Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

Upfront with NZALPA President

President Andrew Ridling


The philosopher Aristotle’s saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” aptly defines the modern concept of synergy and helpfully echoes the TEAM acronym—Together, Everyone Achieves More. 

This is the foundation of being a member of our organisation – NZALPA. One of the core strategic pillars of NZALPA is that of mutual support, the ability to synergise our aims and objectives as a TEAM.

Over the last few articles I have discussed leadership and behavioural integrity as it relates to our employers and ourselves as an organisation. Membership numbers are important, as is ensuring we are all working together and pushing in the same direction. This is what allows us to be most effective. NZALPA is a growing organisation, covering more than 90 per cent of pilots, flight instructors and air traffic controllers working for New Zealand employers.

Mutual support allows us to increase the sum of our parts and achieve the strategic goals and policies set for us through our membership.

In recent times NZALPA has strived to ensure it has a leadership position in the New Zealand aviation industry as the “Voice of Aviation” and we now hold ourselves, our members and the industry to this standard, whether that is for behavioural integrity or standards of professionalism and leadership. As a professionally focused organisation we concentrate on assisting our members through both the PAN and our Professional Standards networking platforms. We are working with industry bodies including the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Ministry of Transport to develop standards for drones, lasers and the development of legislation that will make this a safer and more efficient industry. 

In recent months I have encouraged our members and the industry leadership to call out poor performance and unacceptable behaviours and we will support all members and organisations with similar aims and objectives. This will be achieved through effective collaboration with our industry partners including our employers, the CAA and the collaboration between our pilot and air traffic controller members.

The synergy of air traffic controllers and pilots as equal parts in one dynamic organisation is not lost on the industry. This gives us the ability to support each other in areas where leadership is otherwise lacking. This is only possible because of our common aim or direction, our good leadership and because we are an effective and collaborative organisation. 

Last month we achieved ratification of the Regional Air New Zealand Collective Agreement Pilots (RANCAP) document. RANCAP in essence brought together Air Nelson and Mount Cook into one regional airline. Both Mount Cook Airline and Air Nelson will soon have their air operating certificates dissolved, as their operations will become part of the parent air operating certificate held by Air New Zealand. This has been an objective of NZALPA for near on 20 years with its status being raised to Resolution status at the last NZALPA conference in Auckland. This was achieved as a result of extensive work by Mount Cook and Air Nelson pilot councils and their negotiators with support from their Air New Zealand jet colleagues and NZALPA Principal Officers. This was a real example of mutual support and effective collaboration. 

The RANCAP achievement provides an example for others within NZALPA. Mount Cook and Air Nelson as individual entities both hold very strong traditions within regional New Zealand built up since Mount Cook was established in 1920 and Air Nelson in 1979. These airlines were purchased by Air New Zealand during the eighties and nineties, setting the foundations for a path towards one airline. Mount Cook and Air Nelson had both developed extensively different cultures and histories, which both sets of pilots and companies were very proud of. The leadership and management required to bring these two cultures together into one organisation called for effective leadership within those groups. What was never lost was the ability to understand the requirement for mutual support for each other, acknowledging that the sum is greater than its parts. Air New Zealand regional can now develop its own great culture and grow stronger with a very supportive membership. 

This initiative and its execution is a clear example of effective collaboration and mutual assistance programs that are offered by being part of NZALPA, demonstrating the professional body that our members expect us to be. NZALPA is an effective, growing organisation because this is a member led, member-owned organisation. This enables each member to mutually support each other and dictate the direction of our organisation.



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