• Chairman of the General Aviation Advisory Network, IAOPA Vice President Andrew Andersen.
    Chairman of the General Aviation Advisory Network, IAOPA Vice President Andrew Andersen.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack yesterday appointed former AOPA Australia president Andrew Andersen as the chairman of the new General Aviation Advisory Network (GAAN).

Andersen, who is the Vice President Pacific Council of the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (IAOPA), is a 30-year pilot and aircraft owner and co-chair of the industry organisation Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group’s (ASTRA) Satellite-based Augmentations Systems sub-group.

GAAN was previously known as the General Aviation Advisory Group (GAAG) and was chaired by former Royal Flying Doctor Service CEO Dr Martin Laverty, who has since left both the network and the RFDS.

“The members of the Network are selected based on their skills and expertise in the aviation industry and come from a cross-section of the diverse general aviation sector," McCormack said. "This includes training, manufacturing, maintenance, sport and recreation, rotorcraft and fixed wing aircraft, aerial applications, remotely piloted aircraft systems and medical operations.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mr Andersen and the General Aviation Advisory Network to ensure Australia’s general aviation sector remains viable and safe.”

Members of the new network are:

Andrew Andersen (Chair) – Vice President International AOPA
Catherine Fitzsimons – Owner and Chief Pilot, Ward Air Flight Training
Mike Higgins – CEO, Regional Aviation Association of Australia
Marguerite Morgan – Business Development Manager, GippsAero/Mahindra Aerospace Company
Phil Hurst – CEO, Aerial Application Association of Australia
Michael Monck – President, Recreational Aviation Australia
Peter Gash – Managing Director and Chief Pilot, Seair Pacific
Phillip Reiss – Director, Yowie Bay Pty Ltd
Paul Tyrrell – CEO, Australian Helicopter Industry Association
Grahame Hill – President, Air Sport Australia Confederation
Reece Clothier – President, Australian Association for Unmanned Systems
David Bell – CEO, Australian Business Aviation Association
Marc De Stoop – CEO, Falconair

Paul Tyrrell and Grahame Hill are also new to the network, replacing colleagues Peter Crook and Mike Close respectively.

In June 2018, the then GAAG was tasked with creating a GA Flight Plan that would prioritise tasks for the group based on the 2018 Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) 2017 survey.

The aims of the plan were to develop a broad long-term strategic perspective for GA, propose how air safety regulation can support GA through clear, consistently applied and proportionally responsible administration; and maintain and enhance GA industry capability through workforce planning and access to airspace and infrastructure.

Andrew Andersen is also a freelance writer for Australian Flying specialising in technology.

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