Published date: 9 August 2023

Bruce Peterson has been awarded the Civil Aviation Authority Director’s Commendation Award in recognition of his contribution and commitment to safety in the New Zealand aviation community, at the Aviation New Zealand conference in Christchurch on 8 August.

Presenting the award on behalf of Director Keith Manch, Deputy Chief Executive Aviation Safety David Harrison described Bruce as a person who epitomises the values inherent in the concept of safety in aviation.

Bruce Peterson accepts the award“The type of flying Bruce does is some of the most demanding and this award reflects Bruce’s outstanding commitment to risk management not just within his own organisation, but as an example for the industry” said David.

Bruce is Managing Director and Chief Pilot at Hawke’s Bay-based aerial top-dressing company Aerospread. With more than 26,000 flying hours Bruce is one of New Zealand’s most experienced top-dressing pilots and is Chairman of the New Zealand Agricultural Aviation Association.

“Bruce’s own safety record is spotless and he takes a meticulous approach to safety in terms of equipment and maintenance, training and support for his team, and in sharing his knowledge with the industry” said Aviation New Zealand Council President Kevin England.

Bruce Peterson and David HarrisonBruce’s commitment to safety is further evidenced by the software solutions Aerospread uses in their operation. Aero-Link Pro provides accurate digital maps of farms, including hazardous areas, uploaded into the aircraft, and DZMX software lessens pilots’ cockpit workload through communication; both of which greatly enhance safety.

Through his business ventures Bruce has demonstrated that the highest standards of safety awareness and technical expertise don’t have to be at the expense of commercial success. In accepting the award Bruce acknowledged those who’ve enabled him in his pursuit for safety, and thanked his wife for her enduring support.

Along with his commitment to safety in aviation, Bruce is community-minded and played an active role in Cyclone Gabriel recovery efforts, flying supplies all over Hawke's Bay in Aerospread aircraft, at the company’s expense.

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