ADS-B approaches The Twyford Zone – but is this another black hole?
In six days, some claim, God created Heaven and Earth. On the seventh, He rested. There was light, and God saw that it was good. Much later, this also pleased every aviator who did not possess a night rating. Making an entire world out of nothing, in less than a week, is an unimaginable feat of weight and balance, particularly when you compare it to the performance of the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford is said to be on the verge of signing off a rule change that will open up New Zealand-based aviation careers for pilots with ‘Colour Vision Deficiency.’ This achievement (which is little more than a fragment of common sense) has taken roughly 3,265 days – or about nine years – to make it through the CAA.
No surprise, then, that it seems to be taking an eternity for anyone in authority to confront the big question: How will ADS-B for General Aviation be paid for? That’s a question that, sooner or later, must be answered.
Imagine what might happen, if New Zealand had an APPG
APPG stands for an All-Party Parliamentary Group whose members cast aside politics and focus on matters directly affecting real people and their livelihoods.
In the UK, this is a long-established concept and its APPG-GA is a group of 203 MPs and members of the House of Lords who, among other things, have succeeded in a campaign to Cut the Red Tape at their Civil Aviation Authority.
APPG-GA champions UK general aviation, economically and culturally. Its new aims include campaigning for improved safeguarding of airfields, working towards greater tax relief for flight training, improving the fairness of lower airspace management, and opening clearer pathways through education to aviation jobs.
But could an AAPG-GA exist in New Zealand?
The Hokianga drone-testing plan: Not dead… just sleeping in Wellington
The controversial Incredible Skies proposal to grab a huge area of airspace around Hokianga Harbour for private use (and we assume, profit) is far from dead and buried. It’s merely fallen victim to the sub-glacial routine of CAA procedures.
Northland-based Incredible Skies applied for the designation of a restricted area to conduct trials of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flying for development and research purposes. The proposed restricted area would be activated by NOTAM when a trial is to take place, from the surface to 3000 ft AMSL. It’s a big chunk of Northland.
In April 2018, the Director invited feedback about the proposed change. Way back then, the CAA said it didn’t plan to hold an airspace consultation meeting unless users specifically asked for one.
But then, inconveniently, the users did…
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.
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.
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?