A general aviation industry driven to the brink of collapse by maladministration in CASA will rally at Tamworth Airport today to make last ditch representations for Federal Government intervention to save hundreds of small businesses from flying schools to third tier services vital for remote community air access.
Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester and CASA chair Jeff Boyd, will meet with the leaders and stakeholders in a GA sector on the edge of ruin.
These are desperate people, crushed by excessive regulatory and compliance costs that seem unique to Australia and devised by a bureaucracy that the industry argues keeps inventing news ways to drive them broke faster.
The rally will be conducted possibly only hours before the Coalition Government enters caretaker mode prior to a July 2 double dissolution election of the Senate and House of Reps.
The impotency of Government ministers to make policy changes during the incredibly long election period may add to the frustration of those with jobs and investments in aviation enterprises that are at risk.
Much of the claims being made by the GA sector may seem incomprehensible on their technical details to the mass of trunk route and secondary city flyers in Australia. But without GA the greater extent of the continent, covering small settlements and better known tourism resorts and lodges, will end up without affordable air access.
Thousands of jobs generated by businesses that support flying schools, private aircraft owners, and joy flight operations and community services by health and law enforcement bodies are at imminent risk.
The loss of GA activity would not only make Australia a dumber country through the loss of technical skills, but a vastly more difficult one to reach into in many locations.
That is why those of us who almost always fly in a jet airliner and seldom if ever experience flight using short rough bush strips stand to lose from the current crisis this rally is trying to avert.
If the Coalition can save small trucking operators from excessive regulation, it can surely do the same for grass roots aviation.
Much depends on GA cutting through to Government this afternoon.