The Director of Civil Aviation Awards are presented each year to an individual and an organisation with an overwhelming safety ethos. The winners have gone out of their way to do the right thing. Their actions have directly resulted in safety standards being raised, and they have encouraged others in the aviation industry to do the same.
The Awards are open to all individuals, and to operators and organisations involved in aviation in New Zealand.
The award for the individual features a hand throwing a dart. The dart represents a generic aircraft. The hand is throwing the spirit of aviation forward into the future.
The award for the group or organisation features a pair of hands catching the dart, or generic aircraft. The hands represent aviation safety, the actions of keeping the dart from falling to the ground, protecting it.
The trophies were sculpted by New Zealand artist, Peter Roche of Auckland, and were first presented in 1995.
The winner of the 2012 Director’s Award to an individual is Dennis Millington, Auckland Airport’s Airfield Manager - a person widely recognised and acknowledged for his dedication, enthusiasm, innovation, and proactive efforts in improving safety standards at New Zealand’s largest international airport.
Dennis has played a major part in the introduction of low visibility operations at Auckland, and recently he has been instrumental in the introduction of a stand guidance system and road protection lights at international stands.
The innovative guidance light system now installed on several international stands at Auckland is an excellent example of his ability to listen to his airport users, and then actively work with them to achieve appropriate solutions. The result has seen continual improvement in the airport’s safety environment and also provided efficiencies to the benefit of pilots, passengers, and ground staff alike.
His leadership of Auckland’s Airfield Operations Team has created a safety conscious airfield operations staff, and he is the go-to person for any airside related safety issues. He is continually called on for his expertise and knowledge, not just at Auckland, but at other airports in New Zealand and beyond.
2012 Civil Aviation Authority Flight Instructor Award
This year’s recipient of the Flight Instructor’s Award, an A-Cat Instructor and flight examiner, is Gavin Miller.
He came to aviation a little later than many in the industry, but quickly worked his way through to achieving an A-Cat Instructor Rating and becoming Chief Flight Instructor at Massey University’s School of Aviation. He also joined a dedicated group of instructor’s with wide-ranging experience who introduce New Zealand’s youth to safe aviation through the Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School.
He left Massey to fly with Eagle, even then stating his intention to return to flight instruction.
He is unique in that he continues to make a valuable contribution through instruction and flight examining while maintaining a part-time airline job. This has enabled him to become a leader and pioneer in his work involving RNAV and the introduction of 'glass cockpits' to general aviation.
The Director of Civil Aviation, Steve Douglas, presented the Director’s awards at the Aviation Industry Association’s annual dinner, held in Wellington in July.
Richard Leaper was presented with the Director’s award for an individual. The award recognises a long period of effort on Richard’s part, mainly trying to develop New Zealand capability in the field of design and certification of modifications to large transport aircraft.
Passionate about aviation since he was a youngster, Richard opted for an engineering career in aviation. After a degree from Auckland University and a stint with the RNZAF, Richard took on an engineering role with Air NZ in 1986. Over the years, Richard focused more on certification as a means of enabling the sale of modification design to third parties.
Richard considers the 2004 Air NZ Boeing fleet upgrade his biggest achievement. He led the certification coordination of this project that involved five different regulatory authorities and the certification departments of seven major international suppliers.
“This would not have been possible if it was not for the CAA adopting rules based on an organisational approach to delegation much ahead of other regulators,” he says.
Richard continues to be committed to international partnerships and working closely with the regulator.
“My personal mission statement is to create a level playing field for New Zealand aviation certification approval in the international arena to facilitate modification of large transport aircraft in New Zealand.”
Currently, Richard is Chief Design Engineer of Altitude Aerospace Interiors, an Air New Zealand subsidiary.
Skywork Helicopters was established as direct result of Roger Stevenson’s passion for helicopters, and his desire to own and operate helicopters himself.
Roger and his wife Miriam started the company in 1997, as a specialist agricultural and lifting operator. Now, 14 years down the line, Skywork Helicopters has been awarded the Director’s award for an organisation for the second time.
Skywork Helicopters were recognised for steadily demonstrating operational expertise and maintaining high standards of safety that exceed normal compliance requirements. The operator was awarded the Director’s award for the first time in 2000, recognising and appreciating their approach to certification under the then new Part 119/135 rules.
Skywork Helicopters has had a consistently low risk profile in the Part 135 and Part 137 helicopter sectors in which it operates. Roger, who runs the company with his extended family, says he learnt how to do things safely from his father Neville Stevenson, a highly experienced and successful pilot.
“I would like Skywork Helicopters to be a company with zero accidents and zero fatalities. If you can walk into this industry and retire out of it safely, that’s quite an achievement. That’s the goal for me and all the staff of Skywork,” he says.
2010 Director of Civil Aviation Awards
Director of Civil Aviation, Steve Douglas, presented his Award for an Individual to Air Nelson’s Captain Bob Guard during the Aviation Industry Conference Week in Palmerston North in July.
Steve Douglas said Bob was one of the most respected people in aviation in the country and was widely recognised in the industry for his ‘safety first’ attitude.
“Bob is always striving to ensure that his organisation doesn't just comply with the Rules, but sets and maintains higher standards than the Rules require.”
This is the second time Bob Guard has received the Director’s Award for an Individual – it was also awarded to him in 1999.
“I feel very privileged and humbled,” Bob said. “I am blown away by the fact that the Director had so much faith in my contribution here at Air Nelson.”
Bob is now preparing to retire after 37 years with the Air New Zealand group, the last 20 of which have been with Air Nelson. He’s seen the company grow from being a family business with 70 staff and a small fleet, to a business with 500 staff and a 23-strong fleet, making it Air New Zealand’s largest link service operation.
“While I leave the industry with some sadness, I am pleased with this recognition. It’s a great way to finish.”
The Director presented Hawke's Bay-based specialist aeromedical provider Skyline Aviation with his Award for an Organisation.
Skyline Aviation Managing Director Mike Toogood said the award was a tremendous accolade.
“We’re very pleasantly surprised, but certainly, it is recognition for our team and culture here, and for the effort we put into running our operation,” Mike says of the company that he started in 1988.
Steve Douglas commended Skyline Aviation for demonstrating a consistent understanding of operator responsibility, being an outstanding Air Operator Certificate holder, and operating to robust risk management and risk mitigation procedures.
Every year the Director of Civil Aviation presents awards to members of the industry who have shown a commitment to safety well above the norm. This year the Individual award winner was John Martin, Head of Safety Programmes at Air Nelson. The Flight Instructor Award was won by Richard Desborough, Standards Pilot at The Helicopter Line.
John Martin - John is the Head of Safety Programmes at Air Nelson, and he has done an outstanding job to raise safety awareness among crew and management alike. In his own time he produces Air Nelson’s top class safety magazine, Safety Link, which is widely distributed locally and internationally. His recent achievements include facilitating an RNAV Human Factors review conducted by Cranfield University, and is currently tasked with managing a Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA). He recently presented a paper on the Human Factors surrounding the FMS/RNAV review to the Conference of Australasian Air Safety Investigators in Rotorua. He also finds time to chair the New Zealand Airline Flight Safety Committee, fly as a Q300 Captain and complete Flight Examiner responsibilities. “It was a complete surprise to win the award – I was literally lost for words. My colleagues had done an excellent job of keeping it secret. To be recognised for your efforts within the industry, by the industry, was an extremely rewarding experience.” John has been with Air Nelson a total of 18 years, with the last six in the safety area. “There are always plenty of flight safety challenges on the horizon, including the introduction of a Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) program for our Q300 fleet, analysing the LOSA findings, and implementing change so we can improve the way we do business,” said John.
Richard Desborough - Richard is an outstanding instructor who is highly respected in the aviation industry. He is someone who sets, maintains, and demands high standards – in particular he ‘walks the walk’ and ‘talks the talk’. His approach is simple – practice what you preach, or you will have no credibility. He has trained most of the pilots in The Helicopter Line for the past nine years, maintaining an excellent training programme and continually advancing new ideas on how to improve standards. Richard was very surprised to be nominated, “but it wasn’t a secret, the office staff had to make sure I would be in the country to receive the award. “Working overseas as well allows me to keep in touch with the latest ideas and procedures the industry has to offer and bring those back to continually try and improve safety. “In my time here I am pleased with the systems we have put in place to introduce low-time pilots into our operation. We essentially take new CPLs and train them to fly our multi-engine aircraft. It’s a pretty good first job! And it’s kept safe by our structured system that looks after them all the way through. “My next challenge is putting all of our training records and exams online,” said Richard.
The CAA has presented its 2008 Flight Instructor Award to Paul Kearney, an ‘A’ Category flight instructor from Massey University School of Aviation, The Director’s Award for an Organisation was presented to Real Journey’s Part 145 maintenance organisation.
The CAA Flight Instructor Award is presented annually to recognise and raise awareness of the important role flight instruction plays in aviation safety. The Director’s Awards are presented to the individual, and organisation, in which a safety ethos is apparent.
Presenting the awards at the Aviation Industry Association awards dinner in July, Director of Civil Aviation, Steve Douglas, said the awards recognise and reward individuals and organisations that encourage others to adopt a similar safety culture and philosophy. “They recognise that safety is everyone’s concern, and that aviation can be safe only when individuals and organisations accept their safety responsibilities,” Mr Douglas said.
Paul Kearney is an ‘A’ Category flight instructor, a GA Flight Examiner and the QA Manager at Massey University School of Aviation. Paul has had a passion for safety ever since he attended a CAA Aviation Safety Coordinators Course and loves passing on his knowledge. He believes that instilling safety into pilots at an early stage in their flight training is key. “Right from day one we indoctrinate our students into our safety culture. We encourage our students to report safety concerns, as we believe that others can learn from them.”
Real Journeys Chief Executive Officer, Dave Hawkey, received the Director's Award on behalf of their Part 145 Maintenance organisation. The company has nine full-time and two part-time engineering staff. The average length of service is more than 25 years, with the maintenance controller having been there over 40 years. In presenting the organisation award, Mr Douglas said the company's level of experience, attention to detail, skill, and high quality workmanship had been maintained and enhanced over many years. Dave Hawkey says the company focuses on preventative maintenance, “... and on ensuring that our staff have all the resources they require to do their job properly. The pride the team have in what they do has a direct effect on safety.
The flight training industry has swept all three categories of the Civil Aviation Authority’s annual safety awards. Each year the Director of Civil Aviation confers a safety award on an individual and an organisation that has gone out of its way to do things the right way. The awards recognise direct actions that have resulted in a greater level of aviation safety, and that have encouraged others to adopt a similar safety culture and philosophy. Director of Civil Aviation Steve Douglas announced the winners at the Aviation Industry Association (AIA) conference in Auckland during July.
Nelson-based flight instructor Mark Woodhouse was awarded the CAA Flight Instructor award. Mark is an extremely experienced instructor who has taught both civil and military flying on aeroplanes and helicopters, and has experience on aircraft ranging from microlights to the Boeing 747. Among other things, he is currently Chief Flight Instructor of the Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School, which provides a safety-based start to young pilots aged between 16 and 19 in an annual training camp at Matamata airfield. In presenting the award, Director of Civil Aviation Steve Douglas said Mark was an excellent instructor role model for the entire aviation community. “The culture that he encourages is made clear from his often-heard comment, ‘we don’t want to hurt anyone out there’,” Steve said. Mark says he was overwhelmed to receive the award. “No-one achieves without the help and support of others, and I have been fortunate to receive the assistance and guidance of many dedicated, professional and empathetic instructors over the years – from the military, from general aviation, and from within the airlines.” Mark said. He says now is a crucial time for the training industry. “The industry is in a time of rapid change with the draw into the airlines. One of the results of that recruiting is the challenge to maintain experience in the instructing ranks.”
“It will require imaginative and bold solutions. Instructing will need to be restructured to be a career option and paid accordingly. ”He says a coordinated approach is needed from all instructor bodies to achieve this.
The Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School was awarded the Director’s Award for an Organisation. Director Steve Douglas said no-one could have anticipated the effect the school would have had on the aviation industry, given that it has now trained over 1250 students in the last 42 years. “Many past students are now airline pilots flying for major airlines around the world; air force pilots; or members of one of the many aviation professions such as air traffic control, meteorology, or aviation engineering,” Steve said.“The safety culture instilled in them from their early days at Walsh is significant.”School Director Gordon Ragg said the school was a character-forming adventure for students.“Over the two weeks they get eight and a half hours of flying, and can pay for more at a very good rate if they wish,” Gordon says.“They are totally immersed in flying. The training is very intensive, with several flights per day. They get excellent briefings and probably the best set of flying manuals that are around today.”In accepting the award, Gordon paid tribute to the succession of excellent instructors that had volunteered at the school over the years.
“Many of them are now prominent figures in New Zealand’s aviation history. They have taught sound basic skills, good airmanship and self discipline, and a strict culture of safety awareness to a legion of young student pilots.”
Chief Executive of Nelson Aviation College Penny Mackay was awarded the Director’s Award for an Individual. Penny began her instructing career on gliders in the 1970s. She has gone on to head a busy organisation with a strong safety focus. Steve Douglas said Penny had made an enormous contribution to aviation and aviation safety in New Zealand.“She has demonstrated her belief in the principle of ‘giving something back to the industry’ with her flight training standards, and also as chair of the Aviation Industry Association’s Training Division, which has worked closely with the CAA on flight syllabus development.”Penny says she is greatly honoured to receive the award.“It is really nice that the flight training industry has been recognised. I have always been passionate about flight training. I guess there is a lot of teacher in me. I am not just a frustrated airline pilot.“It is also a real honour to work with these amazing young people who come and train with us,” Penny says.
The 2006 Organisation Award went to the Northland Emergency Services Trust (NEST). The Individual Award went to Richard McKay, an engineer from Flightline Aviation, Dunedin. They were presented at the Aviation Industry Association awards dinner in Rotorua on 28 July 2006.
NEST operates two IFR equipped Sikorsky S76 twin engine helicopters, dedicated to emergency medical services (EMS) and search and rescue operations, based in Whangarei.
Director of Civil Aviation, John Jones, said NEST was extraordinary. They were issued their Part 119/135 certificate in 2001, and every year since then their quality index score has exceeded 80 percent. That°s exceptional. NEST made a commitment to multi-engine IFR operations from the start and have expanded their operations consistent with this philosophy. They always fly with two-crew on IFR and VFR operations. They have committed to the costs of training pilots up in their own IFR environment, rather than poaching experienced IFR pilots from other operators, John Jones said.
The Director noted that NEST has consistently made time for crews to attend every available EMS safety forum held in Australia and New Zealand. Chief Pilot, Peter Turnbull also coordinated an industry-led safety forum for EMS flight and medical crews in April this year. Attendees were encouraged to raise safety concerns from their own experiences, and international EMS accident and incident trends were studied to see what could be learned from them, to the benefit of New Zealand, John Jones said.
The Individual Award went to engineer Richard McKay. As an apprentice in the early 1970s, Richard worked on engine and propeller overhaul, and regular maintenance, but it was airframe rebuilding that became his passion.
John Jones said Richard°s attention to detail and workmanship is recognised throughout the aviation community.
In the earlier years, Richard worked with very experienced structures tradesmen, such as Ted Walters, and licensed engineers, such as Tom and Ray Mulqueen. These well-known engineers set high standards of maintenance and customer relations, and he was quick to adopt their ethics. Richard°s work adds a level of quality to rebuilds that stands out today, John Jones said.
2006 Civil Aviation Authority Flight Instructor Award
The 2006 award, went to Mark Carter, Massey University School of Aviation°s Chief Flying Instructor. Presenting the award, John Jones described Mark as a truly professional aviator.
Mark runs a very busy training schedule, with many instructors working under his supervision. His management skills have been very apparent to our auditors, and of obvious benefit to Massey. Mark keeps abreast, not only of new technology in aviation, but also of teaching and learning methods and research, John Jones said.
The 2005 Organisation Award went to Aoraki Mount Cook Skiplanes. The Individual Award went to Keith Mackersy, General Manager Aviation Services at MetService. The awards were presented at the Aviation Industry Association awards dinner in Christchurch on 22 July 2005.
Aoraki Mount Cook Skiplanes have been involved in the aviation industry for 50 years. Today, they operate scenic flights using Cessna and Pilatus Porter aircraft. They are the only fixed-wing company making glacier landings in the Southern Alps. The company maintains a Unicom and flight following service for its staff of 10 pilots, and it provides aircraft arriving at Mount Cook Aerodrome with traffic information, local weather conditions, aerodrome QNH, and runway in use.
Aoraki Mount Cook Skiplanes have led by example in mountain flying safety. Knowledge of their reputation for safety has spread around the world, contributing to their commercial success. The Director of Civil Aviation, John Jones, said on presenting the award, This organisation°s safety culture is readily apparent from the ticket counter to the cockpit - it is reflected in all activities associated with its operations. Surviving the challenges of operating in a difficult environment for so many years in such a safe and professional manner is an example to all aviation in New Zealand. It is something that the management and all the staff of Aoraki Mount Cook Skiplanes should be immensely proud of.
The Individual Award went to Keith Mackersy. Keith has spent a long and distinguished career providing services that are essential to reducing aviation safety risk, both in New Zealand and around the world.
Keith has been pivotal in establishing a number of global initiatives developed through ICAO, including the International Airways Volcano Watch, to the benefit of aviation safety worldwide. He has been responsible for the development of many products for the heavy commercial end of the aviation market, and he is also largely responsible for keeping a reasonable product available to general aviation when its removal was being dictated by the ´user-pays° ideology of the times.
His aim to provide a safety risk advantage to the general aviation sector materialised in the development of MetFlight-GA, which has been of immense safety benefit to private pilots and flight training organisations in New Zealand, said John Jones.
2005 Civil Aviation Authority Flight Instructor Award
This year a new award was created, the Civil Aviation Authority Flight Instructor Award. The inaugural winner was Mark Scott of the Canterbury Aero Club. Mark gained his PPL in March 1999, CPL in December, C-category instructor rating in May 2000, and his B-category instructor rating in October 2001. He then put in a major effort and gained his A-category instructor rating in May 2004.
John Jones said on presenting the award, Mark has shown that with dedication and determination, one can gain the highest qualifications and the complete respect of those within the aviation community.
He is a valued member of his organisation, with a talent that is apparent not just in the cockpit and the classroom, but also in the office and the ops room, where his abilities as a training administrator and manager have been noticed by staff, students, and the regulator. He is an asset to the aviation community and a good role model for junior instructors.
The Director of Civil Aviation Awards for 2004 were presented at the Aviation Industry Association conference in Auckland. The Auckland Special Event Operators° Group was awarded the Organisation Award, while Jim Wilson was awarded the Individual Award.
The Auckland Special Event Operators' Group evolved from the Auckland Airspace Users Group and has remained virtually the same during periods of intense special aerial activity in the region since 1998. They coordinated flying activities for the Whitbread Around the World Yacht Race in 1998, APEC 1999, the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series 1999 to 2000, sustained media and spectator coverage of the America°s Cup in 2000 and 2002 to 2003, and the Rally of New Zealand each year from 1999 to 2004. They have also coordinated promotional flying over numerous major outdoor events, such as concerts and sporting fixtures, during this period.
The Director of Civil Aviation, John Jones, said on presenting the award, There were no reported incidents or accidents during times of intense aviation activity, and some events had up to 40 helicopters in the air. Even more noteworthy is that, during this period, there have been no known complaints from any event organisers, event participants, other aviation interests, competing companies, or the general public.
Helicopter operators in the group include: Advanced Flight, Ardmore Helicopters, Heletranz, Helilink, North Shore Helicopters, Oceania Helicopters, and Stevenson Skyworks. The award was received on their behalf by group coordinator Qwilton Biel.
The Individual Award went to Jim Wilson, Chief Pilot of Helicopters New Zealand. Jim has been flying commercially for 39 years. He is a rotary and fixed-wing instructor, a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, and a helicopter flight examiner. Jim has over 14,400 hours total flying experience. This includes over 3,300 hours multi-engine time, 16 Antarctic seasons, and one Canadian Arctic season, totaling over 2,500 hours, and in excess of 2,900 hours as a helicopter instructor. Jim has been Chief Pilot for Helicopters New Zealand for 26 years, overseeing 45 helicopters and 61 pilots on a daily basis.
John Jones said, The winner of this year°s Director°s Award for an individual is a man who is known and respected by everyone in the aviation industry. He has had a long and distinguished career, and he has contributed immensely to aviation safety. In his typically unassuming manner, he leads by example, very much aware that his actions as an industry leader have a great influence on others. He continually strives to ensure that aviation safety is at the forefront of everything that he does.
Two Director of Civil Aviation Commendations were also presented. One went to Graeme Porter, Editor of Aviation News, in recognition of his contribution to aviation safety by promoting CAA safety initiatives in Aviation News, and co-sponsoring the ACE Days with CAA. The ACE (Airmanship, Confidence, Experience) Days have been held since 2001. Graeme recognises the importance of increasing airmanship awareness among GA and recreational pilots in order to raise safety standards.
The other Director's Commendation was awarded to Bruce Brownlie, chairman of Feilding Aerodrome Incorporated. Bruce has managed the aerodrome through substantial growth while keeping safety management to the fore. Over the last 10 years Feilding has developed from an undrained paddock into a well-managed aerodrome, with a sealed main runway, taxiway and apron areas.
Resident aircraft numbers have also increased dramatically from 20 to approaching 100, and Bruce has skilfully managed the safety implications of this increase. This has been made all the more challenging by the mix of aircraft that use Feilding aerodrome. They include: ab-initio flight training, helicopters, microlights, gliders, warbirds, agricultural operators, model aeroplanes, parachutists, a large contingent of private aircraft owners, itinerant aircraft, and the RNZAF.
Bruce has become a role model in the aviation community by setting exemplary safety standards in his own personal operations.
The aviation safety achievements of New Zealand's largest international airport and a rural North Island medical examiner were recognised with Director of Civil Aviation safety awards presented at the Aviation Industry Association conference in Wellington.
The winner of the individual award, Dr Dave Baldwin, is a CAA grade 1 medical examiner based in Bulls. He established a flying doctor service for pilot medicals to serve some of New Zealand°s more isolated areas four years ago. The 'Not-so-Royal Bulls Flying Doctor Service' has proved a huge success, and 'Dr Dave' and his Cessna 172 are well-known to the flying communities of the North Island°s East Coast, the West Coast of the South Island, and the Aoraki-Mt Cook, Te Anau and South Westland areas. His nomination was backed by recommendations from several operators.
Auckland International Airport Limited took the organisation award for its runway rehabilitation project. The project involved construction of a standby runway from the main taxiway over a two year period, for use while the main runway was upgraded. It was the first time in the airport°s history flight operations had been shifted to a different runway. Use of the standby runway involved more complex ground movements, different approach procedures and special control procedures to ensure that aircraft used the correct runway. The project was completed successfully with no safety or security incidents, ahead of schedule and on budget. 8730 aircraft movements were conducted on the standby runway over the 23-day period it took to replace about 16,000m^2 of concrete in the middle section of the main runway.
John Jones also presented two Director°s commendations. One recognised the outstanding service and leadership in the field of aircraft engineering over a long period by Mel Payne, who has recently retired after 45 years service with Air New Zealand. The other acknowledged the outstanding efforts of a young flying instructor at the beginning of a promising career - Ardmore-based aviation safety coordinator Claire Walton.
The Director of Civil Aviation Awards for 2002 were presented at the Aviation Industry Association conference in Christchurch. Tourism Flight Operators New Zealand was awarded the Organisation Award, while Simon Spencer-Bower was awarded the Individual Award.
Tourism Flight Operators New Zealand was formed a little over two years ago to raise safety standards above the minimum through establishing their own quality benchmarks. Formation of the organisation evolved from the idea of Air Safaris Chief Pilot, Geoff Ensor, (assisted by Russell Baker, Paul Cooper and Tom Middleton) to establish a forum for aviation operators flying tourists over mountainous terrain.
The Director of Civil Aviation John Jones said the Tourism Flight Operators New Zealand was pursuing standards that will qualify members for the Tourism New Zealand Qualmark brand.
"The brand aims at increased quality of service and environmental issues, but safety is the key factor for the flight operators group. Through flight operator meetings at Omarama, Taupo, and a national seminar in Nelson, they have progressed toward achieving their goals - they have launched their own 'above the minimum' standards, and are on track for achieving the Qualmark brand, he said.
Winner of the Individual Award, Simon Spencer-Bower, has a flying career of over 30 years and has trained hundreds of fixed-wing and helicopter pilots. Search and Rescue personnel sought him out for his thoughtful approach to their operations - for his focus on safety, efficiency, and for his compassion.
Simon Spencer-Bower has made a personal and conscious commitment to safety over a long time. He has a great reputation for his training skills, attitude to safety, and overall ability to impart good flying practice in all situations. He has a practical and friendly approach, and the safety ethic he instils through his mentoring approach goes forth with all his students, Mr Jones said.
In the vintage aviation world, he has an enviable record of safe aerobatics and display flying on types ranging from the Tiger Moth through to Spitfire, Zero replica, and the demanding Yak-3.
His safety culture is often commented on by experienced pilots from both rotary wing and fixed wing backgrounds - these pilots, having similar or even greater experience, have no hesitation in going to him for advice at any time. This is a refreshing approach in GA, where we have a shortage of experienced pilots with such an overt safety culture who personally adhere to the high standards they preach, Mr Jones said.
Airways Corporation sector manager John McKenzie's contribution to VFR flight planning earned him the individual Director's Aviation Safety Award for 2001.
Mr McKenzie was nominated for his work with general aviation over the last two years, and in particular for progressing VFR flight planning and the creation and introduction of the Internet Flight Information Service www.ifis.airways.co.nz
Director of Civil Aviation Kevin Ward said some excellent nominations were received, and it would have been difficult to pick a second and a third, but Mr McKenzie was an outstanding winner.
"While many in industry were involved in finding a workable solution, without John's expert advice and experience, and without his personal dedication to ensuring the new service met everyone's expectations, the project would not have succeeded. This outstanding service should significantly enhance flight planning by general aviation, and with this, flight safety," Mr Ward said.
Although organisation nominations were strong and across the aviation spectrum, it was felt they did not meet the narrow criteria of the award, and for only the second time, no organisational award was made.
2001 Director's Commendations
Years of service to aviation safety were recognised with Director's commendations awarded to former Air New Zealand managers Ian Diamond and Ron Tannock.
Director's commendations cover conspicuous acts of courage, or conspicuous and outstanding acts or series of acts or service with direct and lasting benefit to aviation safety.
Mr Diamond rose from apprentice electrician to be Group General Manager of Technical Service for Air New Zealand, leading the airline engineering arm through some of its biggest changes. He retired in 2000, after 47 years in aviation, as the Group Technical Adviser to the airline's chief executive.
He also contributed outside the airline, with directorships of the New Zealand Aeronautical Trust, Aviation Services Ltd, the RNZAF Musuem Trust Board, and was a past chairman of the Aviation Travel Industry Training Board.
Mr Tannock began his career in Scotland and retired in 2000 after 40 years in aviation. He held a series of positions, eventually becoming General Manager of Safe Air and overseeing its move from flying freight to fixing aircraft.
In 1992 he became Air New Zealand's General Manager of Operations with oversight of the most comprehensive regulatory change in its history. He controlled aspects of the airline under its Part 119 certificate, controlling safety, operational and service delivery for Air New Zealand's jet operations and a staff of 2400.
Skywork Helicopters received the Director's organisation award for safety excellence in 2000. The award was accepted by husband and wife team Roger and Miriam Stevenson.
In presenting the award, Director of Civil Aviation Kevin Ward said the company had very effective systems that were reflected in an impressive audit record. He said Skywork's ability to set and maintain its high standards was an example for others to follow. Skywork was the first helicopter operation to be certificated under Part 135 Air Operator Rules.
Freedom Air's Manager of Airline Operations Michael Young's outstanding contribution to safety earned him the Director's Individual award for 2000.
Mr Ward said the CAA had been impressed with Freedom's professional attitude from the start.
In business for five years, the airline displayed a high level of safety performance and was one of the first New Zealand airlines to achieve certification under the Civil Aviation Rules.
"The airline has set a very high standard for its operations, which it strives very hard to maintain," Mr Ward said.
"But we know that the driving force behind any organisation is generally one person who sets and maintains the culture. Michael has set a very high standard for the rest of the industry, and is shaping up to be a true leader of industry," Mr Ward said.
The Royal New Zealand Aero Club (RNZAC) and Captain Bob Guard of Air Nelson were awarded the Director of Civil Aviation Awards for 1999.
RNZAC won the organisational award for its efforts in halving the light aircraft accident rate since 1995. At that time the light fixed-wing-sector was having about 50 accidents per 100,000 flying hours - roughly 50 a year.
The RNZAC set itself the challenge of meeting the CAA's safety target for the sector of halving the rate. It took actions such as actively participating in the CAAs AeroKiwi and safety co-ordinator programmes and establishing it°s own annual instructor seminars.
The proof is in the figures. Of the 12 groups we monitor, the light aircraft sector has led the field in accident reduction and has exceeded its target of halving the accident rate. The RNZAC has been at the forefront in that exceptional achievement, Director of Civil Aviation Kevin Ward said.
Despite its large number of amateur pilots, and large combined fleet of hundreds of aircraft, this organisation has not had a single fatal accident during those five years. The organisation has lead from the front and set an example for today and for the future,î Mr Ward said.
Mr Ward said the individual winner, Captain Guard, had made a very personal and conscious commitment to safety over a considerable period of time.
He has worked very efficiently and professionally as a senior figure in a large organisation ¨ the biggest carrier of its type in the Asia-Pacific region - that has made a positive commitment to safety. He has been a true leader in that process,î Mr Ward said.
He has helped ensure that this carrier doesn°t just comply with the Rules, but sets and maintains higher standards than the CAA and the Rules require."
Tim Bartleet of Fieldair Engineering and the Taupo Airport Authority took the Director of Civil Aviation Awards for 1998.
Both winners shared a common belief that safety was a collective responsibility which requires the contribution of everyone in the aviation system.
As Tim Bartlett, company manager of Fieldair Engineering, put it:
I carry the can. I must accept the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that my staff have got the facilities, skills, resources and time to carry out their work safely and efficiently in compliance with the rules. No one else is in a position to create that environment.
The organisational trophy was awarded to the Taupo Airport Authority and its airport manager Roy Carmichael.
There have been significant changes since the tower services were withdrawn and there was quite a challenge to provide more cost effective service while providing an acceptable level of safety. The authority and myself got the award, but their were a lot of other people involved. It was a big team effort, Mr Carmichael said.
Tim Bartleet said safety was about learning from your mistakes and making the right decisions.
There is pressure to make commercial decisions over safety ones, but life°s about establishing the right priorities. You can't give in to meet a pressure that may seem right at the time. If something went wrong, you could never justify it then. I'd rather go bankrupt than see anybody get hurt, and all my people are the same.
Roy Carmichael has also had to prioritise safety in spite of outside pressures.
The aerodrome flight information service was withdrawn because of commercial pressure and costs. We had to take that into account but establish a service and work with industry to make sure we would maintain our safety performance, he said.
In presenting the awards, Director of Civil Aviation Kevin Ward said the Taupo Authority had been faced with substantial change. It had immediately accepted the challenge and was very proactive in bringing together its customers to develop new procedures and introduce new technology and systems.
"Changes have been forward-looking and have been accepted by all parties. I am impressed by an organisation which sets a standard for others to follow and is a fine example of the sort of effort we anticipated with these awards", Mr Ward said.
In presenting the individual award, Mr Ward said engineers should be taking the lead as a key link in the aviation safety chain and should refuse to accept lower standards.
Tim Bartleet has turned down work rather than comply with the operators desire for a cheaper fix. He has established a strong and ardent safety culture within his organisation and is showing leadership within his industry.
Even in the largest organisations, one voice can make a difference - in this case the voice was that of Brian Richards, the Quality Assurance Manager at Air New Zealand Engineering Services, Christchurch.
Director of Civil Aviation Kevin Ward said Mr Richards efforts had lead to a wider appreciation of safety systems and a determination to do things the right way.
Mr Richards° nomination said that by strength of character and through persistence and diligence, he had effectively improved the safety ethics and significantly raised the standard of safety within the Christchurch Engineering workshops.
He is continually raising the safety benchmark by setting new standards and goals to ensure that they exceed the basic minimum as set by regulation. This safety ethic has, by his example, spread outside his normal sphere of influence to other facets of New Zealand aviation,î the nomination said.
He has promoted the idea that ownership of a Quality Management System can only be achieved by the acceptance of individual accountability. This accountability has been accepted at all levels within Engineering Services. Brian has spread the individual accountability philosophy and practice to other areas of Air New Zealand. This change has taken place due to his uncompromising leadership and personal example.
He has challenged safety standards and ensured that they are continually improved in order to stay substantially ahead of the changes brought about by modern business management systems.
Mr Ward said that several nominations of a very high standard were received for the organisational award, but none was of distinguishing character. It was decided that no organisational award be made.
Tekapo-based Air Safaris won the organisation Director of Civil Aviation Award, and Associated Aviation managing director Russell Jenkins, the individual award in 1996.
In presenting the organisation award, Director of Civil Aviation Kevin Ward said Air Safaris were respected as capable advocates with a sound knowledge of engineering and technical matters.
Their chief executive provides a level head in debates of the area user group and keeps the focus on safety issues. More important by far, they have operated in one of the harshest and cruellest environments - where any mistake will be costly - in a way that has been admired by all. They are a shining example to others,î Mr Ward said. The award was accepted by Richard Rayward.
In presenting the individual award to Russell Jenkins, Mr Ward said the judges eventually settled on someone who had "industry respect for professionalism and doing things the right way. When you walk into his operation it is obvious there is a high standard".
Robyn Reid of Nelson Helicopters, took the individual award, and the Queenstown Users Group the organisational award when the inaugural Director of Civil Aviation Awards were presented in 1995 at the Aviation Industry Association conference Wairakei.
Director of Civil Aviation Kevin Ward said some excellent nominations were received for both categories.
In presenting the individual award to Robyn Reid, Mr Ward said: "We eventually settled on someone who has shown a willingness to support, give time and be involved in helping other operators improve their approach to safety management. The company procedures have already been shown to avert disaster."
Mr Ward said the winners of the organisational award had also shown they did the right thing the right way.
"They set standards, fly to them and use peer pressure to demand compliance. They are open to all, follow the ethos of operator responsibility, and put their own ambitions aside in their desire for safety. They are a shining example to others." The organisational award was accepted on behalf of the Queenstown Users Group by chairman Russell Baker.