View Full Version : A new Chief of Staff for Transport Department

Sandy Reith
29th Mar 2018, 06:36
It’s reported that Damian Callachor is to be the Chief of Staff for the new Minister. Damian holds a management position with Qantas.
While we wish him well in his new job those of us watching the slow destruction of General Aviation, through utterly dysfunctional regulation and its attendant fee gouging, will naturally be wondering if GA will get the attention it so desperately needs.
There are different opinions as to how the managers of Australian airlines view GA, they’ve certainly had little or nothing to say in support of GA these past many years of GA decline. Perhaps too inhibited by concerns that prodding the beast would only cause them grief.
To my mind they are looking pretty silly now finding that there aren’t enough home grown pilots to fill airliner cockpits.
Had they been watching GA and listening to the many predicting this shortage, over many years, maybe they could have had a word or two around the VIP lounges.
As it is now Qantas is planning an expensive flying school, good luck with that, where they used to select from hundreds of experienced applicants that paid for all their own training. Furthermore many of those had years of practical experience in the real school of single pilot IFR all over Australia.

Captain Dart
29th Mar 2018, 10:26
Destined to ‘fail’. Then they will bleat ‘skills shortage’ and pressure the government of the day to let in cheap foreigners.

29th Mar 2018, 13:17
Destined to ‘fail’. Then they will bleat ‘skills shortage’ and pressure the government of the day to let in cheap foreigners.

See today's (Thursday) Australian, Qantas are already doing just that.
Tootle pip!!

PS: Outside of QF Flight Operation, and for a good proportion inside, they would not have a clue about GA, or anything aviation that happens outside airlines. It always used to p***s me of, the ex-GA pilots who became rabidly anti-GA once they got an airline job

The same goes for most of the public service, including far too many in CASA.
There is one very highly placed executive in PM&C who is quite vehemently anti-GA, particularly anything that burns avgas.

Sandy Reith
29th Mar 2018, 15:46
Quote LeadSled; “ex-GA pilots who became rabidly anti-GA once they got an airline job”
Sounds like a case of overblown egos which is a trait that might override commonsense in certain circumstances.
Insofar as foreign pilots are concerned I wouldn’t denigrate them by calling them “cheap”. No doubt they’ve left their native countries and families behind to better their careers. As a nation we should be wondering why we’ve missed out on the economic activity of training this number of pilots, let alone the flying career opportunities for our own citizens.
In years gone by our airlines had ample supplies of home grown pilots, some ex Air Force, but otherwise abundant GA pilots to choose from. Airline entry requirements varied somewhat but for long periods you wouldn’t expect to make it with less than about 2000 hours with IFR twin time.
Perhaps the stiff competition engendered the ego problem, it was a very desirable career, with the priority system of seniority bidding for off duty time being a great perk. One such pilot, pre Dispute days told me he could fly as little as 300 hours pa. This allowed plenty of time for hobby jobs, but the writing was on the wall for those salad days which ended so disastrously for hundreds of pilots and their families.
What we don’t want to see is continuing poor government oversight of Australian aviation. We badly need GA growth policies and that means that the Minister’s Chief of Staff needs to be brought rapidly up to speed.
He needs to see that independent instructors will be a key to re-establishment of flying training throughout rural Australia.
He needs to see that CASA in it’s present shape is incapable of producing and administrating a coherent and workable set of rules. Change the Act is an urgent first step.

30th Mar 2018, 03:39
That a bit old hat, isn't it, 2003??

Try Victoria, and taxpayers paying for staff nominally on the payroll of sitting members, to work full time on electioneering before the last state election.

Then the present Victorian State Government spending an estimated $$$1 Million + more in taxpayers money on legal action to prevent the facts becoming known to the public under freedom of (from) information laws.

Nicking a few of the other guy's posters happens just about everywhere, every time, but the "hardened criminal perpetrators" are usually smart enough to not get nabbed.

Tootle pip!!

30th Mar 2018, 23:52
Furthermore many of those had years of practical experience in the real school of single pilot IFR all over Australia.
Yet around the world, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of airliners flown successfully by pilots without this seemingly irreplaceable experience.

Sandy Reith
31st Mar 2018, 00:35
Traffic Is Er Was is correct, many thousands around the world have not that background. But we are talking local knowledge and experience gained at no cost to airlines. How valuable that experience is certainly a matter for debate but ask the passengers of the Gimli glider if local knowledge is valuable. In addition to glibly dismiss that often hard won experience of the single pilot IFR won’t add to the refinement of flying efficiently or safely.
As flying becomes more automated and simulation approaches reality you might say basic flying is less important, or you might say that the computer taught pilot is too far removed from the dust devils and inaccurate weather forecasts.

Horatio Leafblower
1st Apr 2018, 15:17
I know the Nats were speaking to at least one GA type to join the Minister's office but I suspect it won't happen now.

The Exec Director of the Nats learnt to fly in Cessnock in the late 80s with Bob Loretan and has been recently heard to say that we need regional GA people in the Ministers office or else GA is rooted.
"GA" isn't a donor to the party, it only serves the interests of the Nat's constituents so the Qantas plant will probably make sure the GA bloke never makes it.

Sandy Reith
1st Apr 2018, 16:57
Horatio, not good news, we need a lot more publicity sufficient to cause the Nats some discomfort. Another big GA meeting, conference or seminar preferably in Sydney would generate the kind of media cover and hence public awareness that could influence Government MPs. A Tamworth Mk 11, on large scale could be a catalyst. In the political cycle now is certainly the time.

Mr Approach
2nd Apr 2018, 06:21
Does anyone have a view on subsidised air routes to regional airports? Seems that GA could do a lot of work there if the government wasn't subsidising the red tail and rat to fly a half-empty Dash 8 around.

Sandy Reith
2nd Apr 2018, 11:51
Subsidies always end up as rorts. Conellans out of AS used to get a subsidy on weight of freight per mile. So complex flight plans were made to carry the most weight on the milk runs to keep the most weight for the longest distance. Told to me by one Connair Pilot back in the 70s when I flew holiday charters around parts north in the winter months.
But Mr Approach you are correct GA would fill the market gap if only we had rational rules and administration suitable to a developed nation.