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Re Joyce or Repeat?
#1
Re Joyce or Repeat?
 
Here begineth the tale of BarmyBaby. Well; the unofficial version began a while ago, in the back of a hanger on the aerodrome of the city of Tamworth. NSW.
 
A meeting of some import with the political heavy weights is scheduled. This particular indaba should have been a watershed; a landmark, alas. For various reasons several of the alphabet soup group decided not to attend. The results of the political pushing and shoving which prohibited them from attending Tamworth are now all too clear. However, that is a story for another day.
 
The first item on the ministerial agenda was a ‘private’ briefing session; everyone except Barnaby was there so Chester kicked the show off; it took about 60 seconds for those in the room to realise he had NFI, not the foggiest notion of what he was dealing with. You could tell he was cranky that Barny was AWOL, pushed for time and not properly briefed. Even so; BJ arrived and took his stand. He is fast on his feet and glib, so the politician emerged and a demonstration of saying sweet Fanny Adams 101 was witnessed by all. It was not a stellar performance, although it may have passed muster had there not been some wise old ears, hard eyes and experienced veterans of past encounters with ‘politicians’ at ministerial level, listening and watching. It was a surprise and a testament to the patience of this crowd that none left the room before halftime. The best bit was watching the faces of the internal factions – but once again, I digress.

(Whoops - Corrections required above due to an excess of Christmas pudding and the brown stuff they keep filling his glass with). Not that it makes any difference to the message. Could have gone with sock puppet and rag doll for all it matters to the result). Remember to engage brain etc. seems appropriate). P7 edits....
 
To be fair Barnaby did quite well at the ‘public’ gathering – as a politician, doing political things with a microphone in hand; he even spent some time in the bar afterwards – pressing the flesh and garnering whatever personal good will he could. Whatever happened from then on, was not his headache; that small chestnut belonged the newly appointed minister and Joyce could afford to mingle with the IOS.
 
That was a mistake he will need to rectify. The BRB have voted to start him off on a zero score, which, IMO is generous. A professional politician should be able to read a crowd better than Joyce did that day – the fury was clearly apparent. What both Joyce and Chester failed to grasp is that small, motely crowd in attendance that day represented the very grass roots of ‘aviation’ and the treatment they received was a yardstick against which many other ‘groups’ would measure their chances of achieving anything significant through the auspices of the minister or the DPM.  Much fuel was added to the flames that day and no amount of ministerial piss and wind will quench that fire.
 
Nevertheless; it is done; Joyce has a clean sheet, he has both good and bad advice available. Chester took the easy, slippery way; ended up despised, trapped deep in the mires of the Sleepy Hollow swamps.
 
Here begins the reign of Barnaby the First. The scorecard is at zero, the respect meter hovering in neutral territory. The rest will become history as time slides by.
 
Toot - toot.
Reply
#2
Q/ Is 2018 the year of the aviation industry revolution?

From the Oz today it would appear that the tide may be turning with industry starting to finally get vocal... Rolleyes

Quote:Anger amid pilot crisis as visa rules relaxed for foreigners

[Image: b903e4dc23325a91c07637b2f4d50106?width=650]
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 28, 2017
  • MATTHEW DENHOLM
    [Image: matthew_denholm.png]
    Tasmania correspondent
    Hobart
    @MatthewRDenholm
    [img=0x0]https://i1.wp.com/pixel.tcog.cp1.news.com.au/track/component/author/5f91ca65ef3233adc982dc00ae6da579/?esi=true&t_product=the-australian&t_template=s3/austemp-article_common/vertical/author/widget&td_bio=false[/img]

Peter Dutton will allow foreign ­pilots into Australia on two-year work visas in an effort to fix a worsening national shortage that is already grounding planes and forcing flight cancellations.

But amid a global scramble to secure pilots, a slump in training and increasing foreign ownership of Australian training schools, Qantas pilots questioned the quality of those likely to be ­recruited to keep ­regional air routes ­operating.

“The United States and China are paying huge money and that doesn’t leave much for the sort of wages they are paying in regional Australia,” said Murray Butt, president of the Australian and International Pilots Association, which represents more than 2000 Qantas pilots.

“We need to look at the Chinese airlines buying up flight schools in Australia. That might fix their problem but it doesn’t fix ours.”

The peak body for regional airlines yesterday said it had successfully lobbied the Home Affairs Minister to allow foreign pilots to be hired for up to two years, in light of the shortage of sufficiently skilled local pilots.

Cut red tape to fix pilot mess

Mike Higgins, chief executive of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia, said the government had advised that the decision would be confirmed in a revised skilled occupation list — replacing the former 457 visa regime — to be released next month.

He also revealed the association was talking to Mr Dutton about extending the visa period to four years, given doubts whether experienced foreign pilots would relocate for just two years.

However, Qantas pilots called for a government white paper to ­address declining output from — and rising foreign ownership of — Australian flying schools.

“Bringing in foreign pilots is definitely a very short-term fix and, given the market, I’m not sure of the quality of the pilots they are going to get,” Mr Butt said. “I do foresee big problems going forward. The government is taking a very short-term view on this.”
Veteran aviator and former air safety chief Dick Smith said the use of foreign pilots was an indictment of 15 years or more of misplaced government policy, which had threatened the ­viability of flight training.

“The fact that there is a need to bring in foreign pilots is outrageous — we are a developed Western country with a very high level of education and we should be supplying pilots not just for Australia but for the world,” Mr Smith said. “We have the safest airline in the world — Qantas — because it’s used highly trained, Australian pilots … Now what we’re doing is an experiment: bringing people in from overseas.”

The shortage follows poaching of major airline pilots by overseas airlines, and increasing foreign ownership of pilot training schools, including by Chinese companies to train Chinese pilots.

Impacts are already being felt, with pilot shortages a factor in a ­recent rash of cancellations on Qantas regional services, while multiple sources told The Australian Qantas subsidiaries already had foreign pilots flying Dash-8 aircraft on some regional services.

Mr Smith joined regional airlines and Qantas pilots in calling for a rethink of government regulation of flight training, to remove unaffordable and overly bureaucratic regulation linked to school closures and buyouts by foreign companies.

Mr Smith said flight training was down 35 per cent in Australia, while recent federal government figures confirm a 40 per cent decline in the number of general-aviation flying hours in the five years to 2015.

Mr Higgins insisted the recruitment of foreign pilots was essential: “In the middle of last year the government included ­pilots and avionics engineers on their banned 457 visa list, so we advocated with Peter Dutton and we’ve finally got halfway back to where we need to go.

“We’ve had success in getting the Department of Immigration to review that list, which will be published next month. It means we can get visa pilots across (from overseas) for a two-year period, but we really need to get them for a four-year period.”

Mr Higgins insisted regional airlines would pay foreign pilots the same wages and conditions as Australian pilots and that the move was the only short-term ­solution to the shortage.

A spokesman for Mr Dutton confirmed “airline pilot” had been added to an Occupations List for Temporary Work Visas, for sponsored jobs in regional Australia, following the crackdown on the 457 visa system.

He would not comment on what status pilots would have in a revised list to be released next month, saying this was determined by the department.

However, he said the new system was aimed at addressing skills needs while putting local workers first.

“Amendments to the occupations list are based on skills needs of the Australian economy, in line with the Turnbull government’s policy that Australian workers should have priority,” he said.

Sources said currently up to eight Dash-8 aircraft operated by Qantas or its subsidiaries were grounded due to pilot shortages, as well as several 737s. Another said up to 15 per cent of Jetstar’s planned flights had been scrapped due to pilot shortage.

Qantas, which owns Jetstar, said it was unable to respond ­directly to these examples yesterday, but played down the issue, while other sources suggested pilot shortage was only one factor behind such groundings.

Qantas conceded pilot shortages had been a factor in recent flight cancellations in regional areas, with flow-on schedule changes in major capitals to address the problem.

“We had a spike in flight ­cancellations in some regional markets during October and November … due to a mix of ­engineering and pilot issues,” spokesman Andrew McGinnes said. “To stabilise things, we made some tweaks to a few parts of the network that saw us operate fewer flights but with larger aircraft so there was a minimal impact on actual capacity.

“We’re in the middle of training up about 600 of our pilots and that reduces the number we have in reserve, to bring in if someone calls in sick.”

Mr Higgins, whose association represents 34 regional airlines as well as flight training firms, said regional airlines were hardest hit, frequently losing pilots to Qantas and Virgin, who in turn were seeking to replace pilots poached by overseas carriers.


& some worthy comments:

Quote: [Image: 50.jpg?v=1429581369]


arlys42 MINUTES AGO


So it has come to fruition. Years of neglect of training Engineers and Pilots has arrived. Apprentice schemes dropped for Engineers, and no hex scheme for young Australian pilots, or if any, nowhere near enough to cover their training, which often led to their parents having to re mortgage their homes to get their kid at least to a commercial licence. Add to that many small flying schools closing strangled by red tape, and small freight companies going the same way, which made it harder for young pilots to get their hours up, required by a Airline. So you end up with Pilots with a couple of hundred hours on Simulaters, and into the right hand seat of a commercial jet, instead of the time honoured way of "bush bashing" which is the best grounding they can have. As for foreign pilots, we learnt after the 89 dispute, once here, they hang on like glue, so you can forget the two years, taking jobs from young Australian Pilots. This industry has been neglected for years, in both Engineering and Pilots, and those who do make it are in high demand from overseas airlines, especially middle eastern airlines. You cannot run an airline despite all the nice TV ads of smiling staff, without Pilots and Engineers and selling our flying schools to the Chinese, is not the answer. Undoing the red tape, Hex schemes, lucrative contracts from Asian airlines, instead of selling them the flying school, and airlines rebooting their Engineer apprentice schemes are. Though no fan of Xenophon he was the only Pollie who cared about this mess, and fought to get it fixed. He went unheard.


Richard IV1 HOUR AGO



Whenever an industry askes for 457 immigrants, the answer from government should always be an emphatic "NO" followed by a thorough root and branch investigation of that industry. I don' t know much about the aviation industry, but I will bet anything that there are thousands of quality, experienced Australian pilots out there who can' t find enough work.

I say this because I have seen the 457 thing at work in plenty of industries that I do know inside out, and the cause is always the same - employers want 457 workers because they are cheaper, and because they pressure Australians' wages downward. So they manufacture an alleged "skills shortage" that government are usually too dopey to question.

Sure, there always nitwits out there who will say that you can't resist globalisation, and have to learn to live with it. Unfortunately, the process of globalisation simply dilutes Australia's residual wealth ( accumulated in the decades we had our own industries) among the rest of the developing world, and will soon make us just another third world failed economy. That would appear to be our fate.

And thanks for the tip off. I wont be flying on Jetstar, or on any Qantas regional service any time soon.



Andrew2 HOURS AGO



Pilot training in this country is worse than a joke. Most training is done by small flying schools who charge a fortune from youngsters mainly to keep their own doors open.

They get young kids to fork out $50,000 to get a basic pilots licence and condemn them to keep spending each year to maintain that and then more again to get and maintain for their instruments licence, twin engine, night flying etc etc licences. Without those they can't get a job to get their hours up in small companies and then be looked (or overlooked) by the major airlines.

My son and his friends went through this and none of them got a a job. One did when his father took him back to Korea and had a connection.

There are simply no vacancies to even get a start. Most leave with a debt that isn't covered by HECS. Others stick around to wash planes, maybe instruct and hopefully garb a few hours flying time and the occasional scrappy job.

Pilot training and planning for pilot recruitment is a disgrace in this country and as far as I can see CASA and the Government turns a blind eye to what flying schools say and do to get trainees into their program.



Mary-Anne4 HOURS AGO



If Keating hadn't decided to privatise leases for the federal airports with his Airports Act in 1996, turning them into land banks for property developers gouging every cent out of the flying schools and maintenance organisations to pay for their tilt up concrete monstrosities and even kicking tenants out of the properties they developed and forcing them to rent them back, sending costs for rent, landing fees, parking fees etc through the roof , we  might have been able to stay competitive in the world flying training market.


Pilot training should be an export industry in this country but that and the ever increasing cost of compliance with CASA's thought bubbles has sent many good flying schools to the wall. Add the fee help rorts that meant that many trainee pilots were left with their records in a skip and instructors forced to find work in other industries because all the money had disappeared and the administrators called in, it has just been one disaster after another and the Feds have just sat back and let it happen.


We saw this coming 20 years ago but successive Federal government ministers have constantly ignored flying training industry concerns and allowed this rampant exploitation of Australian businesses to go ahead unhindered. I guess this was their long game all along.

&..

Quote:Need to cut red tape, costs to restore pilot training
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 28, 2017

In September, The Australian’s Higher Education section published two stories on the mess in Australia’s aviation training sector. John Ross reported that the problems had sparked safety concerns and warnings that Australia would squander the opportunity to take advantage of business opportunities from Southeast Asia. Only now is the gravity of the debacle becoming clear, with the Turnbull government set to allow foreign pilots into Australia on temporary work visas. The decision by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is sensible, with pilot shortages responsible for the cancellation of planned regional flights and the grounding of aircraft. The visas are a short-term fix, however.

New Transport Minister Barnaby Joyce, together with the industry and training sector, must reform flight training to ensure Australia can again provide sufficient pilots for the nation’s needs and capitalise on opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region. There would be no shortage of applicants. Many young people recognise that flying is an exciting, interesting career with opportunities for travel and promotion, including aspiring to fly the world’s most sophisticated passenger aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Like businessman Dick Smith, a former chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, many Australians will be angered by the fact the Merredin aerodrome, 260km east of Perth, is effectively under the control of a Chinese government enterprise, the state-owned China Southern Airlines. Under a secret deal in 1993, the company paid the princely sum of $1 to the West Australian government to lease the airport for 100 years as a base to train thousands of Chinese pilots.

The training school, which has suspended operations after CASA raised safety concerns, is one of several Chinese-owned aviation colleges in Australia. China will need an extra 110,000 pilots by 2035 but it relies on other countries for training because of its heavy smog, military-controlled airspace and a lack of English-speaking instructors. Writing in The Australian today, Mr Smith blames failed government policy dating back decades for the mess. He says skyrocketing regulatory costs and pointless red tape are forcing flying trainers to sell out at bargain rates to the Chinese. As a result, general aviation flying hours, including training, have fallen by 40 per cent in five years.

One of Australia’s most experienced flight trainers, Glen Buckley, head of Melbourne Flight Training, says he has just spent $700,000 to comply with new CASA regulations and that the impost almost broke him. Mr Buckley has received repeated offers from Chinese companies to buy part of his business, as have flight trainers at Bankstown, west of Sydney. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association chief executive Ben Morgan, who believes more than half of flight training in Australia is carried out by foreign companies, wants CASA to allow independent instructors, similar to those who train most US pilots, to play a greater role. In the national interest, Mr Joyce must work with the industry to find solutions.

& from Dick Smith, via the Oz: 

Quote:Empty-skies-are-safe-skies policy is killing aviation

I don’t think you should ever regard aviation safety as what is affordable.

I welcome the appointment of Barnaby Joyce as Australia’s new Transport Minister. He certainly has a challenge in front of him when it comes to Australia’s general aviation industry, which is in a state of near collapse after years of failed government policy.

It will take someone as senior as the Deputy Prime Minister to sort out this mess. As The Australian has reported, general aviation — so vital in a big country like ours — is in serious trouble. Crippled by skyrocketing regulatory costs and pointless red tape, businesses are closing and much of the flying training industry is being sold off to Chinese buyers at bargain rates. A federal government report last week showed the drastic decline brought on by the excessive costs: general aviation flying hours, which include the vital flying training industry, have declined by 40 per cent in just five years.

But none of this is new. I have been warning for years that introducing regulations that ignore cost have been crippling the industry. It was 17 years ago that I ­became involved in a very public disagreement with Joyce’s predecessor, John Anderson, who introduced the ­policies that have resulted in today’s mess.

At the time I was chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and I warned Anderson that the substantial additional costs that had been placed on the industry by the sell-off of the airports and the “user pays” air traffic ­control system would have to be balanced by a reduction in other costs.

Driven by bureaucrats with little understanding of business, he pursued a policy of regulations ­regardless of cost, with the inevitable result that ridiculous levels of regulation have made it im­possible to maintain a viable industry. It seems that for the bureaucrats, the safest skies are empty skies, similar to the Yes Minister episode about the hospital with no patients.

Anderson refused to meet me to discuss the issue, releasing a public statement that showed how little he understood. “I don’t think that you should ever regard aviation safety as what is affordable,” he claimed. “Safety is something which has the highest priority — it is not a question of cost.”

In effect he was saying that with air safety there was no cost that was too high to pay, ignoring the fact this would make the cost of air tickets unaffordable to anyone other than the ultra-wealthy.

Anderson’s public statement was quickly embraced by the ­bureaucrats within CASA and the denial that cost should be considered became an almost cult-like ­belief that still exists in that organisation to this day.

Aviation is like anything else in life. The amount of money that you can spend on safety is always limited by what the marketplace can afford. If regulations are written that increase the cost of flying too much, people can’t afford to fly and businesses go broke.

The inevitable result of this stubborn insistence that there are no limits to the costs that could be imposed on the aviation industry is a situation where operators simply can’t afford to meet the red tape and expenses.

It has done nothing to improve safety and will very likely lead to a situation where most pilots in Australia will come from Asia. The losers are many of Joyce’s constituents in rural and regional Australia who rely greatly on general aviation as a vital link in Australia’s transport systems.

It means we will lose hundreds of millions of dollars in export earnings from flight training and other operations that are no longer Australian-owned

Before Anderson became minister, the CASA service charter ­directed that Australia should ­follow “proven safe procedures and standards from leading aviation countries which best allocate finite safety resources, to protect fare-paying passengers and ­encourage high participation levels in aviation”.

But this directive was removed from the charter in the Anderson years. I fought these changes while chairman of CASA but failed to overcome an entrenched public service and a transport minister in denial. I resigned rather than be held responsible for the slow death of an industry that I have been a part of for more than 40 years.

I hope now that under a new minister we can get back to a sensible policy that balances costs and regulation in a rational way.

Joyce will need to move quickly to reverse the disastrous “ignore cost” policies of the past. I will give him every support and I do hope he listens to the industry before it is too late.

Dick Smith is the former chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Popcorn is ordered and the beers are on ice... Rolleyes

Message to BJ -  TICK TOCK! Big Grin

MTF...P2 Tongue
Reply
#3
Update: Aviation industry in crisis.

(12-28-2017, 07:06 AM)Peetwo Wrote: Q/ Is 2018 the year of the aviation industry revolution?

From the Oz today it would appear that the tide may be turning with industry starting to finally get vocal... Rolleyes

Quote:Anger amid pilot crisis as visa rules relaxed for foreigners

[Image: b903e4dc23325a91c07637b2f4d50106?width=650]
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 28, 2017
  • MATTHEW DENHOLM
    [Image: matthew_denholm.png]
    Tasmania correspondent
    Hobart
    @MatthewRDenholm

Peter Dutton will allow foreign ­pilots into Australia on two-year work visas in an effort to fix a worsening national shortage that is already grounding planes and forcing flight cancellations.

But amid a global scramble to secure pilots, a slump in training and increasing foreign ownership of Australian training schools, Qantas pilots questioned the quality of those likely to be ­recruited to keep ­regional air routes ­operating.

“The United States and China are paying huge money and that doesn’t leave much for the sort of wages they are paying in regional Australia,” said Murray Butt, president of the Australian and International Pilots Association, which represents more than 2000 Qantas pilots.

“We need to look at the Chinese airlines buying up flight schools in Australia. That might fix their problem but it doesn’t fix ours.”

The peak body for regional airlines yesterday said it had successfully lobbied the Home Affairs Minister to allow foreign pilots to be hired for up to two years, in light of the shortage of sufficiently skilled local pilots.

Cut red tape to fix pilot mess

Mike Higgins, chief executive of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia, said the government had advised that the decision would be confirmed in a revised skilled occupation list — replacing the former 457 visa regime — to be released next month.

He also revealed the association was talking to Mr Dutton about extending the visa period to four years, given doubts whether experienced foreign pilots would relocate for just two years.

However, Qantas pilots called for a government white paper to ­address declining output from — and rising foreign ownership of — Australian flying schools.

“Bringing in foreign pilots is definitely a very short-term fix and, given the market, I’m not sure of the quality of the pilots they are going to get,” Mr Butt said. “I do foresee big problems going forward. The government is taking a very short-term view on this.”
Veteran aviator and former air safety chief Dick Smith said the use of foreign pilots was an indictment of 15 years or more of misplaced government policy, which had threatened the ­viability of flight training.

“The fact that there is a need to bring in foreign pilots is outrageous — we are a developed Western country with a very high level of education and we should be supplying pilots not just for Australia but for the world,” Mr Smith said. “We have the safest airline in the world — Qantas — because it’s used highly trained, Australian pilots … Now what we’re doing is an experiment: bringing people in from overseas.”

The shortage follows poaching of major airline pilots by overseas airlines, and increasing foreign ownership of pilot training schools, including by Chinese companies to train Chinese pilots.

Impacts are already being felt, with pilot shortages a factor in a ­recent rash of cancellations on Qantas regional services, while multiple sources told The Australian Qantas subsidiaries already had foreign pilots flying Dash-8 aircraft on some regional services.

Mr Smith joined regional airlines and Qantas pilots in calling for a rethink of government regulation of flight training, to remove unaffordable and overly bureaucratic regulation linked to school closures and buyouts by foreign companies.

Mr Smith said flight training was down 35 per cent in Australia, while recent federal government figures confirm a 40 per cent decline in the number of general-aviation flying hours in the five years to 2015.

Mr Higgins insisted the recruitment of foreign pilots was essential: “In the middle of last year the government included ­pilots and avionics engineers on their banned 457 visa list, so we advocated with Peter Dutton and we’ve finally got halfway back to where we need to go.

“We’ve had success in getting the Department of Immigration to review that list, which will be published next month. It means we can get visa pilots across (from overseas) for a two-year period, but we really need to get them for a four-year period.”

Mr Higgins insisted regional airlines would pay foreign pilots the same wages and conditions as Australian pilots and that the move was the only short-term ­solution to the shortage.

A spokesman for Mr Dutton confirmed “airline pilot” had been added to an Occupations List for Temporary Work Visas, for sponsored jobs in regional Australia, following the crackdown on the 457 visa system.

He would not comment on what status pilots would have in a revised list to be released next month, saying this was determined by the department.

However, he said the new system was aimed at addressing skills needs while putting local workers first.

“Amendments to the occupations list are based on skills needs of the Australian economy, in line with the Turnbull government’s policy that Australian workers should have priority,” he said.

Sources said currently up to eight Dash-8 aircraft operated by Qantas or its subsidiaries were grounded due to pilot shortages, as well as several 737s. Another said up to 15 per cent of Jetstar’s planned flights had been scrapped due to pilot shortage.

Qantas, which owns Jetstar, said it was unable to respond ­directly to these examples yesterday, but played down the issue, while other sources suggested pilot shortage was only one factor behind such groundings.

Qantas conceded pilot shortages had been a factor in recent flight cancellations in regional areas, with flow-on schedule changes in major capitals to address the problem.

“We had a spike in flight ­cancellations in some regional markets during October and November … due to a mix of ­engineering and pilot issues,” spokesman Andrew McGinnes said. “To stabilise things, we made some tweaks to a few parts of the network that saw us operate fewer flights but with larger aircraft so there was a minimal impact on actual capacity.

“We’re in the middle of training up about 600 of our pilots and that reduces the number we have in reserve, to bring in if someone calls in sick.”

Mr Higgins, whose association represents 34 regional airlines as well as flight training firms, said regional airlines were hardest hit, frequently losing pilots to Qantas and Virgin, who in turn were seeking to replace pilots poached by overseas carriers.


& some worthy comments:

Quote: [Image: 50.jpg?v=1429581369]


arlys42 MINUTES AGO


So it has come to fruition. Years of neglect of training Engineers and Pilots has arrived. Apprentice schemes dropped for Engineers, and no hex scheme for young Australian pilots, or if any, nowhere near enough to cover their training, which often led to their parents having to re mortgage their homes to get their kid at least to a commercial licence. Add to that many small flying schools closing strangled by red tape, and small freight companies going the same way, which made it harder for young pilots to get their hours up, required by a Airline. So you end up with Pilots with a couple of hundred hours on Simulaters, and into the right hand seat of a commercial jet, instead of the time honoured way of "bush bashing" which is the best grounding they can have. As for foreign pilots, we learnt after the 89 dispute, once here, they hang on like glue, so you can forget the two years, taking jobs from young Australian Pilots. This industry has been neglected for years, in both Engineering and Pilots, and those who do make it are in high demand from overseas airlines, especially middle eastern airlines. You cannot run an airline despite all the nice TV ads of smiling staff, without Pilots and Engineers and selling our flying schools to the Chinese, is not the answer. Undoing the red tape, Hex schemes, lucrative contracts from Asian airlines, instead of selling them the flying school, and airlines rebooting their Engineer apprentice schemes are. Though no fan of Xenophon he was the only Pollie who cared about this mess, and fought to get it fixed. He went unheard.


Richard IV1 HOUR AGO



Whenever an industry askes for 457 immigrants, the answer from government should always be an emphatic "NO" followed by a thorough root and branch investigation of that industry. I don' t know much about the aviation industry, but I will bet anything that there are thousands of quality, experienced Australian pilots out there who can' t find enough work.

I say this because I have seen the 457 thing at work in plenty of industries that I do know inside out, and the cause is always the same - employers want 457 workers because they are cheaper, and because they pressure Australians' wages downward. So they manufacture an alleged "skills shortage" that government are usually too dopey to question.

Sure, there always nitwits out there who will say that you can't resist globalisation, and have to learn to live with it. Unfortunately, the process of globalisation simply dilutes Australia's residual wealth ( accumulated in the decades we had our own industries) among the rest of the developing world, and will soon make us just another third world failed economy. That would appear to be our fate.

And thanks for the tip off. I wont be flying on Jetstar, or on any Qantas regional service any time soon.



Andrew2 HOURS AGO



Pilot training in this country is worse than a joke. Most training is done by small flying schools who charge a fortune from youngsters mainly to keep their own doors open.

They get young kids to fork out $50,000 to get a basic pilots licence and condemn them to keep spending each year to maintain that and then more again to get and maintain for their instruments licence, twin engine, night flying etc etc licences. Without those they can't get a job to get their hours up in small companies and then be looked (or overlooked) by the major airlines.

My son and his friends went through this and none of them got a a job. One did when his father took him back to Korea and had a connection.

There are simply no vacancies to even get a start. Most leave with a debt that isn't covered by HECS. Others stick around to wash planes, maybe instruct and hopefully garb a few hours flying time and the occasional scrappy job.

Pilot training and planning for pilot recruitment is a disgrace in this country and as far as I can see CASA and the Government turns a blind eye to what flying schools say and do to get trainees into their program.



Mary-Anne4 HOURS AGO



If Keating hadn't decided to privatise leases for the federal airports with his Airports Act in 1996, turning them into land banks for property developers gouging every cent out of the flying schools and maintenance organisations to pay for their tilt up concrete monstrosities and even kicking tenants out of the properties they developed and forcing them to rent them back, sending costs for rent, landing fees, parking fees etc through the roof , we  might have been able to stay competitive in the world flying training market.


Pilot training should be an export industry in this country but that and the ever increasing cost of compliance with CASA's thought bubbles has sent many good flying schools to the wall. Add the fee help rorts that meant that many trainee pilots were left with their records in a skip and instructors forced to find work in other industries because all the money had disappeared and the administrators called in, it has just been one disaster after another and the Feds have just sat back and let it happen.


We saw this coming 20 years ago but successive Federal government ministers have constantly ignored flying training industry concerns and allowed this rampant exploitation of Australian businesses to go ahead unhindered. I guess this was their long game all along.

&.. from Sandy:

Quote:Those of us in General Aviation have been trying to get the attention of Parliament for more than 20 yrs about the (Un) CIvil Aviation Safety Authority and its unworkable flying training regulations. CASA was changed to an independent  Commonwealth Corporation, this radical model of public administration has been a disaster for GA in particular. In the US a senior instructor can go out and teach flying wherever its needed. Not so in Australia, nearby to me a flight instructor was forced to pay $8000 upfront with an application for a flying school permit. Now 18 months still no permit. 


Governments of both stripes have failed miserably to provide responsible leadership to the administration of aviation in this country, causing losses of flying businesses, jobs and the GA fleet value has all but collapsed. Meanwhile the featherbed CASA rolls on fee gouging and rewriting rules in the most extraordinary make work program now been running for 30 years. Its astonishing, 30 years to rewrite the rules and still not finished. Pilot numbers and maintenance personnel down the drain. $283 every 2 yrs pilot ID to prove that you are not a terrorist. Loss of refueling sites, wind farms near airports, runways closed for drag racing or shortened for buildings or sold off to developers. 

Maybe new Minister Barnaby J will do something, maybe now that the Australian has lifted the lid on a national disgrace.   Former instructor,  Alex in the Rises 

&..

Quote:Need to cut red tape, costs to restore pilot training
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 28, 2017

In September, The Australian’s Higher Education section published two stories on the mess in Australia’s aviation training sector. John Ross reported that the problems had sparked safety concerns and warnings that Australia would squander the opportunity to take advantage of business opportunities from Southeast Asia. Only now is the gravity of the debacle becoming clear, with the Turnbull government set to allow foreign pilots into Australia on temporary work visas. The decision by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is sensible, with pilot shortages responsible for the cancellation of planned regional flights and the grounding of aircraft. The visas are a short-term fix, however.

New Transport Minister Barnaby Joyce, together with the industry and training sector, must reform flight training to ensure Australia can again provide sufficient pilots for the nation’s needs and capitalise on opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region. There would be no shortage of applicants. Many young people recognise that flying is an exciting, interesting career with opportunities for travel and promotion, including aspiring to fly the world’s most sophisticated passenger aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Like businessman Dick Smith, a former chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, many Australians will be angered by the fact the Merredin aerodrome, 260km east of Perth, is effectively under the control of a Chinese government enterprise, the state-owned China Southern Airlines. Under a secret deal in 1993, the company paid the princely sum of $1 to the West Australian government to lease the airport for 100 years as a base to train thousands of Chinese pilots.

The training school, which has suspended operations after CASA raised safety concerns, is one of several Chinese-owned aviation colleges in Australia. China will need an extra 110,000 pilots by 2035 but it relies on other countries for training because of its heavy smog, military-controlled airspace and a lack of English-speaking instructors. Writing in The Australian today, Mr Smith blames failed government policy dating back decades for the mess. He says skyrocketing regulatory costs and pointless red tape are forcing flying trainers to sell out at bargain rates to the Chinese. As a result, general aviation flying hours, including training, have fallen by 40 per cent in five years.

One of Australia’s most experienced flight trainers, Glen Buckley, head of Melbourne Flight Training, says he has just spent $700,000 to comply with new CASA regulations and that the impost almost broke him. Mr Buckley has received repeated offers from Chinese companies to buy part of his business, as have flight trainers at Bankstown, west of Sydney. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association chief executive Ben Morgan, who believes more than half of flight training in Australia is carried out by foreign companies, wants CASA to allow independent instructors, similar to those who train most US pilots, to play a greater role. In the national interest, Mr Joyce must work with the industry to find solutions.

& from Dick Smith, via the Oz: 

Quote:Empty-skies-are-safe-skies policy is killing aviation

I don’t think you should ever regard aviation safety as what is affordable.

I welcome the appointment of Barnaby Joyce as Australia’s new Transport Minister. He certainly has a challenge in front of him when it comes to Australia’s general aviation industry, which is in a state of near collapse after years of failed government policy.

It will take someone as senior as the Deputy Prime Minister to sort out this mess. As The Australian has reported, general aviation — so vital in a big country like ours — is in serious trouble. Crippled by skyrocketing regulatory costs and pointless red tape, businesses are closing and much of the flying training industry is being sold off to Chinese buyers at bargain rates. A federal government report last week showed the drastic decline brought on by the excessive costs: general aviation flying hours, which include the vital flying training industry, have declined by 40 per cent in just five years.

But none of this is new. I have been warning for years that introducing regulations that ignore cost have been crippling the industry. It was 17 years ago that I ­became involved in a very public disagreement with Joyce’s predecessor, John Anderson, who introduced the ­policies that have resulted in today’s mess.

At the time I was chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and I warned Anderson that the substantial additional costs that had been placed on the industry by the sell-off of the airports and the “user pays” air traffic ­control system would have to be balanced by a reduction in other costs.

Driven by bureaucrats with little understanding of business, he pursued a policy of regulations ­regardless of cost, with the inevitable result that ridiculous levels of regulation have made it im­possible to maintain a viable industry. It seems that for the bureaucrats, the safest skies are empty skies, similar to the Yes Minister episode about the hospital with no patients.

Anderson refused to meet me to discuss the issue, releasing a public statement that showed how little he understood. “I don’t think that you should ever regard aviation safety as what is affordable,” he claimed. “Safety is something which has the highest priority — it is not a question of cost.”

In effect he was saying that with air safety there was no cost that was too high to pay, ignoring the fact this would make the cost of air tickets unaffordable to anyone other than the ultra-wealthy.

Anderson’s public statement was quickly embraced by the ­bureaucrats within CASA and the denial that cost should be considered became an almost cult-like ­belief that still exists in that organisation to this day.

Aviation is like anything else in life. The amount of money that you can spend on safety is always limited by what the marketplace can afford. If regulations are written that increase the cost of flying too much, people can’t afford to fly and businesses go broke.

The inevitable result of this stubborn insistence that there are no limits to the costs that could be imposed on the aviation industry is a situation where operators simply can’t afford to meet the red tape and expenses.

It has done nothing to improve safety and will very likely lead to a situation where most pilots in Australia will come from Asia. The losers are many of Joyce’s constituents in rural and regional Australia who rely greatly on general aviation as a vital link in Australia’s transport systems.

It means we will lose hundreds of millions of dollars in export earnings from flight training and other operations that are no longer Australian-owned

Before Anderson became minister, the CASA service charter ­directed that Australia should ­follow “proven safe procedures and standards from leading aviation countries which best allocate finite safety resources, to protect fare-paying passengers and ­encourage high participation levels in aviation”.

But this directive was removed from the charter in the Anderson years. I fought these changes while chairman of CASA but failed to overcome an entrenched public service and a transport minister in denial. I resigned rather than be held responsible for the slow death of an industry that I have been a part of for more than 40 years.

I hope now that under a new minister we can get back to a sensible policy that balances costs and regulation in a rational way.

Joyce will need to move quickly to reverse the disastrous “ignore cost” policies of the past. I will give him every support and I do hope he listens to the industry before it is too late.

Dick Smith is the former chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.



&.. Sandy in response:

@Warren.   As one who was in General Aviation business as an aircraft owner and instructor pilot with a number of CASA approvals during Dick Smith’s tenure I can assure you that during that time some sense and ease of doing business appeared. After his resignation GA regulations got worse and worse and here we are today. Obviously Dick Smith has his ‘cut down the tall poppy’ detractors but if he’d been allowed to set the scene for aviation we would definitely have no pilot shortage today. 


On the broad front of safety, how ridiculous, how can you have safety in an industry that is stressed by ever changing and unworkable rules of strict liability criminal sanction. Unless your motto is Safe Skies Are Empty Skies, which is precisely where GA is headed today. 

Basic safety has deteriorated because experienced personnel have been regulated and fee gouged out of the industry. In addition the ‘Government’ at behest of CASA created the low weight category, 600 kg max weight to induce thousands of pesky private pilots away from regular certified aircraft. Hats off to those who build and fly these tiny aircraft, but you can’t get fully capable airframes with about 270 kg to play with after you take engine, fuel, equipment and two crew out of this 600kg. Because of the engineering limitations none of these aircraft are allowed to fly in the higher and safer Instrument Flight Rules category. Alex in the Rises  

Via 3AW:

Quote:Foreign pilots to fill national Aussie shortage  

1 hour ago
Justin and Kate

[Image: pilots-pic-600x348.jpg]

Foreign pilots could soon be allowed into Australia on a two year working visa, in a bid to tackle a national shortage.

As reported in The Australian, Peter Dutton has approved a change to allow foreign pilots to come to Australia on two-year work visas, in an effort to curb a worsening shortage of local pilots.

Chair of Strategic Aviation Solutions, Neil Hansford told Justin and Kate many Australian pilots are pursuing careers overseas.

“We’re an exporter of our own labour, we provide a hell of a lot of the pilots to airlines like Emirates, Etihad, Cathay,” he said.

“There’s just no appetite in a country perfect for pilot training, to fund a training facility.
“Major Chinese airlines have two schools in Western Australia, effectively two schools in Victoria, so that leaves the only independent school doing commercial training is the Australian Wings Academy at Coolangatta.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full details

https://omny.fm/shows/3aw-breakfast-with-ross-and-john
Popcorn is ordered and the beers are on ice... [Image: rolleyes.gif]

Message to BJ -  TICK TOCK! [Image: biggrin.gif]

MTF...P2 [Image: tongue.gif]
Reply
#4
In the podcast with Neil Hansford on 3AW he claims that no blame is attributable to the government for the shortage of pilots.
I couldn’t believe my ears.
Nor should anyone else because its as plain as the nose on your face that extreme over regulation and associated fee gouging has killed off most of the flying training in Australia.
What’s not been realised is that in the ongoing process of transition to the new and even more unworkable rules and pointless permissions with huge fees attached more flying schools will cease operations.
Neil Hansford blames the banks for not funding his 600 student flying school.
If I was a banker I wouldn’t lend anyone a cent for any General Aviation business until there’s root and branch reform of the aviation regulations by way of legislative changes to the Civil Aviation Act requiring CASA to devolve responsibility to the industry and take account of industry health.
Reply
#5
Update II: Aviation industry in crisis.

Here you go Sandy, forget Hansford, here's Dick at his best with Chris Smith on 4BC... Wink  

Quote:Dick Smith hits back at Chinese investors buying up Australian airports


5 hours ago
Chris Kenny

Dick Smith Merredin Airport

[Image: dick.jpg]
Former Chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Dick Smith, tells Chris Kenny he is “unimpressed” with Chinese control of Australian airports.

Western Australia’s Merredin Airport has been transferred into Chinese ownership meaning Australian aircrafts will need permission from Chinese authorities to land on Australian soil.

“I’m not that impressed.

“If I want to fly to Merredin Airport, I need approval from the Chinese government to land on one of my airstrips that was built by the local government and taxpayers.”

Mr Smith says Australia should be the “flying capital of the world”.

“Why can’t an Australian businessman or woman start up a flying school and be keeping the profits here and shipping pilots off to China.

“We should not only have all of our own pilots employed but we should be providing Aussie pilots to the rest of the world.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

https://omny.fm/shows/the-chris-smith-sh...nt-in-aust

And for a bit of light humour and for my nomination for TOTW (tweet of the week), Pete Lawler's tweet reply to Shannon Well's retweet... Big Grin https://twitter.com/shannon_wells/status...9915360257

Quote:
Replying to @shannon_wells

Well, that's aviation Ducked then ay
[Image: DSGNKhTUQAAk_o3.jpg]
12:34 PM - 28 Dec 2017

Replying to @PeteLawler

Ha ha ha ha @PAIN_NET1

Replying to @shannon_wells @PAIN_NET1
For the record, yes I flipped and twisted this photo because Deputy PM/Co-pilot works better, and the twist makes it look a bit like he's flying it into the ground...
12:59 PM - 28 Dec 2017

Replying to @PeteLawler @PAIN_NET1
That photo is amazing, I might make it the wallpaper for every computer screen at the airport
2:00 PM - 28 Dec 2017

Replying to @shannon_wells @PAIN_NET1
 ??Heresiarch ? ☁️Retweeted kym smith
Sauce


 ??Heresiarch ? ☁️added,
[url=https://twitter.com/kymbo9/status/942649589076652032][/url][Image: DRT2y3UVAAEfFuY.jpg]
[b]kym smith[/b] @kymbo9
Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie in the cockpit of a Qantas 747 at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland #auspol #Nationals

2:03 PM - 28 Dec 2017



MTF...P2 Tongue
Reply
#6
Rolling the dice.

Folk love board games, using dice. Monopoly is a classic; what many folk don’t realise is that the ‘law’ of probability, using two dice, to ‘roll’ a desired number are against them. Any quick study, of the American heart breaker 'Craps'  you care to peruse on ‘You-Tube’ will quickly demonstrate how the law works. Seven is by far the most ‘likely’ result – BUT – if you roll a four; you must roll another four before a seven to win – the odds are (statistically) very much against this happening.

[Image: dicetotals.gif]

So; here we have a punter on a roll – lets call him Barney; parked on the PASS line at four; he has the hopes and dreams of many punters backing the ‘roller’ on his next throw. Throw a high percentage seven – watch the money disappear  throw a low percentage four – a legend is born.

This is where I believe our very own Barnaby is positioned. If there is a major prang on Australian soil; no matter how good his ‘vision’ or luck has been, there is a high percentage chance that he and his government will get a hammering. They are on a hiding to nothing  whatever they do. The reform was too little too late- or: the ‘reform’ was at the root of the accident. Barnaby ain’t dopey, he knows full bloody well that things must change. I’d go so far as to say he know that CASA is a basket case and the kindest thing he could do would be to put both ‘it’ and us’ out of our collective misery. He is a ‘rural’ man and must know the penalties for leaving a milking shed to get filthy; or, a stable to become a swamp – ignore the vet bills – just think of the hard labour involved in rectifying the mess. The heat, the shit, the flies, the stink and the back breaking labour. This is why anyone who understands life ‘on the farm’, always makes sure that the work is done properly, daily and as often as needed. The gods alone know what awaits Barnaby in the CASA stable – there is decades of filth piled up in the corners, acres of shite under the carpets and buckets full of ‘stale’ soaked in under the layers of straw. Time for the gumboots, brush, shovel and a good wheelbarrow to clean up the mess.

Let’s see what the new stable hand can do – if he does well we can all cheer – hell we may even buy the blighter a beer or two, to wash away the stench – after he’s had a shower of course. Cue the flies, bring up the heat, pull up a stool and watch the style.

Rolling the dice is a numbers game – I just wonder how many more times those tired old die can be rolled, before the right numbers come up. Here you go mate – I’ll turn the hose pipe on for ya.

Baby needs new shoes? Oh duck yes!





Toot (squelch) toot.
Reply
#7
Alan Jones: "Please Barnaby Joyce do something about CASA!"

In a follow up to yesterday's the Oz article (see HERE), the following was from the 2GB Alan Jones show this AM: 



Life-saving heart transplant prevented due to ‘air safety technicality’
 
2 hours ago
Chris Smith

Civil Aviation Safety Authority Dick Smith FalconAir

[Image: dick.jpg]
A patient in need of a heart transplant missed out on the operation last month when the Civil Aviation Safety Authority grounded pilots over a technicality.
Seven pilots from FalconAir were grounded after CASA found the company’s check pilot ran a competency flight in the wrong aircraft.

On December 16, the urgent transportation of a heart from Auckland to Sydney was prevented due to the grounding.

The patient who would have benefitted from the heart is still on the waiting list for the life-saving transplant.

Dick Smith, former Chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, tells Chris Smith CASA is a “dysfunctional organisation”.

“CASA has looked around the world and found the most complex way of doing everything.
Mr Smith says Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce can make much-needed changes as he takes on the transport portfolio.

“He could be very good and he’s got to make sure the organisation reflects what’s just common sense.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-bre...due-to-air



Also from Sandy in response to the Oz article yesterday:

Quote:Alexander4 HOURS AGO



Ean Higgins, well done again with the spotlight on CASA, the out of control regulator. The former Department of Civil Aviation after a couple of name changes was morphed into an entirely new creature, the independent Commonwealth Corporate body 30 yrs ago. This is a hopelessly failed model of governance, example when created it was tasked to rewrite the rules. This has become the greatest make work program in the history of the Commonwealth, 30 yrs, millions of dollars and still not finished. The latest tranche of rules where FalconAir were tripped on are so dense, complicated and running to thousands of pages, that the few left in General Aviation should be regarded as heroes. The rules are simply unworkable. CASA has become a fee gouging salary factory with no political control or accountability. The CEO, fatuously termed the ‘Director of Air Safety’ gets around $600,000 pa (considerably more than the Minister who should be in charge) and the Board of CASA is so quiet if it never met no one would notice. I trust that no lay person reading these comments will be taken in by the CASA apologists, there is a battle Royale being fought out. The GA industry has been losing badly with the loss of thousands of jobs all these years. Virtually the only hope is through this sort of publicity. Alex in the Rises

And in response to John:

John

If something goes wrong you would all blame CASA. If they apply the regulations they are fools and if they don’t then they are also in the wrong!

Alexander

@John. With respect John this would be true if the rules were rational, stable and workable like our road rules. If you have a couple of spare months I suggest you read the latest (ever changing) rules and you will appreciate the difficulty of trying to run a business in General Aviation. Facts are it has been made extremely difficult, but that degree of difficulty you won’t fully understand unless you take another month off and bone up on the previous rules where no doubt FalconAir was complying. CASA justifies its gross incompetence by hiding behind its safety mantra all the while creating more rules and more permissions which in turn generate more fees. CASA is a monopoly corporation not part of the Public Service. Alex in the Rises

TICK..TOCK Barnaby -  Rolleyes


MTF...P2  Cool
Reply
#8
Listen up Barnaby - courtesy of Ben Cook Rolleyes

Very much in line with this week's SBG, the latest off the search 4 IP and the previous post... Wink

Quote:[Image: AAEAAQAAAAAAAAmnAAAAJDY3ZDhiMjNmLTY4OWMt...ZThjZA.jpg] Ms Julie Black continues to fight to improve the standards and practices of the aviation regulator

The Dysfunctional Regulator: Safety practices you must learn from High Reliability Organisations
  • Published on Published on April 28, 2017
[Image: AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKAAAAAJDgyNGM3OWNjLTg3NmQt...YzkyZQ.jpg]
Ben Cook
Chief Executive Officer at Human and Systems Excellence

Another avoidable tragedy
I recently read a heartbreaking article in The Australian’s aviation section about a now single mother, Julie Black, whose husband (the late David Black, an aerial application specialist) tragically died in an air disaster in 2013.

David, a loving husband, father of three young children, a Chief Pilot, a mentor and Julie’s business partner, was killed when the right wing of his aircraft separated while conducting water bombing on a bushfire. What has followed since has been a shining example of the resilience of families in regional communities. Julie and her children have fought through the most trying of circumstances to move forward with their lives. Julie’s story is both inspirational and tragic.

Most difficult for Julie and her family has been the systemic review of the incident that led to David’s death. Most heartbreaking must have been the revelation, made in the review, that the aviation regulator’s failure to perform its role effectively led to the fatality. Even more galling must have been the discovery that similar accidents had occurred on the same model aircraft in the United States years earlier, recommendations from which were not heeded right here in Australia.

Outcomes from the US regulator had involved an enhanced testing regime specific to the aircraft, with full knowledge of known deficiencies. Unfortunately for David, Julie and their children, the same testing was not effectively implemented or undertaken here. To know their father’s death could have been avoided will always haunt those children.

One hell of a dust up
Those of you who know me know I’ve been fortunate enough to work incredibly closely with the aerial application (what you might know as crop dusting) community, and I know first-hand how hard they work to make their family businesses viable. It’s no stretch to say these are some of the hardest working people I know.

In the case of Julie and David, and many others though, it’s not enough just to work hard. Sometimes you need to rely on experts and regulators, and when those experts fail to perform, it leaves you incredibly vulnerable. The crop dusting community is a great example of an industry in which regulation and bureaucracy constantly falls down. All too often the community is confronted with an unwieldy bureaucracy whose primary role is to help them make their businesses more efficient and effective, with a by-product of improved safety.

I continue to hear repeated stories about how these agencies cannot support the community’s needs. At a recent national seminar, I listened to members of another family business who continue to await the outcomes of a serious incident investigation, unable to completely move on until the final report is released. Yet again, this family had recently been told their draft report would be released by the investigatory body, with ongoing delays leading to a complete erosion of trust. Frustration turned to anger when this family, under high levels of stress and trying to hold their business together were told the primary investigator had taken stress leave. How ironic!

Don’t get me wrong, all regulators have a challenging role and it’s always difficult to keep all parties happy. Having worked within or alongside regulators across work, health and safety (WHS), aviation, and transport, I’ve noticed some common trends. Poor and/or ineffective standards, regulations that are too complex and difficult to interpret, a lack of attention to detail, and miscommunication can all lead to inadequate safety oversight. So the question is, do we really have what is commonly labelled ‘The Dysfunctional Regulator’? Why do incidents that are avoidable continue to occur?

Heads in the clouds
In my experience the single largest failure of regulators is their inability to translate regulation to outcomes in to operating in-house safety management systems (SMS). They expect operators to have effective SMSs; reliable systems and processes to proactively identify hazards and risks, implement effective risk controls and monitor the effectiveness of those controls. SMSs generally include quality management processes and key performance indicators to ensure the system continues to improve.

Yet how effective are those processes at the regulator’s end? The all too common answer is that if the regulator was subjected to the same audit and surveillance processes it administers, it would likely fail its own audit! Don’t get me wrong, the role of the regulator is challenging – large amounts of systemic information from multiple sources.

All the more critical to be a recognised leader in the application of SMS and to have effective management systems to support it.

When I was recently invited by a regulatory body to manage what they labelled ‘unacceptable risks’, as Safety Director I asked the obvious question: what process had they utilised to determine the risk was unacceptable? I wasn’t trying to be difficult; I had many competing demands across multiple areas of legislation, and I simply needed to prioritise these regulatory ‘issues’ in accordance with the good SMS practice at my firm.

Quote:"...the single largest failure of regulators is their inability to translate regulations into real outcomes in operating in-house safety management systems (SMSs)."

The answer from the regulator? We can’t tell you our process for the determination of an ‘unacceptable risk’. The regulator couldn’t articulate a sound understanding or even a basic application of risk management (consequence and likelihood based on adequate evidence and trends). Instead, the inspectors’ next move was to tell us they were just doing their job under the legislation (i.e. “I’m the regulator, don’t ask me difficult questions, just do as you’re told.”)

As you can imagine, this approach did nothing but break down trust, lead to higher costs to us as an organisation, and for little or no safety gain. Not the outcomes any of us should expect from our regulators.

Are you just 'keeping the regulator off your back'?
How often do industries and operators within them, who have the depth of knowledge and experience related to best practice, end up employing personnel to ‘keep the regulator off their back’? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen.
So I’m keen to share with you the basic requirements for effective regulation and/or guidance material for enacting that regulation. In essence, it’s my view effective regulators create materials that:
  • are simple and easy to understand
  • do not impose unnecessary costs
  • boost levels of participation within an industry and its capacity for growth
  • are scalable and proportionate to the type of operation
  • address safety risks proportionate to the risks involved
  • specify the desired safety outcomes and how they meet the intent of the regulation.
From many regulators, they don’t even get past the first dot point, even though the above requirements are stated within their own operating practices. I’ve seen all kinds of regulatory practices in my time; some are over-prescribed, others pitched by legal teams not trained to write in plain English. Even worse, I’ve seen regulators preferring to hide behind layers of legal jargon, rather than directly apply a fairly simple rule.

A better approach
As a firm believer in the efficacy of well-handled regulation, I believe both regulators and industry operators should be encouraged to study up on the four main characteristics of High Reliability Organisation (HRO) safety culture, and how to apply them first:

  1. Reporting - I’ve often seen regulators define the critical internal voice i.e. their own people asking the difficult questions of themselves, as a problem. In contrast, highly reliable organisations speak up and reward their staff for having the difficult conversations when something is not quite right. It creates a culture where personnel know their hard work can foster positive change rather than accepting the status quo.
  2. Information sharing - In an HRO, leaders are competent and involved, and effectively use safety intelligence and risk management in their operation, rather than opinion based guidance from regulatory staff. Too often human personalities drive the outcomes in the absence of adequate evidence. Hence the need for an effective SMS.
  3. Flexibility - HROs are competent and trusted, and empowered to seek and fix latent weaknesses – without the need for over prescriptive regulation.
  4. Education - HROs get to hear bad news straight away and make necessary changes rapidly and effectively. If you propose changes on the basis of an audit, and get little feedback, the inevitable outcome is that staff tend to stop reporting – with poor safety outcomes.
Which brings me back to Julie, who’s struggle with the haphazard nature of regulation in her husband’s case is exactly what happens when high reliability is found wanting. While Julie’s story is enormously tragic, there is also a degree of hope, which is one of standing up for the little guy, and trusting in your instincts that something has gone awry.
It is Julie’s efforts, as well as the efforts of many others, that will help make sure our operators and regulators are held accountable for the safety outcomes they aspire to. Through boosting their professionalism and putting real people’s safety needs first, they can better protect other families to ensure they don’t have to experience the same tragic pain and suffering as Julie.

If you’re ready for an appraisal of your own traits against those of HROs then take a look at our ‘from the inside out’ program.

Have a safe and happy weekend,

Ben
MTF...P2 Tongue
Reply
#9
Is that a monkey on your back?

Two of the major contributory elements to industry woes come from the industry itself; both self inflicted. The first is a complex ‘pas de deux’ to which every operator must learn the not only the steps, but the etiquette of the whole event, starting with the asking of a partner to dance. For those unfamiliar with the great dance, the traps are cunning and subtle.

‘New Chum Airways’ is born one evening in a pub; great idea, should be a winner, funding is a little light on, but enthusiasm and hard work will carry the day; and, off they go, target one, AOC on the distant horizon. An operations manual is put together, the application form submitted, nothing to do but wait. Eventually, there is to be a meeting to discuss matters aeronautical and the trap is sprung. This is the part where applicant becomes supplicant. The gross errors in the submission are revealed; and, the supplicant, running out of time, money and interest, must become penitent. The easy acceptance of opinion and the loss of control, for expediencies sake, seals their fate. Off they trot, midnight oil is burned, tempers fray, investors bark and the pressure is on. Alas, too late. They are now ‘owned’ by the authority issuing. Instead of fighting every dot, comma and spelling error from minute one, they bend over. Accepting all manner of ‘opinion’ as law – for the sake of operational expediency. “Ah” they all say “but to argue and stand firm means not only delay and money, but almost guarantees future attention”. “No” say the wiser heads “it don’t; not if you keep your head, work within the rules and stand your ground; that’s what the big boys do – and they are successful”.  

Once the monkey has a firm hold, it is impossible to shake it off.

Are you just 'keeping the regulator off your back'?

"How often do industries and operators within them, who have the depth of knowledge and experience related to best practice, end up employing personnel to ‘keep the regulator off their back’? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen".

Nor can I; but ‘lots’ is good estimate. The extraordinary lengths operators will go to in order to manage the monkey’s demands almost beggar belief. Seriously experienced senior people Kow-Tow like crazy – anything, just to get the regulator out of the office and ‘satisfied’. Which is a little pitiful really. It is however an industry failing. Once you allow the ‘authority’ to start dictating terms you’re buggered. The embuggerance is complete when the ‘authority’ makes it their call on who you may or may not employ; or, what is acceptable to them in terms of free speech on social media. Next thing is they’ll be complaining that they get telephone calls and e-mails from people which offend their sensitive, mean spirited, twisted little souls.

The tools for reform are in the industries hands – if only industry would learn to use them.

Aye well, just my two bob, spent as pleased me best.

Toot toot.
Reply
#10
Oz Flying summary of BITRE GA study:





[Image: General_aviation.jpg]The definition of general aviation covers a lot of different aircraft types and operations. (Steve Hitchen)

BITRE GA Study Report released
10 January 2018

The Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics published its General Aviation Study report on 20 December last year with little fanfare and almost no notification to industry. However, the government is yet to provide any response or action items based on the conclusions.

Commissioned under former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester in October 2016, the report was due firstly by 30 June 2017, but was delayed firstly to 31 August and then promised by the end of 2017. The purpose of the GA study was to provide an overview of the GA industry, outline the challenges the industry faced and identify opportunities for action.

"General aviation (GA) is a diverse sector playing an important role in Australian aviation including in serving regional  communities," the BITRE study notes. "The industry covers all flying activity, manned or unmanned, other than commercial transport operations. GA includes flying training, mustering, firefighting and emergency service operations, search and rescue, aerial surveying and photography, towing, and private flying.*

" ... the GA industry in Australia has experienced a number of challenges, particularly since 2010, due to a combination of economic, demographic and regulatory factors."

The report goes on to list several key issues that the GA study identified, including:
  • an ageing aircraft fleet
  • changes to operating arrangements at some airports
  • the impact on small aircraft of airport upgrades to suit the needs of large aircraft
  • aviation safety regulation
  • changing flight training pathways
For trend analysis, the study uses data from the period 2010-15, and comments that although there is a downturn in activity, that downturn doesn't apply to all areas of GA.
"Several GA sectors, including private flying and flight training activities have experienced significant decreases since 2010, but this has been partially offset by increases in other areas, such as aerial mustering and search and rescue activity. GA activity internationally, from available data covering the USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also has been declining or is static."

The dataset BITRE used also shows:
  • although the number of GA aircraft has increased since 2010, 24% of those aircraft don't fly
  • the average age of the GA fleet is 32 years, 36 years for single-engined aircraft, 19 years for helicopters
  • there are almost 9000 Recreational Pilot Certificates on issue
  • the number of PPL holders has been in gradual decline since 2010
  • there are nearly 12,000 aeroplane CPLs and ATPLs in Australia, and 2730 helicopter CPLs
  • training hours have been on a steady decline since 2009.
Contributors to the study emphasised a number of causes of the downturn, including the cost of regulatory changes, fluctuations in avgas prices, maintaining the ageing GA fleet, the impact of airport leases and charges and the cost of attracting, training and retaining staff.
From this, the BITRE study report identified what it says are a number of opportunities for the industry and goverment to respond to challenges, namely:
  • fleet renewal and use of engines with fuel requirements other than avgas, including turbine fuels and biofuels
  • industry continuing to work with CASA on ageing aircraft policies, including adoption of aircraft manufacturer manuals incorporating extended life maintenance and inspections
  • targeted measures for enhanced training and retention - pilots and maintenance staff
  • CASA progressing the outcomes of current relevant GA-related safety regulatory reviews, including fatigue management, pilot medical requirements, safety regulatory requirements for self-administering organisations (e.g. RAAus) and remotely piloted aircraft systems
  • CASA to continue to seek opportunities for harmonisation of safety regulations or mutual recognition of Australian aviation industry services and products by other countries to enhance export opportunities for GA.
  • examination of aviation safety regulatory fees including a review of the number of hourly rates used by CASA relative to the number of fixed fees and possible removal/reduction of certain fees for GA
  • better engagement between airport and aircraft operators on future airport planning
  • harnessing the benefits of potential multiple commercial applications of RPAS, noting that increased integration of RPAS will only occur where safety standards are maintained
  • Government and the GA sector establishing a means of collecting comprehensive data on GA, including the sector's economic contribution, to better inform future policy development.
"[T]he GA industry in Australia has experienced a number of challenges," the report concludes, "particularly since 2010, due to a combination of economic, demographic and regulatory factors. Many of these challenges are also evident in the level of GA activity overseas.

"Some parts of the industry have done well over the period while others have struggled to respond to the evolving business environment.

"The GA industry will need to continue to adapt to the changing nature and structure of the aviation environment to ensure its continuing safe and sustainable operation."

The Department of Infrastructure and Transport has been contacted to find out when new Minister Barnaby Joyce is likely to respond to the report.

The full BITRE GA Study report is on the BITRE website.

 *BITRE reports that the Australian definition of general aviation removed charter flights in 2014 to fall in line with the ICAO definition.

Read more at http://www.australianflying.com.au/lates...CWvlZx2.99



MTF...P2   Tongue
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#11
“Government and the GA sector establishing a means of collecting comprehensive data on GA, including the sector's economic contribution, to better inform future policy development.”

BITRE asking the GA industry to do its job for it. A healthy industry would have more numbers by way of tax receipts and increased numbers by the score within CASA but that would mean more actual work for ‘the public sector,’ that which used to be known as the Public Service. At different times I have tried to obtain figures from CASA such as how many flying schools and charter operators are on the books. Not available.

In regard to pilot numbers did BITRE fall for the CASA fgure of so many licences? I hope not because CASA put out that figure not so long ago while conveniently overlooking the fact that licences are issued in perpetuity and the only way to get any sort of meaningful numbers is to look at the current medicals.

Never mind, BITRE have been kept busy and government has looked to be seriously regarding what has been a glaringly obvious disaster area for many years and no surveys or statistics have been needed whatever.

All that is needed is a Minister serious enoughto make the necessary changes to the Civil Aviation Act incorporating the FAA rules and immediately allow independent instructors and car driver medicals and five year ASICs if he can’t get the AVID ok past Cabinet.
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#12
May I borrow your drum Sir?

“Just for a moment – thank you”.

Sandy - “All that is needed is a Minister serious enough” - I’d swap ‘serious’ for smart. It is crystal clear that by making the changes, revenue to government would increase not only through increased aviation activity, but by the huge savings associated with killing off the never ending flow of money to those who have, for three decades and almost half a billion dollars kept the game of ‘regulatory reform’ alive and produced things like Part 61 and CAO 48.1.  

Sandy,  “to make the necessary changes to the Civil Aviation Act incorporating the FAA rules” – in terms of ‘governmental pace’, this could be achieved in a heartbeat. Give the industry a 12 month head start, to produce their ‘operations manuals’ while training CASA delegates. Give CASA a further 12 month to accept and approve the ‘expositions’ and issue ‘operational specifications’. Done and dusted in two years, light the blue touch paper and watch Australian aviation blossom. I might add that the Kiwi rule set is leading the world regulators thinking on lean, clean, effective safety regulation and the FAA is conducting a major overhaul of the FAR. There are areas of the NZ CAR which I, personally, would like to see modified, but essentially IMO they are the best choice.

Sandy  “and immediately allow independent instructors and car driver medicals and five year ASICs if he can’t get the AVID OK past Cabinet.”

My passport is valid for ten years, why should an ASIC which will not even get you a point to open a bank account, or, be recognized anywhere as ‘valid’ ID need to be renewed every two years? What’s wrong with independent instructors being allowed to operate through any flight school or accredited flying club? There is no safety case to support the extreme medical requirements for ‘private’ operations, there’s barely enough of a case to support the ridiculous extremes of the Class one medical. Then look to the USA system of issuing the certificate – and compare that to  the tortured lunacy of the existing system.

So simple – provided the ‘advisors’ don’t put the heavies on the minister – “the blood will be on your hands Barnaby”. Bollocks, spoken by parasites. I say if there is a major prang – the blood will be on the hands of those who persist with the myth that Australia is ‘bestest and safest’. Well, we ain’t; and that fact is starting to show up in the real statistics.

Toot toot.
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#13
Which ever way reform could be introduced its certain that it won’t be CASA in the driver’s seat therefore political action with acceptable aims seems logical.
I agree a ten year ASIC renewal interval or perhaps a much smarter system of grading depending on age, aircraft ownership, higher licences or ratings and length held. This would cause incentives to aquire additional skills and ratings to the benefit of the industry.
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#14
With you all the way Sandy – but. As the cavalry would say – there’s many a slip twixt crouch and stirrup. What motivates political action? It is a fair question, what possibly could incense politicians to act – provided they even had the requisite knowledge?

We have evidence of multiple aberrations across the entire gamut of ‘air-operations’; from ATSB through ASA and on to the big one, CASA. Take Pel-Air as a classic, despite all the sound and fury, multiple ‘inquiry’, royal commission etc. We are still deep in the same hole, haemorrhaging money, tied up in red tape and at the mercy of the whim and fancy of the CASA coal face workers, who are backed up by a gigantic arse covering machine to protect the never empty trough.

How shall we recover, let alone proceed toward a vibrant, viable, self sustaining, tax paying industry, employing thousands, not hundreds?

It will take someone with a bigger heart and a better mind than Joyce: the tag end of a pitiful, useless, self serving conga line of ‘ministers’.  Joyce could stop the rot, just by wiggling his big toe – but he won’t , will he. He’ll just get more advice from the same crew which has been playing government ministers like old pianos, for decades and swan off to his pension and entitlements. Another politician who’s doing alright while some skinny kid wannabe is living on baked beans and dreams in some mosquito infested swamp up North.

Yurrs. that’s correct dear; but I am over 18 and I can pay - so set ‘em up again (your'e new here) and I promise not to bang my fist on the bar, ever  again; not tonight at any rate…WTF.

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