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Get out of aviation now further important information

Old 3rd Jun 2019, 14:41
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Given stories like Glen Buckley’s and the results of the Forsyth review, what blue sky exists for the industry Nulli?

I have worked with over 200 businesses when I was with Government and I am familiar with the rules of the game; like farmers you never let on when you are making money and you always moan and complain about everything all the time - par for the course.

However I have never, ever, heard or read such negative stories about a government department like CASA, not even about the ATO. I don’t think it’s just Dick or the odd malcontents, the Senate doesn’t mount reviews for nothing. I see no evidence of hidden wealth in the aviation industry - a look at the fleet doesn’t suggest much investment either. Facility investment is not apparent with the exception of large foreign student operations that have as little local content as possible.

I would love to be proved wrong, but all I see is run down facilities and people constantly worried about the regulator closing them down, the fear in any operation about a visit from CASA is palpable. CASA seems as popular as a dose of the flu.

On an optimistic note if Government wants to encourage jobs investment and growth, then adopting the FAA regs and a more relaxed, less anal approach to aviation regulation would be an easy option. The industry would blossom overnight. Go to NZ and take a look at their industry as an example of what happens when the lead weight of over regulation is removed. Ever seen milford sound airport on a sunny day?




Last edited by Sunfish; 3rd Jun 2019 at 15:10.
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 23:48
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I think most already know GA in this country is all but dead from a commercial standpoint, you don't need to be Dick Smith to know that!
Getting out now whilst you can would be smart for some and not so for others, either way it's YOUR choice!
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 06:57
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Pardon my ignorance but can anybody explain why Warnervale needs to be "Restricted" in order to "schedule all movements"?

Council must have justified this scheme to themselves and their ratepayers with some plausible notion at some point.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 07:55
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Bloody hell, Warnervale is little more than a glorified ALA yet they behave like they have to arrange slot times into the CTAF.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 10:00
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Id call it a glorified goat track compared with the first time I flew in there a few decades ago.

Whats been done to aerodrome infrastructure in Australia is a national disgrace.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 10:38
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Quote:

"Pardon my ignorance but can anybody explain why Warnervale needs to be "Restricted" in order to "schedule all movements"?"

As my old dad used to say, "want a reason?..Follow the money". Property developers are like sharks.
Throw a bit of chum in the water and they appear out of nowhere to bring a DFO to an airport near you.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 03:08
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So back onto the subject, Dick Smith, with no knowledge of other people's business models and never having run a GA business, decides to tell everyone to "get out of aviation now".

He is also clearly against any kind of foreign investment in flying training in this country.

So what DOES he want?
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 09:06
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Clare, I have the utmost respect for you having go, as I did almost fifty years ago.
I got out not because I could see no future, but I moved on to other things.
When you consider that Graham Crawford will likely become the new DAS, when you look at what has happened to so many enthusiastic people who have run afoul of the regulator, when you look at the level of competence across CASA, and I acknowledge there are some very good people within the regulator.
When you look at our regulations against our peers, it sticks in my craw, but I fear Dick Smith's advice to get out while you can probably has some merit.
The Polliwaflers bang on about sovereign risk for those considering investing in Australia, what about sovereign risk for anyone considering investment in Australian aviation? An AOC will cost you a small fortune, but is in essence valueless.

Who will be the last man standing in GA in Australia?
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 10:01
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Originally Posted by thorn bird View Post
Clare, I have the utmost respect for you having go, as I did almost fifty years ago.
I got out not because I could see no future, but I moved on to other things.
When you consider that Graham Crawford will likely become the new DAS, when you look at what has happened to so many enthusiastic people who have run afoul of the regulator, when you look at the level of competence across CASA, and I acknowledge there are some very good people within the regulator.
When you look at our regulations against our peers, it sticks in my craw, but I fear Dick Smith's advice to get out while you can probably has some merit.
The Polliwaflers bang on about sovereign risk for those considering investing in Australia, what about sovereign risk for anyone considering investment in Australian aviation? An AOC will cost you a small fortune, but is in essence valueless.

Who will be the last man standing in GA in Australia?
I think the end game is to have a small handful of big schools. Easy to administer from CASAs perspective and financially viable as they will be able to charge enough to be profitable - the Coles / Wollies model.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 22:20
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I think you are probably right Round. On the surface it would seem CAsA is deliberately thinning out the flying training part of the industry by pricing it out of business in favour of the large foreign owned players.

The backbone of training in the old days was the aero club movement and small regional schools scattered around the country. I don't think that was a bad thing as it bought aviation to a far wider community.

We think of training these days from a career path perspective, for sure Commercial training occurred in the past with some schools specialising in that, but by and large the regional aero clubs catered to the private side. The complex raft of CAsA rules has effectively killed off that avenue for people to engage in learning to fly, there are many other things to excite people these days, CAsA has made aviation too complicated and expensive as a hobby except for the die hards.

By comparison, visit a small local airfield in the USA on a weekend. The level of activity is startling, the cost of training about half that of Australia. But then they have sensible rules and the industry is appreciated and valued.

I have no idea of the veracity, but I'm told Foreign pilots training in Australia at the big foreign owned schools, only train to a minimum level under Australian rules and from that point on to their national standard. That sort of makes sense in that professional licences can be obtained in other jurisdictions for about half what they can here.There are American schools advertising here for students. I wonder how many Aussie kids would take up that offer if Government subsidy via HEC's was not available to them.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 22:32
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If you have ever visited a school catering to foreign pilot students you will be depressed. I visited one (RMIT) and was not impressed. They are to aviation what battery chicken farms are to agriculture.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 22:48
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So as Glen Buckley gives his all to challenge the draconian CASA-driven business environment, Dick Smith refuses to articulate how it could ever be possible let alone logical for everyone to get out of an industry on mass. The Einstein dictum that if you can't explain it, you don't know it well enough is irrefutable. Why would anyone put up an idea without more than just a sentence or two of explanation? Could it be Dick Smith simply needs the attention? With every post there's more about him than the very serious issue of an industry battling to enjoy the prosperity it deserves. Time to give up this destructive nonsense Dick Smith and get back to doing something that can help resurrect this industry.

Glen Buckley could use a hand. Dick Smith, why not get yourself to Melbourne, hand Glen a cheque for $100K and DON"T tell anyone, DON"T alert the media and definitely DO make that the beginning of your positive, quiet, unheralded contribution to see more businesses, pilots, student pilots et al return to this industry. The AOPA are doing a superb job of revitalising their advocacy and growing their membership. Only numbers will trump the CASA nonsense.

Dick Smith you are so needed right now, but NOT to broadcast business advice as you are not qualified in commercial aviation. Retailing, publishing, commercial property - absolutely you should be reasonably well regarded for guidance. GA aviation business advice is not your gig as you have never done it (and sorry Dick, owning commercial types is simply illogical as a C150 is also a commercial type but the PPL private owner is not thereafter a GA business expert). You are needed to help rebuild the numbers of active participants in Australian GA, not drive them away. You are needed to contribute to the cause and not broadcast about yourself. You are so needed to offer only that which is logical, can be substantiated, can be measured and can be done relatively simply and quickly with results that generate revenue and growth for the current business owners and in turn counters the regulatory restrictions.




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Old 7th Jun 2019, 00:08
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With respect to Mr. Smith, there is some sense in what Nulli is proposing but it’s not my money and I believe I am aware that you often work behind the scenes for the good of all anyway.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 06:37
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Nulli,
Have you considered that the reverse is true ---- the aviation community is so quiet and "respectful" that short of the Qantas Chairman's Lounge it is unknown to politicians and the public.--- and largely talks to itself.

The result (helped by generally ignorant media) is an industry functionally invisible to the "public", so that whatever happens in the "Canberra Bubble", aviation, but particularly GA, is impotent.

After all, back in the early 2000s, the then DAS/CEO announced that CASA would be reducing the number of AOCs, CAR 30 approvals and the like to a number which CASA was comfortable surveying.

At the time it was remarked, why is CASA "comfort" more important than industry requirements.---- but CASA and its predecessors have always seen themselves as the "managers" of Australian aviation --- not just a regulatory agency. Remember, back in the GODs, DCA representatives actually sat on airline boards.

In reality, the situation that has come about because the Australian aviation community does not fight for its rights ---- and this is nothing new, civil aviation has battled the bureaucrats since shortly post WW1.--- when Australian aviation bureaucracy was created as an office of the military.

Until the aviation community unites to fight for the right to exist, the (not so) slow death by a thousand cuts will continue. Will they, probably not, with rare exceptions it hasn't happened yet.

In my view, the major reason why US aviation is so successful is because of a very different national ethos in USA --- people accept having to fight for rights ---- that is how the US started -- here in Australian aviation we just fight among each other for the crumbs.

The reason that there are such strong aviation lobby's in US is because participants have banded together ---- to enforce their rights, just have a look at the total membership of AOPA US and EAA, something like 60+% of pilots alone ---- that is the sort of thing politicians take notice of ---- and it shows.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 07:33
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Hear, hear, Leadie,

getting GA to agree on anything is like herding cats, some of the threads on PPRuNe illustrate that and CAsA play it for all its worth.

I fear that until there is a major hull loss in Australia and a subsequent royal commission, nothing will change, look at the New Zealand example.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 08:25
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Have you considered that the reverse is true ---- the aviation community is so quiet and "respectful" that short of the Qantas Chairman's Lounge it is unknown to politicians and the public.--- and largely talks to itself.

The result (helped by generally ignorant media) is an industry functionally invisible to the "public", so that whatever happens in the "Canberra Bubble", aviation, but particularly GA, is impotent.


This about sums it up!
We fill these pages with all sorts of anger, excuses, reasons, suggestions the list goes on forever & ever BUT at the GA level we are so insignificant as far as the general public & corrupt Govt are concerned! Ask any citizen on the street about GA they will most likely say who/what? We are nothing, we mean little to other than ourselves, we are a minority group of rich aircraft owners (so the public believe) drowning waiting to go under for good & it's just around the corner! CASA who? Another authority that Mr & Mrs Joe public would never have heard of! As long as the 180 boguns at a time get to the Gold Coast for their holiday nobody cares! get used to it, GA is all but dead compared to the good old days & it ain't comin' back!

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Old 7th Jun 2019, 11:03
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Rather than "having a go" I've been doing this for close on 30 years.
I've seen a lot of flying schools come and go in that time. Most have failed because of poor business practices, unrealistic expectations, bad decision making, lack of financial discipline, inability to adapt to a changing business environment, (particularly following privatisation of the airports) in other words the same reasons ALL kinds of businesses fail, not because of CASA. The only one I have seen shut down by CASA was China Southern when they couldn't find the key personnel. So that hardly shows them favouring the big schools.
I'm not still here because of luck and certainly not because I am nave. I am realistic.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 11:31
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As you appear to know, could you please provide more specific details of the issues youve identified:
poor business practices
What poor practises, specifically?
unrealistic expectations
What unrealistic expectations, specifically?
bad decision making
What bad decisions, specifically?
lack of financial discipline
What undisciplined decisions were made, specifically?
inability to adapt to a changing business environment, (particularly following privatisation of the airports)
And what did you do, specifically, to adapt to the airport privatisation environment?

You will hopefully continue to navigate around the random chance of changing opinion inside the regulator. Well look forward to your wisdom when you crash into it.
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 02:09
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Leadsled, I thoroughly agree with you...110%!

why the hell didnt you start this even twenty years ago. You guys were pushing to get the CASA out of our lives to do our own thing...now you can see it was the wrong direction..we should have united under one umbrella organisation to stand up for our collective rights. Its not too late yet.
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 06:58
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Originally Posted by Clare Prop View Post
The only one I have seen shut down by CASA was China Southern when they couldn't find the key personnel. So that hardly shows them favouring the big schools.
.
Clare Prop,
That's not quite really what happened, is it.

And I speak from being closely involved.

Perhaps you would like to comment on the following:
CFI gives one month's notice of resignation. In arrears, CASA decrees that the resignation is effective immediately (not in one month) therefor as of the date of the notification resignation of the CFI the school was without a CFI, and the allegations was that all flying from the date of the NOTICE of resignation until the following week's shutdown constituted one breach per flight. Therefor the school has committed some hundreds of breeches of law,and is therefor a threat to aviation safety. An "administrative" decision ostensibly created hundreds of offense.

And so began a long fight, dragged out by CASA, who (as all too often happens) finally dropped all charges on the steps of the court. The CASA allegations were without legal basis.

There was a lot more to it than that, including CASA activity shredding a lot of WA Government plans (you do remember the masterplan for the aviation industry in WA, do you) CSWAFC being sold by China Southern, a planned and announced US$750,000,000 ( almost a billion AU) investment in expansion was cancelled --- most of that money went to Canada.

And another major planned aviation training development of a similar magnitude moved to NZ. The Asian (not China) backers decided the CASA behavior made the sovereign risk of such investment too great

And CASA caused diplomatic mayhem in Beijing, by attempting to subpoena a Government Minister, who was a director of CSWAFC, without even telling DOTARS, let alone Foreign Affairs and our embassy in Beijing.

In my opinion, your comment is naive in the extreme.

My sources, my being on the spot, including spending an average of two days a week at the CASA Moore St. HO.

Tootle pip!!
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