OD pays this forum the odd visit now and again, obviously under a nom de plume. I suspect he will need to go a bit deeper under cover now because of his position, but if you are careful with what you wish for and constructive with what you suggest on this forum, who knows what NPAS could look like in the future (well - at least until April 2012
My take to these recent comments:
I fervently believe the reason for the delays incurred by the pre (OD) NPAS was because they (they being a non aviation executive) were unable to deliver a solid worked thru product to the CAA's satisfaction. In particular with regard to SAFETY
. How does the NPAS intend to protect everything the CAA stands for with this all singing all dancing national air force? They couldn't come up with the goods. They have tried a number of options and each time the CAA have batted the problem back into their court.
This is because the Police genuinely believe they can resolve all matters aviation - without a FULL TIME aviator. I appreciate they have had advice/consultation from the likes of OD/SI/handysnaks in the past, but that doesn't meet with the CAA's requirements long term.
The new AOC will have to cater for TQM (total quality management) in both ops and maintenance. For example, let me ask you this:
Who monitors/supervises the maintenance standards currently in your operation? The probable answer for 'most' units is: the maintenance manager. And who employs the maintenance manager - probably the maintenance outfit perhaps? Conflict of interest or what???
In addition - how many units allow for totally independent maintenance audits of their operation? Probably a couple at the most.
Second question (for UEO's):
As it stands currently you now find yourself as REO (regional Exec Off.) and allow "other" units a/c to fly into your area of operations to prosecute a task.
Who has legal responsibility for their safety/activities. Is it the CC of the force who dispatched the a/c? Is it the CC of the a/c which currently still owns the a/c, is it the CC of the force area within which it is now operating whilst carrying out said task? Mmmmm? Who will "hang" if that cab launching from, say, Cheshire, called out by the regional call centre, flies to a task in the mountains and subsequently stoofs into Crib Goch at night in bad weather? I guarantee none of the UEO's know, because they have no control over other units' working practices inculding training requirements and currency etc. Now if the UEO's don't know, you can bet your bottom dollar that each of the C.C's won't have a clue.
Now multiply this by 6 for all the regions across the UK and you will understand why the CAA may be a little concerned and jittery as to why the NPAS team cannot answer - hence another (of many) reason why it has been suggested that they need to get their skates on by employing a FOD who is the only person fit for purpose in this regard..
All of this is currently 'under consideration' (or so it should be) by the CAA and I suspect will be catered for by the compulsory requirement for SMS in the near future (which will also answer another question - alignment with the EASA model). I believe that secretly, the CAA want to see an EASA style AOC for the future Police AirForce of the UK.
OD's first major task will be to align the NPAS with a European model, answer the yawning gap in safety management and bring it all together under a brand new shiney EASA AOC. Time frame: I'd guess 18 months.
Meanwhile, I read somewhere that the budget for NPIA has been increased in light of shortfalls and that NPAS is getting an increase in its annual allowance from 4 million (from the H.O.) to 6 million, I believe - can someone confirm that?
Alas, very little of that will trickle back to OD's back pocket for a man doing an ACC's job on Supt pay