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.

New Zealand aviation news

Glacier Country Heliport first to achieve CAA accreditation

Glacier Country Heliport at Franz Josef is the first heliport in New Zealand to achieve Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ‘Part 139’ qualifying aerodrome accreditation. This is a new form of certification for smaller airports and heliports that recognises operational quality and safety. 

Glacier Country Heliport is the busiest heliport in the country with more than 60,000 passengers transported annually. It is operated by Destination Westland, a council controlled organisation owned by the Westland District Council. 

The accreditation process required evidence of quality assurance, emergency procedures, health and safety and operational systems. There were also site inspections. 

CAA aeronautical services manager Sean Rogers said the new form of certification for airports and heliports takes into account the unique circumstances which are relevant to that particular aerodrome. These include the local environment and weather patterns, the types of operators using the facility, and the pattern of aircraft movements. 

More heliports and airfields are expected to go through the qualifying process this year. 

Read more HERE.

Tips for new Air New Zealand CEO 

Stuff reports that incoming Air New Zealand Chief Executive Greg Foran sought staff suggestions on how to improve the airline. The staff responses will be fed into the airline’s new strategic plan.

Air New Zealand customers then took the initiative and contacted Stuff with suggestions of their own. 

These included a lot of sustainability ideas (single use plastics), improved ventilation in the toilets, better or no music, better air conditioning, removing the cost to change the name on a ticket, not requiring passengers to lift their bags onto conveyor belts, route changes, increased leg room, removing the current safety videos, and increasing service reliability. 

There are no indications Air New Zealand will note the customer suggestions, but time will tell. 

Read more HERE.


Airline lobbying threatens future of regional airports

Airline lobbying that seeks to remove the right of airports to set their own charges may threaten the existence of regional airports, according to a NZ Herald report. 

Airlines want to see changes to the Civil Aviation Act that would remove airports’ ability to charge as they see fit (after consulting with airlines), but the Chief Executive of New Zealand Airports, Kevin Ward, said this was likely to push airport costs onto ratepayers. The report says the airline stance ignores the community building role of regional airports – some of which could be put at risk. 

Potentially at-risk airports include Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Whangarei, Whakatane, Taupo, Whanganui, Masterton, Westport, Hokitika, Timaru and the Chatham Islands. New Zealand Airports (which has 37 members running 41 airports) does not support a law change which would take away the long-standing power of airports to set charges after consultation with airlines.

The main airports – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown – charge between $6.06 and $11.98 for domestic passengers (including regional flights). New Zealand Airports data from 2018 showed the average per passenger charge at regional airports was a ''shade over'' $6 for a flight on a Dash 8 Q300 plane.

The new Civil Aviation legislation is currently moving through Parliament. 

Read more HERE.



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