For many New Zealanders there is a sense of wonder when we watch a plane cross our skies or when we see the ground disappear while inside an airplane.
There’s good reason for this.
The aviation sector provides for New Zealand. Whether giving us opportunities to travel, or transporting goods, aviation helps to connect us to the world.
With that in mind, it is important that we ensure that the sector has room to grow productively and safely.
We need to be mindful of how we regulate. The current review of civil aviation should be aimed at creating modern and up-to-date regulatory system that prioritises the sector.
We need to work hard to ensure that the regulator is responsive to the needs of aviators. Good regulation comes from working together, listening and being constructive.
Safety must also be addressed. While new technologies have potential for adding value, we must ensure that it is done so safely, and without the risks we currently see with some behaviour.
Making sure aircraft, pilots and passengers are safe must be apriority. We need to see action to reduce the risks posed today by things such as UAVs and laser pointers. I am pleased that National is already working to try and bring about some changes in this space.
Finally, we must make sure that the sector is prepared for the future. Addressing issues such as pilot shortages should be a priority.
We need to be putting in the work today to ensure we are creating the environment that allows the aviation sector to continue to be productive and to grow in the future.
My job is to work with you to try and seize the opportunities we can, and ensure that we benefit from a stron gand growing aviation sect
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