Maintaining a complex composite wing on an A400M
Maintaining a complex composite wing on an A400M

Flight Safety Australia has warned that it is a shortage of engineers as well as pilots that will drag down air travel in the near future.

It’s skills shortage analysis is a reminder of the trite and shallow nonsense that says Australia can transition more to being a service economy that actually doesn’t make anything and simply import the necessary labour intensive skills on 457 visas.

By the time this crisis starts to cause ripples for the users and owners of airlines and air travel dependent businesses like airports, the usual sources of such skills will be experiencing, in fact are already starting to experience, their own shortages of the engineers needed to maintain airlines to the safety standards air travel currently meets.

It’s worth thinking about the Flight Safety Australia article from broader and longer term perspectives. At one level the consequences of botched and vindictive regulation by CASA, under the alleged oversight of a succession of lazy or poorly focused ministers is already destroying the general aviation sector.

It is true there are other factors also working against GA, but wilful neglect and to borrow a term from elsewhere, ’embuggerance’ is unforgivable. It’s also like a cancer that ultimately destroys the host that nurtures it.

Our ministers, in general, have no will or capacity to exercise the alleged superiority in our system of government of their executive branch over the unelected administrative branch.

And our investment settings are generally so short term or immediate that listed companies that talk about the longer term are generally punished on the ASX and downgraded, leading to a direct connection between stock prices and the sphincter muscles of their boards of directors.

Taking this broader perspective, the problems of the sectional interests of air transport illustrate issues that undermine and seriously threaten the longer term interests of ‘us’ and our children and their children with selfish short term preoccupations.

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