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Flightseeing maintenance wins top safety award

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Flightseeing maintenance base wins top safety award

Real Journeys’ flightseeing maintenance base in Queenstown has been awarded New Zealand’s top aviation safety award at the Civil Aviation Authority’s annual Director’s Awards.

The Director of Civil Aviation Awards are presented each year to an individual and an organisation with an overwhelming safety ethos. The Director’s Award recognises organisations whose actions have directly resulted in safety standards being raised, and which have encouraged others in the aviation industry to do the same.

The Awards are open to all individuals, operators and organisations involved in aviation in New Zealand.

Presenting the award, Director of Civil Aviation Steve Douglas said that Real Journeys’ maintenance base had always scored very highly in audits and had a consistently low risk assessment. “This reflects the confidence we have in this company that has always demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and a commitment to safety in all the work they do.”

The average length of service among the engineering staff at the maintenance base is more than 25 years, with the maintenance controller having been an employee for more than 40 years. “This level of experience, attention to detail, skill, and high quality workmanship have been maintained and enhanced over many years, and is recognised by others in the aviation community and by the CAA,“ Mr Douglas said.

Base engineer Jason Higgs said the team was excited to learn they had won the award. “It’s a pretty big achievement. Safety is the key to doing any job in aviation.”

He said the maintenance team had a long history of high standards. “It’s a tribute to the guys who have been working here for the last 30 years or so.”

The Real Journeys Queenstown Part 145 Maintenance Base dates back to 1947 when Popeye Lucas, Bill Hewitt and Barry Topliss established a tourist flight operation. The maintenance base currently maintains Real Journeys’ fleet of seven Britten Norman Islanders - which are used for scenic flights to Milford Sound - as well as doing occasional external contract work.

Real Journeys is a locally owned and operated tourism operator providing excursions in Queenstown, Fiordland and Stewart Island


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