– Steve Hitchen
If you're confused over CASA's position on colour-vision deficiency (CVD), you're among mates. This week the regulator said they would look at adopting a new, more practical test to assess the impacts of CVD on the ability of pilots. Back in 2014, CASA AVMED told pilots that new research actually showed that the impact of CVD was worse than first thought. Six years later, they appear to have reversed that. That's not a bad thing; I am all for CASA reversing policy and regulation when it's clear the underlying thinking is either wrong or out of date. This looks to be reward for all the hard work put in by Dr Arthur Pape and the Colour Vision Deficiency Pilots' Association (CVDPA), who has been relentless in the battle for commonsense. The fact that there are pilots out there operating safely (regardless of AVMED's 2014 edict) seems to indicated that the regulator's knowledge and understanding of the way CVD works has been less than optimal. We won't be able to call this absolute progress until we see what the new operational assessment system actually is, but it's a good step forward.
CASA has also quit the ASIC game, another move that gets applause from me. There's a lot of confusion in the GA community over the origins and controls around the ASIC, with CASA unfairly copping misdirected slings and arrows. ASICs are the responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs. They were never CASA's baby, but so many people in the GA community still believe they are; no doubt exacerbated by CASA making themselves an issuing agency. The thinking at the time was that it would make it easier for people to get ASICs, but for at least the last few years, CASA has been farming out that role to Aviation ID Australia. CASA became a middleman that just added a step to the process, but that shored up the belief that CASA was the ogre behind the ASIC. Exiting the whole sorry mess is a good step. With luck and prudent application of commonsense, the slings and arrows rightly flung at the ASIC might now be re-directed to the right department.
The biennial Tyabb Air Show is now only a few days away. In August last year, it looked like this show wasn't going ahead at all due to action from the local council. As one of the largest air shows in Australia short of Avalon, it's of growing importance to both the aviation community and the local community that it continues as strong as ever. However, the back-down from the council that has enabled Peninsula Aero Club to proceed was by no means the end of attacks against this vital airport. The club has launched an e-petition to demand that the council cease proposals to amend the local planning scheme that would apply "unworkable and invalid" operating conditions on the airport. This is a huge battle and one that PAC and the aviation community has to win. There are two things that can be done right now to support the airport. 1. Sign the e-petition to the Victorian Parliament. 2. Get down to the Tyabb Air Show next weekend and show the world how much the airport is needed.
May your gauges always be in the green,