Regulatory reform in the eighties unleashed substantial productivity growth with the alignment of our key rules with the FAA, seen then as the foremost global regulatory body of aviation safety and growth. Interestingly, the FAA has always had the dual objective of being a major proponent of economic growth while concurrently ensuring an ever improving safety performance.
Our own regulator of course has never had such a direct mandate although, arguably, sustainability of the industry was always a key consideration. Swedavia McGregor defined the regulators’ focus more narrowly with only matters relating to the carriage of the fare paying passenger been considered. This was advent of our risked based focus on rule making. Essentially if there were no commercial fare paying passengers involved in the operation then a very minimalist approach would be taken to regulation and conversely the opposite applied.
Overtime risk based rule making has become better understood and the role of regulator and industry better defined. As aviators we are now embarking on another significant evolution of this process. The introduction of safety management systems is feared by some as just another layer of bureaucracy. However, what is overlooked is that our rule making environment is one of silos but the reality of our world is that it’s many interacting parts and quite often these are beyond our immediate control. SMS gives us a can opener to open the sides of the silos so that we can interact, observe and communicate so much more easily. It highlights not simply the risks associated directly with your business but also enables you to address risks created by third party actions (or inactions) in a systematic way.
Unlike the rest of the world, our shift to the SMS environment is relatively simple with most operators already firmly committed to quality assurance so the change is relatively straightforward. In addition we've also been required under health and safety legislation to have a system of managing safety. The compliance gap is minimal and the non-airline industry via AIRCARE™ provides operators with all the necessary tools to ensure compliance.
Not delivering compliance with global industry norms is, in my view, the biggest threat to aviation safety in this country. We only need look to Pike River and the repeated references to non compliance with global standards or to our own adventure tourism industry where the reputation damage to the sector was partly redressed through regulatory intervention.
As we know the CAA is initiating work on an enterprise wide information system which includes a review of current processes and an area for early focus is to be the medical application fee. There has been considerable criticism of the fee hike. Along with other aviation interests, we met CAA to discuss a review of the medical system. The Medical Unit has an operating cost but this is doubled when overheads are added and explains why the fee rose so much. Of course pilots have to pay anywhere between $225 and $480 to the doctor for the medical examination. There is a lot of cost in the system for pilots!
There was some common ground on the type of system that should replace the current paper based system - a fully automated web based system, continue with a good geographic spread of AMEs.
We've been talking for some time about The America's Cup in San Francisco and opportunities for the aviation sector in the business programme that is developing. There is a real NZ Inc approach to the business programme with considerable government support to maximise the business benefits for companies. New Zealand Aviation will be promoted from 22 to 24 July inclusive. There are three elements - fixed wing, rotary and airport technologies and we are talking about some pretty impressive ways of demonstrating the wide ranging expertise that exists in New Zealand.
Companies taking part in the aviation activities will get an exclusive and privileged behind-the-scenes look at the Emirates Team NZ Base, an opportunity for an on-water spectator experience, involvement in a very specialised briefing on New Zealand aviation, an invitation to a real WOW aviation dinner with a high profile New Zealand aviator, and quality time to engage with customers.
So, why would you participate? There are many reasons including:
- to invite some of your top customers and prospects to some very exclusive activities in San Francisco: show they are special
- to strengthen existing business relationships and accelerate the development of new relationships in a different and unique environment: not business as usual
- to achieve more commercial business: interact with customers in a different way and boost sales
- to show other creative aspects of New Zealand and its aviation sector: strengthen and boost your business offer
- to capitalise on the benefits of a NZ Inc approach: share the costs and deliver something special which is beyond the financial resources of individual companies
A number of aviation companies have already registered interest in participating in an aviation programme.
We expect to fill in some gaps in the coming weeks with a race schedule being available from 22 April. We'll then be providing full details and encouraging participation. This will include some workshops to explain the opportunity first hand.
Upcoming Business Opportunity in the South Pacific. NZ Aid expects to issue an RFP next week (reference SecProNOI-01) covering the appointment of a panel that will support and oversee the development of tourism related programmes and activities throughout the South Pacific. More info will be provided when the RFP is issued.
Aviation is in our DNA