The road to hell is paved with good intention.

25 Jul

One reason for an aphorism, homily or proverb remaining valid, being woven into general everyday use and staying there, for hundreds of years, is an indicator of proven value. The saying “The road to hell is paved with good intention” has been around a long, long time, and quoted in many languages. Google and Wiki proved their worth as did the research:-


An earlier saying occurs in Virgil’s Aeneid: “facilis descensus Averno (the descent to hell is easy)”

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote (c. 1150), “L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs” (hell is full of good wishes and desires).

As I read the statement from TAAAF (P2 –AP) the saying crept in through the back door and made itself at home. There are some clever, honest, expert folk in TAAAF and no one could possibly doubt their commitment to turning industry determination for meaningful change into a reality. For example; meeting the DAS and issuing a statement of support is a very positive step and provided the CASA boss is prepared to take advantage of the freely offered, expert support then there’s a chance the intention for reform will be carried away from the meeting and raised at the Monday morning prayers. Whether the DAS can transmogrify that intention into action remains to be seen. Many before him have tried to penetrate the veil and failed. The notion opens all kinds questions, the foremost being why have previous attempts failed so miserably?

There is hope though; Jeff Boyd & Co, Minister Truss, Rev. Forsyth, several Senators and many others (even AOPA) want to see the proffered changes effected. No doubt their intentions are good, however, the battle between good and evil has raged since the beginning of time, the score about even.

I can, with little trouble accept and even have some faith in the intention at top levels to ‘reform’ the system and the regulator. But, time is the problem, the need for change is almost nugatory now and in another few years at current rate of attrition there will be no need of it.

There are many tales told of current ‘policy’ decisions CASA management have fully supported. These are some of the most idiotic, expensive, purblind, operationally useless decisions to ever be heard by experienced operators. There are equally as many tales where a ‘favourite’ has been gifted commercial advantage and allowed almost free reign, until there is a change in FOI/AWI then the agony begins with changes and NCN out the Wazzoo. Such is the uncertainty which undermines confidence and investment; well, that and the horrendous costs in wasted time, money and effort.

These are not my tales to tell; I wish they were. Change, in timely manner is essential; simple things, like check-list approval (don’t get me started), flight and duty limitation (don’t get me started) and a dozen other small items could be rectified almost at the stroke of pen. The ‘top tiers’ may all be singing from the same hymn sheet; but down in the weeds, it’s pandemonium, Bedlam style. If I had a magic wand the first thing I would do would be to appoint an appeals committee where a bone of contention could be heard, without fear, favour or cost and be ruled on in a timely manner. A side benefit would be to clearly see where ‘policy’ and administrative embuggerance hit hardest, use that data to formulate real, meaningful change. It would take a solid twelve month of hard work; but the benefits would be worth every moment and dollar spent. Clear guidelines, based on law, not some whimsy (don’t get me started).

As it stands now; I wish them all well and all the unstinting support I can manage, while remembering the directions to Hell’s own gate.


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