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New Air Safety Rules Proposed

Transport Minister Mark Gosche today announced proposals for new Civil Aviation rules that will significantly improve aviation safety and efficiency.

"Our aim is to make our skies safer," Mr Gosche said, speaking at an avaition safety forum this morning.

One of the rules now being developed is the compulsory fitting of an enhanced ground proximity warning system which, for the first time, would make these safety systems accessible to small and light aircraft.

"The Dash 8 crash in 1995 which killed six people, and the Cessna crash at Mt Robertson in '96 which killed five, may not have happened if those aircraft had carried this technology on board," Mr Gosche said.

The new system is satellite-based and much smaller, lighter and more accurate than currently used radar systems which are heavy, cumbersome and with limited range. It provides pilots with a three-dimensional map of the surrounding terrain beneath their aircraft, showing them exactly how far they are from that terrain at any given moment.

The Civil Aviation Authority have appointed a flight operations expert to lead a technical study group which, in consultation with the aviation industry, will write the rules for installing this equipment.

The new warning system is part of a wider package of aviation safety rules now being explored by CAA. Other proposals include: · a review and update of pilot licensing rules to ensure pilot training standards are not only maintained but meet international standards. · implementation of international standards for runway end safety areas at aerodromes serving regular international operations · airborne collision avoidance systems in larger air transport aeroplanes · implementation of international standards regarding aircraft noise and engine emissions · new rules on marking of wires to make them clearly visible to pilots.

Additional rules will standardise, and provide minimum controls for ground radio and information services at those aerodromes where the level of air traffic does not justify licensed air traffic control or flight information services. Details of each of the draft rules will be made available when they are released for public consultation. The ground proximity warning system rule is likely to be released for consultation in November.

"Developing these rules involves lengthy consultations with the aviation industry and I'm confident that all those involved in the sector - including pilots, passengers and the industry generally - will benefit from them," Mr Gosche said.

A ministerial review of the civil aviation rule governing medical standards and certification of pilots and air traffic controllers is underway. It is being conducted by Wellington barrister, Bruce Corkhill and Dr Simon Janvrin, Chief Medical Officer for the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. A new rule is expected early next year.

Ends


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