CASA's GA Task Force is in a state of flux at the moment after the retirement of Peter John. Nominally the new head of the GATF is Southern Region safety advisor Michael White, but he has been described as "holding the fort" whilst CASA decides what to do with the GATF. This is not good news for us. Although Michael's appointment is a bonus, the fact that CASA is deciding what to do means they aren't sure if they want a GATF at all! That's the bad news. OK, the GATF didn't revolutionise general aviation, but it was at least recognition that GA is different from the airlines and has very different requirements. That hasn't changed, so a GATF is still needed.
Hopefully, who ever gets the job as the new Director of Aviation Safety will come armed with a similar point of view.
The Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) has been hammering CASA over Part 61 again. They were given some exemptions to the rules that came in on 1 September, but is still chipping away at the new regulations and their perceived lack of consultation. Like most aviation associations, the AHIA will be resource-poor and seems to be shouting at a devil that is wearing complaint-canceling headphones. The rotary industry has been in growth over the past few years, so hopefully their issues with the new regs don't put the brakes on.
Regional Express (Rex) has never shied away from telling it how it is, and there's a hidden message for all of us in their concerns for regional aviation. The government's parsimonious rebate scheme will not do much to save regional air routes, and comes with the frightening rider that the Truss department is not the great friend of aviation that is has portrayed itself to be. That is evident in their response when questioned why the rebate scheme is only 15% of the previous subsidies: we're in a budget crisis and it's all Labor's fault. Doesn't that sort of hint that they have no ideas and so revert to blaming the other mob?
Someone needs to tell them that party-political rhetoric never does anything to fix problems.
May your gauges always be in the green,