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Proof that DAS Skidmore is a new broom

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Proof that DAS Skidmore is a new broom

Old 15th Aug 2015, 01:19
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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It's not the actual landing with 29 rather than 30, it's either planning to do it in the first place, finding it's going to happen in flight and continuing anyway when an alternate's available, or finding it's going to happen and not declaring it (which I'm sure in the past has led to accidents due to aircraft not getting priority until it was too late). There's nothing there which is victimising pilots who do the right thing.

Whether anything better than the old rules has been achieved is a different story - certainly it's not clear that much benefit if any has been gained when weighed up against the cost of the whole revamp.

Modernising and rationalising a bunch of disparate rule books sounds like a good idea, which is why I suppose they embarked on this whole thing in the first place, but as we all know it's been a 20 year schemozzle in many ways. Once the project was started, though, CASA's choice has been to either chuck it out and call it a waste, or keep ploughing through under various leaders and regimes, and I'm sure most of us in the same position would probably choose to keep going to see it through. Just my 2 bob's worth.
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 04:53
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to keep going to see it through.
Gosh - CASA seems to have struck it rich on this thread. Someone who thinks "it is expected that" means something, and someone else who thinks the regulatory reform program is going to end. I really didn't think that there was anyone that naive left.

I'm afraid I have some bad news for you, AOTW. There are only a couple of people in CASA with the expertise to bring the regulatory reform program to a conclusion (Mr Skidmore isn't one of them), and they have zero incentive to do so. In fact, they have a very substantial and positive incentive for it to drag on forever. That's one of the reasons for there now being reform projects to fix messes created by previous reform projects, and ever-increasing exemptions.

It's a never-ending self-licking ice cream, for numerous people on 6 figure salaries.

"Beyond a certain point, complexity is fraud."
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 05:11
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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I merely pointed out that their option is to either throw the lot in the bin and say "we wasted all this time and money for nothing," or keep going.

What would you do? And why would you say Mark Skidmore doesn't have the 'expertise' to bring it to a conclusion? What sort of expertise would be needed? These are not facetious questions, I just don't understand the absolutely entrenched view espoused by some that CASA couldn't possibly do anything good, ever. Reading back over this and other threads on the subject, that's a common theme, but it's just too easy to throw out a 'they're a bunch of dickheads' comment, which doesn't achieve much.

I agree (as I already alluded to above) that this reform process has been a big expensive shambles, no argument there.
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 06:17
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It is not a "view". It is the data collected over the last couple of decades.

Continuing with this process, run in this way by this regulator, is only going to produce more complexity and burn more money.

Yep: Throw it all in the bin and, more importantly, get rid of the very substantial and positive incentive some have to drag the process on forever.

I'll try to explain the problem by analogy.

Imagine a hypothetical RAAF Squadron that's running like a well-oiled machine.

Then take everyone away, from the CO down, and replace them with .... hmmmm ... let's pick .... university professors.

The professors are, demonstrably, really smart - smarter than most of the Squadron personnel - and can read and understand all the manuals and tech data and SOPs. They understand, completely, what needs to be done to get the Squadron running like a well-oiled machine. And various of their colleagues will tell you that they're "really good blokes".

What could possibly go wrong?

As the debacle stumbles from crisis to crisis, year after year and triple digit millions after triple digit millions, everyone keeps saying: "We have to see this through with the professors. This Squadron is essential to the defence of the nation."

Of course, as you well understand, the debacle will never end because university professors will never be capable of competently and expertly doing all of the jobs that need to be done to get the Squadron running like a well-oiled machine.

Hold that thought.

A regulator can only run like a well-oiled machine if it is comprised of competent experts in regulation. Pilots and engineers, even really smart ones that are good blokes and can lead a squadron of fighter jets or strike bombers and are sure they know what they are doing, are not competent experts in regulation. It's particularly problematic when the person in charge is not a competent expert in regulation.

That's one of the reasons for the regulatory reform debacle. Certainly not the only reason, but one of the reasons.
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 07:02
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Which experts in regulation would you like to nominate as alternatives, LB? I'd be keen to hear who you'd put in Skidmore's place.

As an aside, he's done quite a bit more than simply lead squadrons - he was up in some of the highest defence positions, which may not be necessarily the only breeding ground for people who know how to run big organisations but it's not a bad start.

He is a good bloke, knows a lot about aviation, owns his own aeroplane, and based on what I've seen so far, is making a fair fist of dealing with what he's taken on with CASA. He's been out talking directly with various sectors of the industry, and some of these exemptions being issued lately, as I understand it, are the result of that. Exemptions aren't what we would be having in an ideal world, but as I think we all know, they're needed at the moment for whoever is sorting out the mess that is the reform program, which at the moment is the bloke in question.

The 'university professors running the RAAF' analogy, whilst amusing, isn't a good one, unless they were also clued up on aviation matters as well as being good leaders of complex organisations.

At this stage I'd expect a chorus of 'What would Skidmore know about GA?', to which I've previously replied along the lines of 'How does running a GA organisation prepare you any better for the position we're discussing?'

Name a few names from this pool of expert regulators who could do better, or even suggest where they might come from, and let's go from there.
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 09:50
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You make some common (and reasonable) assumptions, but which I consider erroneous: that people with experience in the subject matter being regulated are therefore necessarily qualified to be competent and expert regulators; that people who have managed any big organisation are therefore necessarily qualified to be competent and expert managers in regulators.

I thought my analogy was a valid one. The professors assume they know what they are doing, because they assume they have the necessary smarts and the skills to find out everything that needs to be done. The aviators assume they know what the regulator is supposed to do, because they understand the subject matter being regulated. Both assumptions are invalid.

(I recall one Professor who wrote a breathless article on the dangers of SIMOPS. He opined that "scarcely a more dangerous system could be devised". When I walked him through what SODROPS stood for, he nearly had a coronary. The point is he knew he was right, but he was wrong. Many in the aviation industry know what the regulator should do, but they, too, are wrong.

It seems to me that one of the essential skills of the head of a regulatory authority is to manage the substantial risks that arise from employing people with experience in the subject matter being regulated. Experts almost invariably labour under the misconception that their job, having joined a regulator, is to implement their pet projects and impose, on the world at large, their opinions about the subject matter being regulated. (Sound vaguely familiar?)

The government keeps appointing CASA CEOs who are experts in the subject matter CASA regulates, not expert regulators. How, then, does Mr Skidmore know that his job is not to implement his pet projects or impose, on the aviation community, his opinions about aviation regulation?

A real expert in regulation would recognise, immediately, the fundamental flaw in the regulatory reform program: the regulator is running it. This suits the people who actually understand what's going on and want to avoid responsibility for setting the standards that the regulator should just implement. Much better, for them, to instead leave the regulator to make sh*t up as it goes along and cop the flak for it.

But the roost is now creaking under the weight of the ever-increasing number of chickens coming home, in the form of a regulatory regime that is, by any objective measure, a sick, expensive joke and a hoax on the industry.

Names? Off the top of my head: Graham Peachey. Ron Catchpole. I could name a few more, but they'd all be perceived by large chunks of the aviation community to be unqualified because none of them is a skygod. And the people who actually understand what's going on in aviation regulation are very happy to keep appointing skygods and watch them draw the flak.
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 22:24
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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I don't know the people you named there, LB, but I imagine they're competent and decent blokes.

I do think that a sound basis in aviation is required for the position of DAS, though, otherwise the tail wags the dog, and I have a bit of trouble accepting your idea that there are
substantial risks that arise from employing people with experience in the subject matter being regulated
. The 'skygod' description implies an egotist who won't listen to anyone, and no, I wouldn't want someone like that in charge either, but I wouldn't say that's the case with Mark Skidmore; far from it.

It's fair what you say about people wanting to implement their pet projects, but I don't see that that's what Skidmore is trying to do; rather, I think he's genuinely trying to work through and fix some significant problems in the organisation he's been appointed to lead.

I'd also be very surprised to see anyone from whatever background who took over the role throwing out the whole reform program, which is what you have called for:
Yep: Throw it all in the bin and, more importantly, get rid of the very substantial and positive incentive some have to drag the process on forever.
What would you do, burn the CASR and reprint all the regs from 1995?
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 22:56
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AOTW, sunk costs are irrelevant in accounting terms. There is no logical or economic argument for "finishing the project", as others have pointed out this has been going on for Twenty years at great expense and much pain and suffering.

What to do? Throw it out. Throw out the management that attempted the project in the first place and throw out the lawyers because the people who got us into this mess by definition are not the people to get us out of it since they will automatically pervert any new project.

Buy a copy of the New Zealand Regulations and start from there as a "greenfield" project.

P.S. Please stop with the "sweet reason" arguments implying that CASA people are honest and good with our best intentions in mind.

The reality, judging by the experiences catalogued in the Forsyth review and ad nauseam in Pprune as that they are lowlife, vindictive, scum. Don't you remember the conclusion of the Forsyth report? That CASA has lost the trust of the industry?

If draconian penalties are available to CASA then the current mob will use them to the hilt to cause as much pain and suffering as possible.


To put that another way: There is a long catalogue of deliberate dishonesty, vendettas, persecution, deception, capriciousness, inequity, inefficiency, unfairness and injustice by CASA….and you want to give them more power and reduce what little defences we have against these bastards even further???????????
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 23:09
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Sunfish,
Well said!!
Tootle pip!!

PS: Any of you around Melbourne remember Bill Waterton and his T-6, a classic example.
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Old 15th Aug 2015, 23:40
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Sunk costs may be irrelevant in accounting terms, but the costs of replacing and rebuilding from the ashes are not. Buy the Kiwi rules? Maybe. However, our legal system and theirs are a lot different as I understand it, so you might have to throw out a lot more than just the aviation regs.

P.S. Please stop with the "sweet reason" arguments implying that CASA people are honest and good with our best intentions in mind.
I'm not implying that at all, just saying they're not all evil arseholes either, and seeing as we're saying please, please don't tell me what I should and shouldn't say. I will use what I believe to be sound and reasoned arguments and not take the easy option of venting, a la Sunfish's 'get f%%&ed CASA' masterpiece on the Part 91 thread! Good reading, but just over the top.
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Old 16th Aug 2015, 00:29
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Originally Posted by Arm out the window
I don't know the people you named there, LB, but I imagine they're competent and decent blokes.

I do think that a sound basis in aviation is required for the position of DAS, though, otherwise the tail wags the dog, and I have a bit of trouble accepting your idea that there are . The 'skygod' description implies an egotist who won't listen to anyone, and no, I wouldn't want someone like that in charge either, but I wouldn't say that's the case with Mark Skidmore; far from it.

It's fair what you say about people wanting to implement their pet projects, but I don't see that that's what Skidmore is trying to do; rather, I think he's genuinely trying to work through and fix some significant problems in the organisation he's been appointed to lead.

I'd also be very surprised to see anyone from whatever background who took over the role throwing out the whole reform program, which is what you have called for:

What would you do, burn the CASR and reprint all the regs from 1995?
Yep. Sounds like an excellent start!
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Old 16th Aug 2015, 01:42
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Yep: Burn it all and get rid of all the people who have a positive incentive to keep producing new rules. Get some real experts to quickly build a very basic regulatory framework to give ICAO some comfort that there is a framework in place.

It's a choice between throwing more money at making an ever-increasing mess, and cutting losses by tidying up the mess as big as it currently is. That's the stark choice.

I think I read somewhere on pprune an analogy with the Spruce Goose and a Dreamliner and the point that there was no way the Spruce Goose could have been constantly improved into a Dreamliner. Someone finally had to make the stark choice of whether to persist or cut losses.

If the people working on the Spruce Goose had access to an endless source of other people's money, they'd still be working on it today.

There is no way that the current regulatory bugger's muddle is ever going to be constantly improved, by this process and by these people, into what was promised over 2 decades ago. But while ever they have access to an endless source of other people's money, they'll keep working on the regulatory equivalent of the Spruce Goose.

The reason that burning the lot would not create substantial safety risks is, ironically, the same reason as to why the current bugger's muddle dragging on forever does not create substantial safety risks: The vast majority of the aviation community would continue to choose to make prudent decisions and the incompetent and deliberate risk takers would continue to be incompetent and deliberately take risks. But at least further waste would be reduced and the running sore of confusion, frustration, business destruction, change fatigue and distrust of the regulator might start to dry up and heal.

Seriously: Australian civil aviation would be better off if the government:

- burnt all of the rules and replaced them with a one sentence law prohibiting everyone from doing everything, and

- gave the regulator a very thick pad of exemption forms.

At least that way:

- everyone would have a consistent understanding of what the law is

- the waste of decades of regulatory reform would end

- thousands of pages of rules that almost nobody reads or cares about would be repealed, and

- the regulator could continue to impose its pet projects and strong opinions on a captive and hapless industry, but in a more efficient way.

Seriously: Australain civil aviation would be better off.
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Old 16th Aug 2015, 02:02
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However, our legal system and theirs are a lot different as I understand it,
Arm,
With the very greatest of respect, you couldn't be more wrong, but you have swallowed the CASA propaganda.

Overall, the NZ legislative system is the same as Australia, and aviation wise, the framework is simply an Act (quite superior to our Act, and includes a requirement for the Minister to promote aviation) Regulations and Advisory Circulars (acceptable means of compliance). No nonsense of MOS. No thousands of Legislative Instruments.

About the only real black spot is medical standards, and that is because, in my opinion, the people are wrong. Sadly, CASA seem to have "harmonised" with NZ CAA in this area, because it/as result of which it (take your pick) disadvantages long standing Australian standards.

The Commonwealth of Australia has a long and respectable history of importing legislation by reference, we have been doing it since 1901.

but I don't see that that's what Skidmore is trying to do; rather, I think he's genuinely trying to work through and fix some significant problems in the organisation he's been appointed to lead.
Is he really??

One of his first "decisions" seems to be to reaffirm the Navathe approach to colour vision, taking us back almost 30 years, and the absolute antithesis of facts based or performance/outcome based regulation -- and contrary to Government policy on red tape reduction. Mr. Skidmore has been quite blunt about colour vision standards, he prefers the RAAF "black and white" (interesting choice of words) approach of one simple standard (unrelated to whether you can fly safely), you are in or you are out ---- based on arbitrary tests that neither conform with our present regulations, or ICAO.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 16th Aug 2015, 02:41
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Re the legal stuff, I was thinking of the risk acceptance etc associated with Kiwi 'extreme tourism' type activities, which (I believe) reduces the issues their operators have with being sued as long as they take reasonable safety related steps. Dunno a lot about it, it's just what I've heard, so as always I'm happy to be corrected where I'm wrong.

I would like to see the colour vision issue resolved fairly; I haven't seen what input Mark Skidmore has had into that so I won't comment.

On the plus side, there have been clear examples of detrimental consequences of poorly thought out or written sections of the new rules being fixed by exemptions (which are not desirable but are a quick and practical Band-Aid rather than letting things drag on unresolved), e.g. removal of the silly idea that the R22 and R44 should be separately type rated helicopters needing their own flight reviews every 2 years.

Once these things have been promulgated as law, which is what Skidmore has inherited, you can't just unmake them with a stroke of the pen, hence the exemptions, but as I've said I believe he's out there listening and fixing, or at least trying to, and doing as much as anyone could in the situation.
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Old 16th Aug 2015, 09:39
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Re the legal stuff, I was thinking of the risk acceptance etc associated with Kiwi 'extreme tourism' type activities, which (I believe) reduces the issues their operators have with being sued as long as they take reasonable safety related steps. Dunno a lot about it, it's just what I've heard, so as always I'm happy to be corrected where I'm wrong.
Arm,
Actually, the legal framework here is, if anything, better than NZ, but the difference is marginal. Needless to say, I am not referring to aviation legislation.

We have quite a long list of court cases that have supported not paying damages when the person injured was one who voluntarily assumed a risk in a clearly risky enterprise.

Indeed, consumer law here fundamentally allows a business operator in a field of extreme sports or similar activities to contract out of what would otherwise been the normal responsibilities to the consumer.

In 1996, aviation wise, we tool a different tack to the NZers and their Swedavia-McGregor report:<http://www.caa.govt.nz/pubdocs/Swedavia-McGregor_Report.htm> and, as a result, the legal framework for the CASA Experimental and Limited Categories rejected an "equivalent safety" approach, in favor of the then Australian Government policy that people should be free to indulge in risky pursuits, but were personally responsible for the outcomes, not CASA.

This is reflected in the current legislation, but needless to say, CASA can't leave well enough alone, and the outcomes if Part 132 is enacted do not bode well for "Adventure Flying" in Australia, likewise recent CASA intrusion in to other air sports areas that have been successful for many years.

There is quite a regulatory empire being created in the CASA Sports Aviation office, all to address nil real problems, just imagined. Unfortunately, the resultant intrusions and $$$ costs are anything but imaginary.

In the case of Part 132, CASA has turned two (2) simple regulation, that have worked well since 1998 into several hundred pages of regulations and MOS (by the time they are finished) and needless to say, this all addresses no problems, but does it in a manner that provides for the usual costly micro-management and a considerable array of new offenses.

Again, needless to say, without the slightest attempt at justification, let alone cost/benefit justification, and in complete defiance of the present Government red tape cost reduction policy.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 16th Aug 2015, 21:44
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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AOTW:

I'm not implying that at all, just saying they're not all evil arseholes either, and seeing as we're saying please, please don't tell me what I should and shouldn't say. I will use what I believe to be sound and reasoned arguments and not take the easy option of venting, a la Sunfish's 'get f%%&ed CASA' masterpiece on the Part 91 thread! Good reading, but just over the top.
"Sound and reasoned arguments" don't work when you are dealing with arseholes. I have been through about $60 million worth of "sound and reasoned arguments" with venture capitalists who still want your children's shoes and a pint of your blood no matter how "sound and reasoned" you care to be - and they talk real nice too. They are basically no different from biker gangs, just with suits and manners. CASA has proved no different judging by the Forsyth review.

"Sound and reasoned" only works when both sides are looking for a win/win outcome and CASA has demonstrated over Two decades at least that they have absolutely no interest whatsoever in "win/win" outcomes which is why it is necessary to rewrite The Aviation Act to make it a requirement that CASA foster the industry.

AS for "good people" being in CASA, so what? The good people aren't making the decisions. I had a lawyer working for me who was a classic "good people" I eventually had to put him on a tight leash because when he was let loose he turned into an attack dog from hell.

Don't you understand the concept of "Litigation privilege"? Once CASA is in court or the AAT they can and will do anything and everything to win their case, no matter how underhanded and dishonest it is. "Model litigant" you say? Just ask the victims.

To put that another way, there is nothing "sound and reasoned" about CASAs approach to enforcement or conduct at all.

"Sound and reasoned" has got us precisely no where for Twenty plus years! Skidmore is as I correctly suspected a "nodding donkey" (to use the description of some Lloyds insurance brokers prior to the Piper Alpha disaster) because the senior management of CASA will do everything in their power to resist change and there is an endless supply of ex RAAF officers standing in a queue ready to replace them and continue the embuggerance.

Oh wait! Aren't we supposed to be improving air safety?

Let me put it this way. My CASA approved training to fly an aircraft left me simply astonished at the gaps. Once I realised that, I started on a quest to find out what else I didn't know and there was plenty that I had to remedy, starting with some basic acrobatics training for "recovery from unusual situations". However is CASA a resource for any of this? A freindly old Uncle who can point you in the right direction? Even a stern but fair trainer? Not a hope in hell! I discovered it would be better to kiss a crocodile than have anything to do with CASA beyond the bare minimum required by law because they have produced nothing beyond the VFR Guide that helps me be safer and a whole lot of regulation that does the reverse, and that regulation is backed up by capricious and unfair prosecution. I would assume, judging by what happened to Dominic James, that the situation for commercial pilots is no different.

Sorry for the rant "Sound and reasoned" argument has proved pointless in dealing with CASA. A New political party or, sadly, a major accident is the only hope of change.
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Old 16th Aug 2015, 23:22
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Sunny,

I'll buy you a beer at Ausfly for that! Post Of The Year award nomination material here;

Perhaps you should print this and bring it with you…..you never know who will be there

AOTW, sunk costs are irrelevant in accounting terms. There is no logical or economic argument for "finishing the project", as others have pointed out this has been going on for Twenty years at great expense and much pain and suffering.

What to do? Throw it out. Throw out the management that attempted the project in the first place and throw out the lawyers because the people who got us into this mess by definition are not the people to get us out of it since they will automatically pervert any new project.

Buy a copy of the New Zealand Regulations and start from there as a "greenfield" project.

P.S. Please stop with the "sweet reason" arguments implying that CASA people are honest and good with our best intentions in mind.

The reality, judging by the experiences catalogued in the Forsyth review and ad nauseam in PPRuNe as that they are lowlife, vindictive, scum. Don't you remember the conclusion of the Forsyth report? That CASA has lost the trust of the industry?

If draconian penalties are available to CASA then the current mob will use them to the hilt to cause as much pain and suffering as possible.


To put that another way: There is a long catalogue of deliberate dishonesty, vendettas, persecution, deception, capriciousness, inequity, inefficiency, unfairness and injustice by CASA….and you want to give them more power and reduce what little defences we have against these bastards even further???????????
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Old 17th Aug 2015, 03:41
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Buy a copy of the New Zealand Regulations and start from there as a "greenfield" project.
I thought that's what Skidmore said he was wanting to do in an interview in The Australian a few weeks back. Also mentioned FAA.
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Old 17th Aug 2015, 09:07
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Cooda,

sorry mate but it matters naught what Skidmore says.

The "Iron ring" will never allow it.

Skidmore is just a glove puppet, warming the seat for another four years topping up his retirement funds.
I mean really what incentive does he have to do anything?

By doing nothing he has plausible denial.

Think of all the Nuremburg excuses we have heard over time. "that occurred before my appointment", "I was in Montreal at the time", "not my department", "I just did as I was ordered" etc. etc.
Sad to say but the Murky Macavellian is a brilliant Puppeteer. Just like a game of thrones, he's outmaneuvered us all.

GA airports will go to the Development sharks.

Major airports will continue creating new members of the Millionaires club and contributions to the Bermudan economy with their tax free status.

Momentum will ensure CAsA will continue churning out regulations long after there is any industry left to regulate, and the "Iron Ring" members have sufficient retirement funds stashed away.

If you believe in Karma you could pray Pumpkin head has a heart attack before he gets to spend any of the ill gotten gains coming his way.

There is no hope for aviation in Australia, without an Erebus event nothing will change, there's just too much short term money to be made by destroying us and not enough money within the industry to fight against it, too many of us prepared to prostitute ourselves to those who would destroy us

Public Interest?? Pffft!! since when has a politician ever considered that.

I used to be so naïve as to imagine that a public servants job was to serve the public, not their own self interest.

Not anymore!
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Old 18th Aug 2015, 00:55
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Skidmore is just a glove puppet, warming the seat for another four years topping up his retirement funds.
I mean really what incentive does he have to do anything?
Sounds like you're there in the office with him, Thorn Bird, seeing as you appear to know what he's up to and what motivates him.

If you don't personally believe that a desire to do your job to the best of your ability and achieve some positive results isn't enough for someone to get off their arse each day, then that's your choice, but it's a pretty sad and cynical one in my book.
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