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Regional Aviation Safety and Security Programme

MFAT needed a business case prepared to support the regional Pacific aviation sector.


MFAT had funded aviation safety and security activities for several years and there was support for this to continue. But the ‘why, what, how, and how much?’ needed to be structured and documented to meet business process requirements.

What we did

Kirsty Burnett prepared a business case for a more robust level of support to Pacific civil aviation authorities (CAAs) and airport authorities to enable them to meet their International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliance obligations.

The support package included a combination of technical assistance, training and security equipment across the countries that were signatories to the Pacific Islands Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty. Funding for security equipment had been announced by the NZ Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Pacific Islands Forum in Apia in September 2017.

Kirsty assessed the long-term stability of Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO), in terms of funding noting that other regional agencies received core funding from both members and development partners. She developed systems for monitoring and results reporting and explained to technical officials the value of improved reporting in informing project implementation.

How we did it

Kirsty worked with senior officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ) and PASO to work through the business case: clarifying the rationale, developing options for work programmes that New Zealand might fund, and considering procurement options and how work streams would be implemented and managed.

As regional agencies receive core funding based on strategic and business planning, annual reporting, governance mechanisms and other requirements, advice was provided to the new General Manager of PASO around what needed to be implemented to meet partner expectations, advice that was followed and supported PASO’s existing organisational strengthening activities.

PASO led the needs analysis on behalf of stakeholder Pacific state civil aviation regulators; consequently, the programme design was confined toto officials from CAANZ and PASO. However, to ensure Pacific state buy-in it was agreed that regulatory gap analyses and subsequent implementation plans for each country where needed, and funding was secured to complete this important ‘problem definition phase of the project. The business case set out the mechanism whereby PASO would manage a budget and team of consultants to provide the necessary technical assistance to complete the necessary tasks.

Benefits for the client (MFAT) and partners

PASO achieved funding certainty to ensure its sustainability. Pacific CCAs had access to NZD2.5million, administered through PASO, for safety regulatory compliance.

CAANZ had clarity on its role in the implementation of a package of NZD11.5 million of security equipment (and training), which would be procured by MFAT.

What did they say

Despite not being an aviation expert, officials from both CAANZ and PASO commented that Kirsty is a ‘quick study’ who absorbed information and translated it into accessible language that allowed MFAT to be clear about what it was funding and why.

Kirsty gets things done; she listens, sees the problem, asks questions, follows guidelines, adapts processes, earns the respect of staff, and keeps at any task until it's correctly done; all with a dollop of humour and good grace if she doesn’t get it right the first time.

Andrew Valentine, General Manager of PASO

Regional Aviation safety and security programme: Business case and design work, 2017/18


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