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Aviation Industry Export Strategy Takes Off

February 16, 2006

Aviation Industry Export Strategy Takes Off

Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard’s announcement that government has granted the Aviation Industry Association (AIA) $100,000 to develop a comprehensive export strategy, is a real vote of confidence for the industry, says AIA Chief Executive Irene King.

“This will allow the industry to generate wealth and high paying jobs worth millions for New Zealanders. We have huge potential in global markets, particularly India, North Asia and North Africa. All of these aviation markets are rapidly deregulating and need to invest heavily in new infrastructure such as airline terminals, airports, and traffic control systems.

“Massive aircraft fleet investment by these nations means that pilots and engineers need to be trained. We have the capability to do this,” she says.

“In addition, there are new opportunities to provide some of the very innovative technologies, design and hardware developed in New Zealand to meet our own flying conditions which can now be exported abroad. This technology is not only innovative, it also meets high international safety specifications.”

Ms King says one of the driving forces behind the need to develop a highly integrated strategy is that aviation remains very heavily regulated globally.

“This is just a fact of life, but with global recognition that our regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, is world class it is more a matter of working with government and determining which markets and market barriers need to be tackled first.

“In the past we have done this on a very ad hoc basis as one-off opportunities arose. To a degree this strategy has been successful in creating opportunities for New Zealand companies but we now need to be more focused and present government with a strategic plan for the industry which covers all the goods and services the industry produces.”

Other benefits flowing from the industry strategy will be a clear understanding of the capability of our industry to export, says Ms King.

“The New Zealand sector has the potential to generate more high paying jobs at home but we must be measured in our approach and learn from the experiences of others. This grant will assist the industry to better understand the opportunities and risks associated with entering these markets.”

Ms King says phase one of the strategy, measured entry into one or two key markets, is already underway and AIA envisages having the next phase ready for launch mid-year with the creation of a new export brand called “Aviation New Zealand”.

“Most importantly, this grant will help get New Zealand into a global industry leadership position.”


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