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Conference 2017 Report.

The RNZAC AGM, the Instructor Association AGM, the FAI annual meeting and the Flying NZ Conference and Conference Presentation Dinner, were held at the Hamilton Airport Conference Centre on the 7th and 8th of July 2017.

Captain Dave Morgan of Air NZ was the guest speaker at the conference dinner on Friday evening and he set the tone for the conference in the first part of his speech by saying that Air NZ no longer sees itself as just an airline, but as an important part of the NZ tourism industry and as such, all of the airlines staff have, as a prime responsibility, the requirement to ensure that they provide the best possible customer experience, as the service they receive from Air NZ reflects not only on the airline but on NZ’s total image.

At the Friday evening Presentation Dinner, the Flying NZ annual Safety Award, the Jack Mehlhopt Airmanship Award and the prestigious FAI Sports Medal presentations were be made.

The conference was also focussed on aeroclubs providing excellent customer experience to both prospective and existing members.




Guest speaker Captain Dave Morgan of
Air New Zealand was both informative and entertaining in his after dinner speech on Friday evening.

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The leisure industry is very competitive. It is easy to lose members or for prospective members to be disillusioned if the environment they walk into is not responsive, warm and welcoming.

An interesting side issue, also introduced by Dave Morgan and referred to by several others at the conference was Drones. (Quadcopters and the like) Dave saw automated delivery of packages and possibly people, across town, happening much quicker that most of us realise. With the rapid development of driverless cars, the same technology could accommodate collision avoidance and accurate positioning of drones soon.

Later in the conference a speaker also spoke about the rapid development of drone clubs and drone racing overseas, using quadcopters. He suggested that this was a potential opportunity for our aeroclubs, on two fronts. The first was to provide structured training of drone pilots, especially on the regulatory aspects of drone flying in NZ. Secondly clubs should invest in a couple of drones to entertain members when conditions preclude proper flying. All part of offering a better customer experience.

There was an excellent session on web site design and the use of Social media. In respect of web sites, more than 60% of all visits to web sites are now done from a smartphone so it is absolutely essential that a web site is responsive and smartphone friendly. It is important that the home page, as displayed on any screen, especially a smartphone answers: Where am I? What can I do/find/buy on the site? Why should I stay around looking? And do it all within three seconds. Otherwise the visitor is off.