And so we start the 2015 aviation year with mixed feelings about the future of our industry. For sure there is a lot more optimism around than there was leading into 2014, but it is a reserved optimism that will stay low-key until the Federal Government converts words into actions. Given the history of apathy that has come out of Canberra in the past, we couldn't really expect the industry to backflip from despair to joy based solely on the Forsyth Report. It is only now the real work is beginning; it is only the results that will add bouyancy to the outlook.

As 2015 progresses, there are bound to be some changes going on, and we'd be more than happy to hear what you have to say about it. You can send me a note any time

There is some good news in the NSW Government's grant program for regional airports. As I said about the scheme that ran under the previous Victorian government, we'll take money anyway and anyhow we can get it. The back-hander is that it's restricted to only 30 airports from the outset, because the cash is intended to boost tourism into the regions, by air. Consequently, only those airports with RPT, or recently lost RPT, are eligible. If you're not one of those airports, you're out in the cold.

Bankstown's Master Plan has been approved. It will still be some time before we get to have a look at it (7 Jan plus 50 working days), but it appears to contain not a lot of surprises. Most interesting is the prediction that the airport movements will increase by 78,000 per year over the next 20 years. I'd like to hope that's true, but even with an RPT service, it's hard to see where the increase will come from given that movements at BK have been on the decline since the 367,000 of 2008. The 2014-15 year looks like it's headed for a 230,000 year; a decline in movements of 26% if that figure is accurate. Bring on the Master Plan.

Good to see the Outback Air Race is on again! This is a fund-raiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service that drags pilots all over the outback from Esperance to Hamilton Island. The crews come back with stories of getting lost, getting found, nights in the pub and discovering new mates. It might be all in a good cause, but I don't get the feeling that's why they're doing it!

May your gauges always be in the green,


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