Political Friday

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Political Friday

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:20 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2014/0704.shtml

My goodness... how can it be that *my* 100% legal, weak and very low duty-cycle transmission on 2.4GHz pose such a huge threat to public safety and must be banned -- yet the vastly more powerful and often continuous transmissions from wifi-enabled mobile phones and wireless routers are okay?

Surely this couldn't be a case of blatant victimisation based on political agendas and persona "scores to settle" on the part of the SWDC and CAA could it?

Are CAA simply MFNZ's sock-puppets in this issue? You have to wonder, don't you?

And if broadcasts well below the legally allowed maximum levels on the 2.4GHz ISM band do pose an unacceptable risk to public safety at the Tokoroa Airfield, will the SWDC and CAA accept liability when something very bad happens because of cellphone use at that venue?

Well now that the issue has been very clearly documented in the public domain, I suspect they will.

Proabably *not* what they were anticipating or expecting when they engaged in this pettiness.

I would strongly urge readers to ask CAA and the SWDC why they are allowing such dangerous devices as wifi-enabled mobile phones and wifi routers to be at or in the vicinity of the airfield when they themselves have claimed that such transmissions pose such an unacceptably high risk to public safety. Please let me know what their response is.
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Re: Political Friday

Postby goosemoose » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:13 am

Yes unfortunately CAA has played the public safety or OSH card. Once played this card trumps everything and can never be taken back. It beats everything. Unless you play the "think of the children" card. This may beat the public safety card, maybe but don't bet on it. You should have played this card at the earliest moment. Something along the lines of:

"My SAA system will save the lives of many children every year as the unauthorised use of drones by unskilled and unlicensed operators rapidly increases. CAA is now playing fast and loose with the future of our children and grandchildren by not embracing this potentially life saving technology."
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Re: Political Friday

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:31 am

Ah.. but in this case, playing the "public safety card" in this case has resulted in them shooting themselves in the foot.

If (as they have done) they admit that a transmission on the ISM band constitutes a threat to safety at the airfield -- then by not banning all wifi devices (mobile phones, routers, etc) at and in the immediate vicinity of the airfield, they are admitting that they are now negligent in preserving the safety they claim that *I* would compromise.

The questions that ought to be asked of CAA and the SWDC are:

1. what qualified, independent advice did you seek in respect to the effects that Mr Simpsons transmissions may have on the RC model flying activities at the Tokoroa airfield and what was that opinion.

2. if a very low power signal such as the one Mr Simpson has proposed using to test his safety technology does constitute a threat to public safety, what measures have been taken to prevent the use of other equipment at or around the Tokoroa which may operate on the same frequencies at much higher power levels, such as smartphones with wifi and wireless routers?

I would encourage everyone to lodge a formal request for that information to the SWDC and to CAA. Please let me know what they say. The answers will be *very* telling (or damning of their deceit and hidden agendas).
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Re: Political Friday

Postby hellonearthis » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:33 am

I hope someone with brains look at these safety statements and puts the opinion based science against real peer reviewed science.

Their childish games have to stop.
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Re: Political Friday

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:49 am

Yeah... but for this kind of thing to continue, good people need only do nothing.

What's more, when those in power discover they can get away with this sort of thing with impunity, it only encourages them to continue doing it to others.

The problem is that I seem to be the only one who's prepared to stand up and point out these abuses of power when they happen and when you're standing alone, you're an easy target for other abuses of power. Witness the way the IRD was called in to deal to me last time I poked my head above the crowd :-)
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Re: Political Friday

Postby latewings » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:33 pm

From the CAA website's Aviation Spectrum meeting notes. Link

Spectrum for UAVs
It was agreed that aeronautical spectrum should only be allocated for use by UAVs for
safety of flight systems – essentially for flight control and associated telemetry. All
spectrum requirements for payload applications should fall within the Mobile service
allocation

So, use the aeronautical spectrum rather than 2.4Ghz.
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Re: Political Friday

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:38 pm

Unfortunately that involves the procurement (at a cost) of licenses and the hardware is also significantly more expensive (I'm working on a tight budget here).

Besides, the ISM band was set aside for *exactly* what I'm doing and RC models are hardly "industrial" "scientific" nor "medical".

I'm not breaking any RSM regulations by using this band and surely, as a legitimate business of 10 years standing which is working to significantly enhance aviation safety, I ought to get at least an equal right to use it as a bunch of RC model fliers.

But as I say -- the fact that I'm prohibited but other users operating at several times the power (in closer proximity to the RC models concerned) are not simply speaks volumes to the nasty partisan dealings that are going on here.
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Re: Political Friday

Postby joeseph » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:06 pm

from the herald website just now: "Air New Zealand passengers will be able to use their handheld portable electronic devices in flight mode for the entire duration of their journey following approval from the Civil Aviation Authority.

From July 16 the airline will allow the use of tablets, smartphones, e-readers and mp3 players during all phases of flight provided the devices are in non-transmitting flight mode."

so the CAA will have lots of staff running up & down the isles checking each & every phone is switched to flight mode? like hell they will...
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Re: Political Friday

Postby Jimmy » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:28 pm

Bruce,

At risk of sounding like a stuck record, I'm going to essentially repeat the advice I offered earlier.

If they are making claims of safety etc then, unless they want to look like prize plonkers , they need to have done the work to substantiate the safety concern and their reasons for believing that it is unsafe. The exercise of their regulatory powers is a matter that the Ombudsman would almost certainly consider falls within Section 9(1) of the Official Information Act.

Therefore you need to hit them with an OIA request for reports, memos, internal emails, records of meetings safety assessments and any other material relevant for their consideration of whether this activity constitutes a safety hazard. I doubt they have any grounds to withhold this.

Then you will either know why they have got to this conclusion (and be able to rebut it more effectively) or, if there is nothing, at least be able to expose them as a pack of plonkers and have grounds to get the Ombudsman or Auditor-General to look at how they are exercising their powers. Either way, your position will be a lot stronger.
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Re: Political Friday

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:01 pm

Yes, you are right. I will also be contacting Brownlee (again) who has already had to give CAA a rocket *twice* in respect to their dealings with me. I'm sure that when he's alerted to their idiocy a third time (and especially when it's an election year and we're talking about a Kiwi entrepreneur working on a potentially very valuable piece of technology), CAA will not fare well from his wrath.
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