-level GA installers of ADS B equipment.
ADS-B: We know the science, but what’s the bottom line?
Anyone following the progress of ADS-B’s introduction to New Zealand will have noticed one Great Big Official Unknown:
How it’s going to be paid for.
Cheaper ADS-B is already on the way – but somewhere else…
CASA in Australia has listened to its aviation community and will be developing rule changes aimed at making it cheaper and easier for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology to be voluntarily fitted to visual flight rules aircraft.
Our advice: Unless it’s absolutely necessary, wait until the MoT and the NZ CAA get their act together. Otherwise, you might end up paying expensive and unrecoverable labour costs for installation, only to discover that you could have done it legally, almost – or entirely – on your own.
Flight training and the pilot crisis: A litany of lost opportunities…
There is no evidence that any New Zealand government (including the current one) has ever had any interest in writing a strategy for our aviation industry, and the latest research from Massey and NZ ALPA gives an indication of some of the consequences.
This report starkly highlights the country’s failure:
– to recognise, in good time, the internationally developing demand for airline crew and move to exploit it
– to accept and adapt to the weaknesses and dangers posed by New Zealand’s low-wage economy when set in a global context and
– to understand the faults in the user-pays philosophy which fail to take account of wider benefits to be gained by a more community-based, sharing approach to education and training.
You can get the full report here:
Unmanned Aircraft: Segregation is not integration, Mr Director
Remember the bad old days of New Zealand’s Next Big Thing? They featured such silly ideas such as farms for ostriches, alpacas or Angora goats, as well as the oft-confused Robert Muldoon’s pipe dreams. Most of these get-rich-quick notions crashed (and burned the investors).
But those days may not be gone.
Our government, and its Ministry of Transport in particular, has latched on to unmanned aircraft (UAs) and they are telling us that this is the Next Big Thing.
Never mind the ostriches… where’s the beef?
Why attempts to restrict New Zealand airspace for UAs must be blocked
The GAA says that it is time to call a moratorium on all applications for restricted airspace from those who wish to test unmanned aerial vehicles, because:
- New Zealand airspace is owned by no one and owned by everyone.
- No government or public servant has the right to assign airspace to the control of a private person or entity where the primary intent is private profit and the claimed public good is not proven.
- No experimental aviation activity should be approved in New Zealand airspace without sufficient public insurance protection being provided by the designated controller to overflown persons and property
- Experimental UA activity in New Zealand airspace must not take place unless the originators promise, and can prove, that the results will never be put to any use that might harm people.
What has happened in Hokianga and Alexandra shows that a moratorium is essential.
On radio-active clouds, and living in times past…
GRAFOR, the new MetFlight graphical forecasting service, has been widely welcomed. At last, we have a good visual depiction of what’s likely to happen.
This is infinitely preferable to pages of capitalised abbreviations, the result of a submissive CAA, Airways and MetService obeying ancient ICAO rules, and supported by elistist fogeys who always insisted that, to read the weather, you must learn their arcane language, written more than 50 years ago because of a shortage of paper and a reliance on agonisingly slow teleprinters.