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GA booming in the USA

Old 23rd Jul 2019, 17:03
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Okihara:
The combination of higher urbanisation in Australia with lower overall population also has a more insidious consequence: there are also fewer places with sizable populations to fly to. The business gravity centres are concentrated in Melbourne and Sydney with few other places left that would warrant travelling with a small aircraft.
Having worked in the field of industry development, I think there is a mix up of cause and effect here.

The concentration of business activity in the capitals is caused by poor transport options to the regional centers. I understand that this is something of a chicken and egg problem but the fact remains that many people and businesses would like to escape the capitals to a cheaper, greener lifestyle if they could.

I am currently in Italy and at least North of Rome you will find household and engineering world famous brand names in quite small towns. For example Brembo brakes are in the small city of Bergamo and Campagnolo (Bicycle hardware) is about two km from where I’m staying in Vicenza. Those and many similar companies would think your crazy if you told them they had to move to Rome or Milan “to be competitive”. The key of course is first class communications.

This is where our infrastructure department is letting us all down. It’s not just airports, it’s getting CASA to foster aviation, it’s roads and rail as well.

For example Australia is too stupid to confine trucks to the left lanes on freeways and institute 130kmh+ car speed limits on suitable highways (although 140kmh in a Fiat500 is breathtaking). Too stupid to stop councils degrading airports. Too stupid to stop CASA making GA unaffordable and destroying any growth prospects.

For example, I am 45 minutes by C172 from YMMB or three hours by road. You think somebody could make an air taxi business out of that? No way in Australia. Why even in third world “backward” Vietnam there is a Cessna caravan service from Hanoi to Halong Bay.

We are prevented by bureaucrats from even trying to solve our transport problems.

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Old 23rd Jul 2019, 21:21
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Okihara.

Just so I understand what you’re saying (having correctly picked up my mathematical error in the population ratio), I understand you to be saying that there are roughly 23% fewer hours flown in ‘GA’ per person per annum in Australia compared with the USA (my conclusion being roughly 25%). Is that correct?

Your (and Vag’s) assumption is that the USA figures include the equivalent of that which you’re calling RAAus hours. Is that correct? If yes, what is the basis of that assumption? The FAA website from which I got my 25,212,000 GA hours identifies, separately, “34,200 experimental light aircraft” hours.

On your urbanisation theory, what was different 30 or so years ago? All those little towns a long way from the ‘big cities’ that used to have GA work being done at the local aerodrome - passenger and cargo carriage, flying training and aircraft maintenance - were just that: little towns a long way from the ‘big cities’.

All those businesses didn’t ‘urbanise’. They died. Those who’ve been around a while know what killed most of them.

This during the ‘miracle’ of Australia’s 27 years of uninterrupted annual economic growth. Apparently, we’ve never had it better for so long, economically, but some buffoon in CASA can still attribute the downturn in GA to tough economic conditions. How does that work? Wait until the next recession and double-digit home mortgage rates to see ‘tough economic conditions’!
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 00:27
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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LB

The distaste that you and others for CASA and the apparent allocation to them of all blame for a reduction in GA activity seems it overlook many other factors that could be behind the reduction of GA activity in those small regional towns. Some of those factors include extensive, long duration drought conditions, the demise of bank running with practically all financial transaction being electronic rather than by cheque, substantially better roads and motor vehicles making road transport more effective, the aging aircraft fleet and attendant increase in maintenance costs (a characteristic of any machine).The economic growth is national and not necessarily uniformly distributed.
If causes of reduction in GA activity are to be accurately identified, the basis of previous activity needs to be identified and relationships between them assessed.

As I write this there are 3 aircraft currently in the circuit and flying schools at the aerodrome are having 100 hour inspections done at 5-6 week intervals.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 02:33
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Lead Balloon, I don't claim to have the silver bullet answer to the GA woes in Australia. All I'm trying to do is point out dissimilarities between this country and the US that would explain why point-to-point comparisons, e.g. hours flown per capita, may not be relevant without considering geography, urbanisation, and ..., and ... and so on. But in short, yes, you reached 25% with (wrong inaccurate numbers) while I 23% with more factual ones. The fact remains, Australians, on average, fly less per year in small aircraft than their US counterparts.

I conjecture that Aussie urbanisation is an important underlying factor and I think Vag277 rightly points out that other means of transportation have gradually become more reliable, definitely cheaper and, perhaps, have just become more convenient (that's where the over regulated legal framework might be partly to blame) to use on a regular basis. At the end of the day, that's really just that: unless you have an IR, taking the plane to go from A to B reliably (= be at B by time T on day D) is nothing but a hit and miss which will at best save you a couple of hours of commute but will come at the expense of extensive planning and money.

I'm too young to make any meaningful comparison between today's world with what it was like 30 years ago but I know this: the current trend is, sadly, for younger generations to leave rural areas and congregate in larger urban centres. I'm however old enough to notice that generations junior to mine seem more interested in virtual things (instagram, snapchat and the likes – I'm really no expert) and smashed avos and lattes than in actual stuff. Which is also a byproduct of this: in the last 25 years, the advent and adoption of the Internet has transformed the way we do business and boosted the economy.

In any case, if GA is to thrive here again, there will need to be an operational requirement (beyond that of flight training) that makes travelling by private aeroplane more worthwhile than RPT or road. That's obviously not going to be with a sudden surge in people getting their PPL but perhaps tapping into yet unknown needs. One example that comes to mind is that of a doctor (a cardiologist) who sees patients in rural areas one week a month. She figured that getting healthcare on par with Melbourne was simply out of reach for a lot of people in rural Victoria so she teamed up with a friend with a CPL who flies her to remote places with a small hospital and landing strip long enough to accommodate an SR22. The lucky bit here is that neither of them thought of it as a joint venture until they came to the idea somewhat by accident. I would expect that practitioners in other areas could benefit from GA in this way. The hard part is to raise awareness.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 03:33
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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GA in the US was pumping during the GFC (relative to Australia, who wasn't as affected by the GFC). It is even more so pumping.

To blame anything on FEE-HELP is just a whinge, Americans can access the equivalent of FEE-HELP, even with this impost they have to build 1500 hours prior to real employment. There is no shortage of sponsors for these schemes. Australian employers are short term whingers who will not invest a cent in a potential employee.

I know what you're going to reply with,

Chicken or the egg!
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 04:31
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Vag277 View Post
LB

The distaste that you and others for CASA and the apparent allocation to them of all blame for a reduction in GA activity seems it overlook many other factors that could be behind the reduction of GA activity in those small regional towns. Some of those factors include extensive, long duration drought conditions, the demise of bank running with practically all financial transaction being electronic rather than by cheque, substantially better roads and motor vehicles making road transport more effective, the aging aircraft fleet and attendant increase in maintenance costs (a characteristic of any machine).The economic growth is national and not necessarily uniformly distributed.
If causes of reduction in GA activity are to be accurately identified, the basis of previous activity needs to be identified and relationships between them assessed.

As I write this there are 3 aircraft currently in the circuit and flying schools at the aerodrome are having 100 hour inspections done at 5-6 week intervals.
You misrepresent me, Vag.

I have never attributed to CASA “all” blame for the decline in GA activity. Indeed, to the extent that the decline is caused by the regulatory dog’s breakfast that continues to increase in complexity, I don’t blame CASA. It’s hardly surprising that people are happy to continue to rake in six figure salaries to create more and more complexity and ‘enforce’ it, indefinitely. Rather, I blame the stultifying mediocrities that have presumed the description “government” over the past couple of decades, who have abdicated responsibility and allowed CASA to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create an ever-growing regulatory mess, with no end in sight. (The lies told by successive CASA talking heads about the regulatory reform program are matters for which I do hold CASA responsible.)

I have also attributed a substantial part of the blame to the abandonment by the Commonwealth of aerodrome infrastructure.

Those two factors are not the only factors, but they are the primary factors in my opinion, based upon my first-hand experience and observation over a few decades.

Of course there’s ‘some’ aviation activity and businesses operating at the aerodrome to which you refer: A decline in activity does not mean no activity.

I learned to fly at a capital city airport. There were 6 flying schools and 3 GA maintenance organisations back then. They’re all gone. There is now only one flying school that has established a ‘satellite’ presence there, in the GA ‘terminal’ building (portable site shed). The only person to benefit from the ‘privatisation’ of that airport is the person who is slowly climbing the Rich List on the back of a monopoly that was a Commonwealth asset. All of the people who owned that asset as “common wealth” are now paying to use it, so that one person can climb the Rich List. F*ckn brilliant.



Last edited by Lead Balloon; 24th Jul 2019 at 05:52.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 05:37
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Trends like increasing urbanization don’t have to mean the decline of GA. Other markets are born and grow - for example the tourism market.

For example, in New Zealand, hikers, sightseers fishermen, skiers and hunters get to their destinations by air, but not here for some reason. It’s a huge business that is almost dead here.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 07:38
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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The comparison with NZ is not relevant because of the huge differential in travel distance from population centre to attraction. It does happen e.g. seaplane services ex Rose Bay in Sydney and ex Whitsunday Airport, sight seeing at Kakadu and Lake Eyre. All are to attractions in close proximity
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 08:23
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Vag it is relevant to compare Australia with NZ. There are literally thousands of GA business opportunities in Australia if we could only unlock the sky by tearing up ridiculous over regulation.

Examples:

- I have already asked why airports such as Mansfield, Bright, etc. are not summer gateways to national parks for hikers, deer hunters, skiers, etc. as country airports are in NZ and U.S. I’ve written in detail about this before.

- likewise seaplane services, Melbourne to the Gippsland lakes, Brisbane to the gold coast, Sydney to the south and central coasts etc.

- then there is air touring by dc3 or similar

- then there is massively expanded sightseeing tours everywhere.

- then there are the wine and food tours (I tried organizing one for some o/s visitors - 3 wineries and lunch by helicopter-all too hard)

- and that’s just a few tourism ideas.

Then there is the issue, already mentioned, of medical specialists traveling by air. (prohibited)

Then add air travel possibilities for technical specialists. (currently prohibited)

Then there are the need for unofficial milk runs to outback towns and farms (currently prohibited)

By “prohibited” I mean requiring AOC, thousands of pages of paperwork and other regulatory BS, that kill ideas before they can even be tried.

Just read PPRuNe about transporting a mechanic, a few tools and some spares. Do it to a schedule and you require an AOC. That costs $$$$ before you even start.

More ridiculosity, I can fly my aircraft to a specialist for propellor balancing, but he can’t chuck his gear in his aircraft and come to me without falling afoul of the commercial purposes rule.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 08:52
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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And do not forget the once-thriving “fly yourself” air tours that were very popular here. Foreign pilots could get a certificate of validation, attend a briefing, do a few circuits to ensure competence, and launch on a round Australia tour in a C172 or whatever.
Then we got the ASIC.

The Yanks were the ones that got zapped by the bad guys, not us. But they still do not have the equivalent of the ASIC, and amazingly, to the best of my knowledge, no one has deliberately crashed a bugsmasher into a crowd, despite plenty of opportunity to do so.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 13:02
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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That's very true. Though CASA can't be blamed for the ASIC situation, that was DOTARS. In fact for a long time C of V holders didn't need a security check, unless of course they wanted to go to a security controlled airport, because the ASIC was only needed for CASA licence holders - a bit of an anomaly, just like RA Aus people (still) not needing a security check to fly in exactly the same airspace.

The reason we lost all the overseas hour builders and self-fly holidaymakers overnight was because of CLARC being created...where they used to fil in the form and take it to the local office, do the checkride then collect the certificate, which took a couple of hours, once CLARC was created and it all had to be processed in Can'tberra it started to take about 9 months.

Lead Balloon hit the nail on the head with the privatisation issue as well.

As for FEE-HELP it seems to have been a poison chalice for some schools. You have to wonder if they would have failed so spectacularly if it hadn't been available.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 13:53
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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to the best of my knowledge, no one has deliberately crashed a bugsmasher into a crowd, despite plenty of opportunity to do so.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connellan_air_disaster
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 22:14
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Re: Blaming CASA

Vag has a point BUT
1/. 3 aircraft in the circuit on the Sunshine Coast in hardly surprising given the population density on the Sunshine Coast; and
2/. Legislation and Regulations are not a "natural" phenomenon - they are entirely within our control. The legislation and policy could be written in a way that facilitates aviation activity while maintaining safety IF WE SO CHOOSE.

The ire and the fury directed at CASA is because they choose NOT to, resulting in the unnecessary destruction of businesses and livelihoods.

The harassment and destruction of APTA is one such example.

The imminent closure of at least 2 major General Aviation tourism operations as a result of the GA-8 Airvan is another.
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 01:18
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Sunfish, can you clarify for me why the example above given by Okihara of a medical specialist and a CPL going to rural areas in an SR22 - or whatever - would be “prohibited”?
Presumably you are saying it would have to be done under an AOC.
Why is that?
Thanks.
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 02:24
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Sunfish, I echo rcoight's message above regarding your remark to my post. Would an AOC be required if said specialist and pilot followed a regular schedule only (sorry for being lazy – no time for personal research/getting lost in PDFs of regs these days)? It would have to be a most surprising island if UBER's air taxis were to be allowed to operate over populated areas while not letting your LAME fly his tools to your aircraft.
PS. Enjoy your time in Italy. GA is the EU suffers a more primitive problem that has luckily spared us so far: the artificially inflated price of Avgas.
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 02:37
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rcoight View Post
Sunfish, can you clarify for me why the example above given by Okihara of a medical specialist and a CPL going to rural areas in an SR22 - or whatever - would be “prohibited”?
Presumably you are saying it would have to be done under an AOC.
Why is that?
Thanks.
There is the chance that a CAsA employee told him/her that.

If that is the case and such a flight was carried out without an AOC and that CAsA employee found out - it is effectively prohibited.

It is exactly the same as the CAsA emplyee said all charter pilots have to wear white shirts when flying!

From a CAsA argument the flight is running to a schedule Airport 1 at 10 pm, Airport 2 12 pm and Airport 3 at 4 pm 3 days a month - so it is a RPT operation. You can fight them, many have tried.
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 02:52
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Checkboard, I was referring to the USA. The point I was attempting to make, but clearly lost on you, is that the combination of the ASIC and loss of a facilitated C of V process has screwed a significant part of the GA industry.
The Connellan tragedy would not have been prevented if the pilot had held an ASIC. Any more than holding an ASIC today would stop such an event.
I do hate it when people jump on simply to contradict.
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 03:00
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Originally Posted by Mach E Avelli View Post
Checkboard, I was referring to the USA. The point I was attempting to make, but clearly lost on you, is that the combination of the ASIC and loss of a facilitated C of V process has screwed a significant part of the GA industry.
The Connellan tragedy would not have been prevented if the pilot had held an ASIC. Any more than holding an ASIC today would stop such an event.
I do hate it when people jump on simply to contradict.
Are you really suggesting that holding an ASIC has not made Australia safer!
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 03:08
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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RPT?

Originally Posted by Bend alot View Post
There is the chance that a CAsA employee told him/her that.

If that is the case and such a flight was carried out without an AOC and that CAsA employee found out - it is effectively prohibited.

It is exactly the same as the CAsA emplyee said all charter pilots have to wear white shirts when flying!

From a CAsA argument the flight is running to a schedule Airport 1 at 10 pm, Airport 2 12 pm and Airport 3 at 4 pm 3 days a month - so it is a RPT operation. You can fight them, many have tried.
There are a few more conditions to be met for a flight to be defined as RPT:

CAR 206

3.2 RPT operations involving ‘transporting persons generally, or transporting cargo for persons generally, for hire or reward, in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals over specific routes with or without intermediate stopping places between terminals’, under CAR 206(1)(c) [emphasis provided].
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 03:40
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Originally Posted by flying-spike View Post


There are a few more conditions to be met for a flight to be defined as RPT:

CAR 206

3.2 RPT operations involving ‘transporting persons generally, or transporting cargo for persons generally, for hire or reward, in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals over specific routes with or without intermediate stopping places between terminals’, under CAR 206(1)(c) [emphasis provided].
Not if the CAsA Inspectors says otherwise.

What you have supplied is mere text!

CAsA employee "fixed schedule" = RPT and give you a little note.

Your next move (while you have that little note given to you 16:30 Friday afternoon saying your grounded! Is, well up to you.

However correctly or incorrectly grounded - should you continue to fly, you are now clearly in breach of more Regulations.

So your next flight might be in a year or 3 - then you are a target, so expect many "random" visits.
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