Since 1988 General Aviation has been continually bombarded by bureaucratic rule changes, and fee increases, these changes have undermined GA viability causing a great loss of jobs and services throughout our great continent. Two of our most important GA airports, Bankstown in Sydney and Moorabbin in Melbourne have shrunk in flying movements to much less than half, and oil companies have removed hundreds of refueling points all over Australia. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority was hived off as an independent Commonwealth corporate body only to become a most authoritarian instrument of the Commonwealth Government, exceptional in inventing fees for a myriad of invented paperwork tasks. It was given a brief to rewrite the rules some twenty-eight years ago. Hundreds of millions of dollars later and still not finished, the last tranche of completed rules, in the words of the current CASA Board Chairman, "a mess" (6th May public meeting at Tamworth).
This is nothing short of a disaster for GA. It is time to ask the Parliament for relief, because GA has many facets that this country has great need of, for example the training and practical experience for those who fly our airliners. GA has been so battered that airline pilots are now on the 457 foreign visa worker list. Wonder who is flying you around these days? General Aviation is needed for outback communities, police work, fire spotting, survey work, agricultural purposes, air ambulance, and mercy flights like Angel Flight, to name just a few.
If you know nothing about GA I can imagine that many of you reading this will think about your brushes with an increasingly overbearing bureaucracy, be it local, state or federal government. Our country needs freedom, all we ask is not money, just simple rules like road rules, no problem, just get government off our backs and GA will grow jobs, businesses, opportunity, innovation and services. Personally I'm retired so no axe to grind, but I want to see the industry of my lifetime career revitalised, and a new generation of aviators, designers, constructors and technicians to advance Australian aviation to all our benefit. I am a long time member of the Australian Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, this body and virtually the whole industry is strongly campaigning for reforms.
Please support this petition, a win for General Aviation will help put the brakes on bureaucracy in general. We need your support, our few voices are not enough.