An aviation researcher, writer, aviation participant, pilot & agricultural researcher. Author of over 35 scientific publications world wide.


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Data manipulation by #casa??

The use of data has always been a “..statistics, statistics and damn lies…”, but this is true spin when the data here shows a debilitating drop in medicals [the true indicator of active pilots], which goes down over 50% on #casa’s own numbers.

In 2012, this site drew the GA communities attention to pilot numbers and the #casa Annual Report “cover-up” on a number deficit.

The drop in Maintenance personnel/ LAME population also shows an alarming trend and the words of wisdom of Ken Cannane [#amroba] must be heeded.

Further, the effect of Part 61 is continuing it’s negative impact and on training organisations.

This all goes to the ineptitude of #casa and it’s regulations and the ultimate effect on GA in Australia.

Pilot CommunityAOC and COA

In a press release via Australian Flying, #casa say:

In a circular to members, AOPA CEO Aaron Stephenson said that Skidmore made the comments during a meeting between themselves, the Department of Transport and Infrastructure and CASA held in Canberra on 25 May this year.

“My lasting impression of the meeting was that the DAS believes  the GA Industry in Australia ‘is in good shape’,” Stephenson said.

“We completely disagreed with this assessment. I came away from the meeting convinced this is our single biggest problem. It’s collectively our challenge to convince him he is wrong.

“Why we should have to do this beggars belief.”

When asked to clarify Skidmore’s remarks, a CASA spokesperson told Australian Flying “the Director has spoken on a number of occasions with AOPA and other members of the general aviation community about many issues relevant to general aviation.

“During these conversations AOPA have made the claim that general aviation is in decline. Mark has simply asked for evidence and information to support this claim. This information would allow CASA to look carefully at the issues relevant to safety regulation and identify any responses CASA should make.

“When CASA looks at data such as registrations the number of aircraft on the register has been growing over recent years.  In 2010-11 there were 14,362 aircraft on the register, in 2014-15 there were 15,287.”

The most current figures available from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) cover the calendar year 2013, and show a growth in general aviation hours flown of 5.3% compared with 2012.

The areas showing the greatest increase were Test and Ferry (14.6%), Aerial Work (11.4%), Training (5.0%) and business (0.6%).

Three sectors showed decreases: Agriculture (-10.4%), Charter (-3.2%) and Private (-0.6%).

In the nine recording years 2005-2013, BITRE figures show that general aviation flying hours increased 12.4% from 3.3 million to 3.7 million per year.

Figures for 2014 and beyond are not yet available.

See: Australian Flying

In fact, #casa do improperly use the data as Australian Flying point out:

AOPA CEO Aaron Stephenson has delivered the mother of all backhanders to CASA Director of Aviation Safety Mark Skidmore over Skidmore’s comments that not all sectors of general aviation are suffering at the moment. Stephenson described Skidmore’s attitude as “our biggest single problem”.
Here’s what GA’s biggest single problem really is: both sides are right. AOPA is correct in saying that GA is not in good shape; the number of struggling aero clubs and disappearing flying schools is plenty of evidence for that.
Conversely, Skidmore based his comments on statistics, which show that general aviation flying hours actually grew 12.4% in the last nine years recorded.
How can both be true?
The answer lies in how the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (let’s just call them BITRE) presents the data. For example, it shows that flying training is up 5.0%, but that includes the overseas students training at the specialist academies that eschew local students or teach 150-hour CPL only. Whilst they grow, the private schools are turning off the lights, which in turn gives potential PPLs nowhere to train.
Charter is down, ag flying is down. The areas that are increasing are the ones we are least worried about: test and ferry and aerial work; those areas do not add as much to the mass that GA needs to survive on as the areas that are down do. BITRE is expected to release the 2014 figures within a month. It will be very interesting to see how the issue shapes up then.



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