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Airways walks the talk in the Pacific

Aligned with the New Zealand Government’s strategy to achieve a stable and prosperous Pacific Region, Airways is continuing to prioritise its commitment to the region.

Head of Aviation Services, Greg Tyrrell highlights the work we’re doing to support and assist our Pacific neighbours.

The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent sets out a vision for “a resilient Pacific Region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, that ensures all Pacific peoples can lead free, healthy and productive lives.”

The New Zealand Government has a long-term strategy to achieve a stable and prosperous Pacific region, in close partnership with Pacific countries, regional organisations and other development partners. In its support of the Pacific, the Government has moved from a “Reset” approach to “Resilience” – strengthening the resiliency of Pacific communities through integrated partnerships.

So where does Airways fit in to this?

Well, alongside the Government we’re also aligning to the 2050 Strategy, to provide our support for achieving stability and prosperity for the Pacific region. Our vision is to work alongside Pacific nations to achieve the same standard of aviation infrastructure, service, customer value and safety across the Pacific, as that provided in New Zealand.

Long term – building relationships

At Airways we’re focused on long term relationships in the Pacific, while also delivering tangible shorter term assistance.

We’re involved in multi-national forums and engaging internationally focused stakeholders in aviation across the region. This has been more challenging over the Covid-19 period, but now that travel restrictions are lifting I’m looking forward to re-engaging in person. Examples of organisations we regularly engage with are:

  • Pacific Aviation Safety Organisation (PASO)
  • Association of South Pacific Airlines (ASPA)
  • NZ Pacific Business Council (NZPBC)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
  • The World Bank.

Our collaboration with organisations focused on long-term investment in the region is critical to move towards the 2050 vision. Airways’ work with MFAT on the Pacific Aeronautical Charting and Procedures (PACP) project – a four-year programme to upgrade decades-old air navigation procedures and charts – is strong evidence of the benefits of collaboration to the economic prosperity of the Pacific region.

Short term – providing services

Airways International has a long history of providing products and services to the Pacific region, and we continue to proactively engage with Pacific nations to ascertain how our skills and experience can best be utilised.

Key to this is understanding the level of assistance they need. We do a lot of listening, and tailoring our support to what is really needed for that particular customer.

Services we provide

Airways supports nations where a lack of scale makes it challenging for them to have internal capability – due to many factors it’s often far more efficient for smaller Pacific nations to outsource some services. Examples of how we’re currently supporting Pacific nations:

  • Upper airspace management
  • Flight procedure design and maintenance
  • Navigation aid inspections
  • Maintenance support
  • ATC simulation.
Upper Airspace Operational Conference – Auckland, December 2022.
Training

We’re also assisting nations to introduce or maintain internal capabilities in some areas. ATC and technical training is a good example of this – we can provide training either in person (in NZ or in the Islands) or remotely through our Airways Knowledge Online (AKO) virtual training academy.

Consulting

We provide consulting services for nations who are looking to expand an existing capability, but seeking advice and assistance. A great recent example of this was Airways assisting Fiji with the introduction of a surveillance service.

Assisting with the introduction of Approach surveillance services in Fiji.


Building a sustainable future for the Pacific

If we’re going to make the generational changes required for a sustainable future in the Pacific, we need to set the foundation of trust, while taking tangible small steps now.

While making a real difference in the short term, we need to continue to build long term relationships and rapport to enable rational discussion around the options for fundamental change.

With the inroads that Airways is making with our Pacific neighbours, I’m confident that through collaboration, together we will be a long way towards achieving the 2050 vision.