Representing NZALPA at the national Aviation New Zealand Conference held in Nelson recently was a real opportunity to connect with the many facets of our sector – and to really understand just how our national industry is growing in both demand and technological complexity.
In addition to international guests, local representation included aviation operators, industry providers, trainers, working pilots and regulators. While demonstrating the diversity of the industry and sometimes divergent views, one area everyone could agree on was that the industry welcomed moves towards safer and cleaner aviation technology.
Along with the Minister of Transport, Hon Phil Twyford, Opposition Transport Spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross was also in attendance, along with the Chief Executives of both the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Airways.
The conference proved an excellent opportunity to raise the issue that nearly all industry delegates were united on – the need for a new Civil Aviation Act that was ‘fit for purpose’, and much more orientation towards rapidly changing technology and addressing future needs.
CEO of Aviation New Zealand, John Nicholson was clear with the politicians and government managers present that policy change was also urgently needed in aviation education, particularly around pilot training.
NZALPA keenly supports Nicholson’s call for ourselves and others across industry to “work with officials to develop a new Civil Aviation Act that sets the basis for safe and sustainable growth over the next 30 years.”
We’re already making inroads across industry as we face the pilot supply issue and we’re now very much looking forward to the Government agencies playing a more timely and active part, especially when it comes to student loan eligibility and support generally of New Zealanders wanting an affordable and rewarding career in aviation for today and tomorrow.
NZALPA also participated in constructive discussions within the Training and Development division of the Aviation New Zealand Conference. These discussions had particular reference to how NZALPA could work with industry to ensure the sustainability of flight training in New Zealand.
We emphasised that the continuing work within the airline career pathways initiatives, both within the Air New Zealand and Qantas/Jetstar Groups needed to ensure that flight training and a consistent supply of New Zealand resident commercial pilots remained an integral part of the overall framework of these initiatives.
Retaining experienced flight instructors in our world class New Zealand flight training organisations is also essential. NZALPA is committed to work with industry to ensure that the role and career for a flight instructor is both viable and fulfilling in the long term. We also represent many of these flight instructors, who are NZALPA members. Without this commitment the potential for a significant link in the New Zealand pilot supply chain to be eroded will continue to trouble the industry.
Included in this Uplink we highlight the importance of keeping the threat of high powered lasers at the forefront of Government decision maker’s attention. Within this month’s article we make it clear that NZALPA will be looking forward to the Ministers’ assessment of the current performance of Custom Import Prohibition (High-power Laser Pointers) Order 2017 and will be pressing for a reasonable timeframe for this to occur.
Following on from the Minister’s column in Uplink earlier this year, the National Party’s Jami-Lee, who trained as a recreational pilot, delivers this month’s guest editorial. We recently met with Jami-Lee and it’s refreshing to meet a young politician keen to learn more about the opportunities and challenges our industry and our members face
Have a safe month