Right Hand Seat

Written by Mike Higgins, RAAA CEO on -


Welcome back to Carol after 2 months of retirement! Our new bookkeeper Kellie found the role was not for her.

Strategic vs Tactical

Some Board members have been working on a draft and we are continuing to work on refining this plan.

Regional Roadshows

Regional Roadshows

The annual RAAA convention has been be cancelled for this year, due to Covid 19 concerns. This was a tough decision as the convention is the premier event for the regional aviation industry and always provided excellent networking opportunities for attendees.

In its place for 2020/2021 the RAAA board have endorsed the concept of a series of regional roadshows. The roadshows will be held about 3 or 4 weeks apart and basically follow a ‘reverse regional J-curve’. Launching in Mildura on 3 – 4 September 2020 we will then travel through the area near Dubbo, Toowoomba, Emerald and Mareeba. We could then visit Alice Springs or Broome and Jandakot. We are also open to suggestions of other suitable towns in which to hold this event.

We will confirm our commencement as soon as we can organise and confirm logistics following the lifting of all group gathering restrictions. Each event will begin with a lunch on a Thursday with a planned finish with lunch on Friday. The presentations and workshops at each roadshow will be similar in nature in the main, with tailored presentations driven by local issues suggested in advance by RAAA members and friends based in the region. At this stage we plan on presentations from government on Covid recovery options for the regional aviation industry, cyber security, emerging CASA regulations affecting regional aircraft operators and MROs and the new world of aircraft insurance. Friday morning might include a breakfast for local high school students with a panel discussing potential career pathways in regional aviation businesses.  We will have at least two presentations/workshops on local issues. Attendance will be free of charge, except for the networking dinner on Thursday night.

Engineering Training

With the current challenges facing the Aviation industry, particularly the General Aviation sector that predominantly supports regional and remote Australia, provides us with an opportunity for maintenance and repair organisations who may be retaining staff on some of the government support programs to upskill them so that they are more productive both individually and collectively post COVID-19.

One of the challenges of the current situation was to transition training that was traditionally done in a classroom to a suitable instructor led online product that can be equally as effective with the instructor available at all times just the same as they would be if the student was in the classroom. This has now been achieved by Aviation Australia and they are now in a position to offer many courses (theory components) in this online format.

However, one of the inhibitors to this training is that traditionally companies usually paid for their staff to be upskilled but in these times clearly this is unachievable. Normally the other main impediment is being able to find the time to have employees do this upskilling training (time away from the job) but this is now plentiful in most cases. Clearly what is now lacking is the funding.

The RAAA and Aviation Australia, along with Sigma Aerospace, are working with the Australian Industry Standards and thence the Commonwealth Department of Education Transport and Logistics. Our aim is to attract funding for these online courses to assist in the professional development of engineers and to have an even more skilled workforce as we prepare for the road of recovery from this crisis.

A popular course is what is called exclusion removal training where the successful student/employee removes limitations that are on his or her CASA Aircraft Maintenance Engineers licence. What this does once completed and these exclusions are removed allows for them to be able to certify for an additional category of aircraft maintenance , in this case Electrical. For General aviation where a vast majority of operators in regional and remote Australia use aircraft which fall into the <5700kgs category this training will provide very significant benefits to both the employee and company.

  • Broadly speaking we have a total of 367 engineers would could benefit from online training at this time with 14 Australian licensed engineers are currently located overseas.
  • As you can see the geographical spread of locations covers the vast majority of regional Australia
  • There are three key types of training directly relevant to Australian regional aviation.
  • Aviation Australia was almost exclusively nominated as the preferred training provider

General Aviation Advisory Network

The RAAA has been invited to continue to be a part of the General Aviation Advisory Network (GAAN). This select group is tasked with providing direct input to the Deputy Prime Minister, without the filtering that may occur with information passing through the hands of the bureaucrats. Two documents produced by the GAAN are attached as an indication of the issues being addressed.