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The Challenge: Change the perception

Friday 28 July 2006

The Challenge: Change the perception

Minister for Transport Safety Harry Duynhoven has called on the Aviation Industry Association (AIA) to play a leadership role in improving the public perception of the general aviation sector in New Zealand. (The general aviation sector covers most non scheduled operators and does not include the major passenger carriers such as Air New Zealand).

Mr Duynhoven was speaking at the AIA’s annual conference in Rotorua today.

"In the past six months there has been some bad publicity about the sector, most notably in relation to the release of the Christchurch coroners findings into the Air Adventures crash. This and other issues have created a negative image about the sector in the minds of many people and this is reflected media coverage.

"It is important to note that the basic model for the general aviation sector is sound. While many good things are happening, it is recognised that safety improvements can be made. The AIA can play a pivotal leadership role in changing this situation which basically is about safety.

"The industry needs to be proactive and address the issues before they occur, take ownership of errors within the sector and that includes reporting any unsafe practices to CAA. There are a lot of positives and there is a need to keep building on the good things the industry has done.

"New Zealand has an efficient, vibrant and safe general aviation sector. We cannot afford to allow anyone to undermine that system. The general aviation sector needs the support and confidence of the public and the AIA must help effect the necessary changes and create a positive perception about the sector," Mr Duynhoven said.

ENDS

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