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Public confidence in pilot certification paramount

Belinda Vernon National Transport Spokesperson

20 February 2000

Public confidence in pilot certification paramount

The public needs reassurance that New Zealand will have a robust medical certification process for pilots after a damming review released today, National's Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon said.

The independent review of the aviation certification system was commissioned by the Civil Aviation Authority last May after concerns about the quality of the assessment of pilots' medical fitness to fly.

The report said the medical assessment system was flawed and needed urgent legislative action to restore integrity and protect public safety.

"The public, pilots and medical profession must have confidence that the medical certification of pilots is a robust process. Clearly it is not," Ms Vernon said.

Ms Vernon said she supported the Transport Minister's move to have a separate review of the 'one percent rule' relating to cardiovascular risk. "This is a highly contentious issue and the Minister is wise to deal with it separately."

The Government has introduced legislation to address the concerns identified in the review. It wants the legislation enacted by April, which will mean a shortened time for public consultation.

"The select committee has an onus to ensure that all interested parties have their say. It must also examine the proposals carefully. It's important we get the system right," Ms Vernon said.

Ends

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