This blog started off by focussing on NZ's smaller 3rd level airlines, past and present. It has evolved to trying to present some record of NZ's domestic airline operations and some of the larger charter operators, interesting NZ international airliner movements and photos I have taken around the country. Comments, corrections or contributions are welcome, Steve - firstname.lastname@example.org
08 December 2012
A big loss to the aviation community..
Of late I have been working on
posts regarding the history of two early airlines that operated to Gisborne,
Dominion Airlines and Gisborne Air Transport. As part of that I have been
looking again at the Leo White’s book Wingspread. This early New Zealand
aviation history is really the story of not only planes but also people. It
strikes me this has always been the way in the New Zealand aviation community.
As I wander around the airports
and airfields of New Zealand I have met so many interesting people who have
only been too happy to share their own interest in their aircraft or the
companies they own or work for. My own interest is particularly in the New
Zealand’s small airlines. Since starting my blog I have had a number of emails
from people and numerous comments from people who I have met who have enjoyed
what I have tried to put together of the past and appreciated that I am trying
to get the news of what has been happening today as today’s news is tomorrow’s
With the New Zealand airline
scene there is not a lot of sources of information. One of the major sources of
these was the New Zealand civil aircraft register. This made available the
aircraft details and ownership details. In recent months the historical
ownership details were removed. In recent days the current ownership details
were removed after a complaint/complaints were made to the Privacy Commissioner.
This is a huge loss to the aviation community and especially to those who
record aviation news and history.
Of course I can understand the
concerns of the person(s) who made the complaint(s). Their full names and
addresses were readily available and from what I understand this led to unsolicited mail
and email. But then again, none of us are immune from this… we all to varying
degrees get plagued by telemarketers, spam emails, and many, like myself,
because of the position I hold, end up getting mail, emails and telephone calls
from others who use the public information for an end to which it was not
intended. To an extent this is a fact of life of the communication age.
On the other hand the question
that should be asked is, “Is it in the public interest for this information to
be released?” For the good of the public, the answer is no. For the curiosity
of the public, or those members of the aviation community who are interested
the answer is yes. The Privacy Act is well intentioned and rightly seeks to protect
people’s privacy. However, it does, I believe, inadvertently have the effect of
destroying the bonds of community. The decision by the CAA’s interpretation of
the Privacy Act will have a sad impact on the aviation community and the
recording of aviation history because it will separate planes from people. Such
privacy issues are joining the ranks of OSH and security issues in making it
harder and harder to an armchair aviation enthusiast.
Ideally I would have liked to
have seen CAA continue to put the register out with a simplified ownership
details, for example an initial, a surname, a town/district/city. Hopefully
that would have mitigated a lot of the concerns. Where once I would have
labelled a photo “Whitianga based Cherokee ZK-ABC…” or “J Blogg’s Piper
Cherokee ZK-ABS…” now it will be just “Cherokee ZK-ABC.” One wonders if I
should purge all names and company names from my blog?
For over the last three years I
have tried to put together on this blog news of the airlines of New Zealand and
a weekly profile on a current or historical airline operation in New Zealand.
This has been failrly demanding time wise and I am getting busier in my other day to day concerns. Now, with the loss of the CAA aircraft register I have lost a key source of
information for historical reseaching and finding out what is happening with airline operators today. I get very little information come to me via email as to what is happening around the country. With my existing time constraints I suspect this will force me to go from
scheduled Sunday blog posts to becoming a non-scheduled or on-demand blogsite and