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Changes To Pilot Medicals Commonsense

Changes made at select committee to the medical certification of pilots are a victory for commonsense, National's Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon said today.

The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill (No 2), introduced by the Government in February this year, sought to recentralise a decentralised system of medical certification of pilots. However the Transport and Industrial Select Committee has recommended significant changes to the Bill.

"The Bill was a massive overreaction to problems with the pilot medical system. It sought to impose an overly centralised and bureaucratic structure, which National totally rejected," Ms Vernon said.

"Commonsense prevailed, in the face of the Government staring down the barrel of defeat.

"The Bill was mishandled from the beginning. It was introduced under a cloud of urgency and there was no prior consultation with those in the industry. Threats to public safety were highlighted as the reason for urgent action, yet clarification of the legal powers of the Director of Civil Aviation was really the driver for urgency.

"I hope the amended Bill will be the catalyst for an improved relationship in the future between the various sectors in the aviation community and the CAA.

"It's important that everyone puts the baggage of the past behind them. This is an opportunity to commit to working together in a constructive way that will improve both relationships and safety in the aviation community," Ms Vernon said.


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