Australian aviation associations have grouped together to propose a 10-point General Aviation Rescue Package based on US practices they hope will arrest the sector's decline.

Warning that further government inaction will "continue to kill off GA", the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia (AAAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia and the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia are calling on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to abandon its current European-based approach to regulatory reform and instead adopt a model based on the USA of "simple regulations for simple operations".

The group also calls for security requirements for GA aircraft and pilots to be substantially simplified and reduced in line with US practice and wants CASA to work with industry and set itself "on a track of supporting GA rather than killing it".

The group is calling for government to engage with leading industry associations through a ministerial forum, for aviation to be given a higher policy priority and for tax reform.

Launch of the rescue plan follows earlier attempts to address the sector's problems, including the government-led GA Action Agenda and subsequent Aviation White Paper, which the group believes "embarrassingly underestimated" GA's contribution to the economy.

AAAA chief executive officer Phil Hurst says the GA Action Agenda, "which had no action", and the White Paper were "missed opportunities that ignored most of the input from industry".

Hurst says: "The White Paper had no vision for GA and in fact demonstrated such a diabolically poor understanding of GA that it was an insult to the industry.

"Government will never realise the potential of GA in Australia - say compared to the US or even the United Kingdom - if government refuses to sit down and discuss issues at a high level with industry."

Launch of the GA Rescue Package came just ahead of Australia going to the polls on 21 August.

Source: Flight International