Jami-Lee Ross MP
National Transport Spokesperson
Aviation is an increasingly important sector in New Zealand and the Government needs to make sure that our policies and regulations are keeping pace with increased demand and growth in the sector.
The recent Aviation New Zealand conference showed that there was a strong diversity of thought on whether our current regulatory settings are up to date.
There were concerns raised that our current approach is limiting the productivity of the sector through increased costs and poor responsiveness from the regulator.
That is not a direction we should be heading in.
We need to be able to ensure that the regulator is responsive to the needs of the industry and responds to concerns in a timely fashion and that costs imposed on the sector are kept as low as possible.
Another issue facing the aviation sector is the pilot training pipeline.
With an estimated shortage of 200,000 pilots worldwide, New Zealand needs to ensure that we are addressing how this will affect us and make sure that we are adjusting our policy settings to respond appropriately to the needs of the aviation sector.
I was fortunate enough to be able to access a pilot education programme that was generous enough to help me access that training.
Since then, New Zealand has faced much more challenging economic times that resulted in decisions needing to be made to control the costs of the Government.
However, as costs of training escalate and the demands on the sector increase we need to be open to looking at how our pilot training pipeline operates and make sure that we are setting New Zealand’s aviation sector up to meet the challenges of pilot shortages.
It is our job from Opposition to ensure that we are actively working across the aviation industry to understand these issues and build a plan that better balances the needs of the sector with the public interest.
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