The European Parliament has given general aviation its biggest boost in
modern times with the adoption of a resolution which guides the EC and
member states to adopt a raft of principles which would preserve, foster
and promote GA across Europe. Resolution 2008/2134(INI) sets out the
importance of keeping legislation in proportion, recognising the
differences between CAT and GA in setting fees and charges, ensuring
that GA has access to airports and airspace and accepting that GA has a
vital role to play in Europe's transport infrastructure.
The resolution, adopted by a huge margin - 524 votes in favour, 74
against and six abstentions - now forms the basis of the European
Commission's approach to general aviation. The Commission is in turn the
boss of EASA, which will find it very difficult to ignore the new
landscape for GA. In addition, national AOPAs can now use it in
negotiations with their own CAAs to ensure that GA is treated fairly.
The full document can be seen by
clicking on this link. It includes 35 clauses, each of which
represents a major breakthrough for GA, addressing nearly every major
issue impacting on general aviation today; access to airfields and
airspace, proportionality in regulation and charges and appropriate
technology requirements. It calls on the EC to recognise the important
role that GA plays in the training of professional pilots.
The resolution had its genesis in a meeting four years ago between
European Aviation Commissioner Daniel Calleja di Crespo and a three-man
IAOPA delegation at which the need for action on European legislation
affecting GA was discussed. MEPs like Timothy Kirkhope from the UK and
Arunas Degutis from Lithuania, both pilots, have been active in
canvassing support. IAOPA is having the document translated into every
European language and distributed to authorities across the continent.