Breakthrough on Dangerous Goods Regulations
As reported previously in the IAOPA eNews, the existing regulation on Dangerous Goods was never fit for GA use. So far EASA just referred to the ICAO Technical Instructions, a document of more than 1000 pages with highly technical material that was never intended for GA pilots. It contains several alleviations to allow perfumes and deodorants for duty free sales onboard airlines, but did not foresee that anyone would carry a can of engine oil or de-icing fluid. Even taking a leak in the well-known “Little John” would require pilots to take courses in the handling of dangerous goods, require them to create all the necessary paperwork, to use warning signs and to consult with DG advisers. As part of the EASA initiative for simpler, lighter and better rulemaking for GA, the DG area was seen as a prime example of regulation that was not proportionate and had to be changed.
After input from IAOPA and other members in the EASA working group aiming at simplifying the rules for GA, EASA has now published an Opinion (03/2015) proposing a new way to handle Dangerous Goods for GA. Instead of going through thousands of pages to find out that you cannot carry a can of engine oil, the pilot of a non-commercial flight can now bring what is necessary in the interest of flight safety. The proposed regulation will now state:
“Reasonable quantities of articles and substances that would otherwise be classified as dangerous goods and that are used to facilitate flight safety, where carriage aboard the aircraft is advisable to ensure their timely availability for operational purposes, shall be considered authorised under paragraph 2.2.1(a) of the Technical Instructions. This is regardless of whether or not such articles and substances are required to be carried or intended to be used in connection with a particular flight.
The packing and loading on board of the above-mentioned articles and substances shall be performed, under the responsibility of the pilot in command, in such a way as to minimise the risks posed to crew members, passengers, cargo or the aircraft during aircraft operations.”
Continued Focus on Instrument Flying in GA
As part of its initiative to support GA, EASA is now setting up a Task Force that will look at how to further support instrument flying for GA operations. Last year the Competency Based Instrument Rating (CB-IR) and the En Route
Instrument Rating (E-IR) came a long way to allow easier access to instrument flying. However, still the long-proven benefits of the UK IMC rating was never fully taken into account.
The new Task Force will look at the requirements for pilots to obtain instrument privileges but also has additional scope to clear other obstacles for instrument flying in GA. This could be simpler certification of aircraft instruments, and rules that could facilitate more widespread use of instrument approaches and cloud-break procedures to smaller airfields around Europe (using for instance GPS technology). IAOPA is represented on this group by Nick Wilcock.
Part M Light - Promising New Maintenance Rules for GA
Representatives at the IAOPA Regional Meeting in Norway on 2nd May welcomed the fact that promising new maintenance rules are on their way for aircraft below two tonnes (ELA 1 and 2 aircraft). Any aircraft owner will recognise that the maintenance regime introduced by EASA has seriously increased the cost of maintenance without any clear benefits to safety.
AOPA Sweden’s Niklas Larsson has been on the EASA working group for the new so-called Part M-Light rules. Compared to the existing Part-M regulation, the new ruleset is around 40 pages of regulation that is written for, and can be understood by, the typical private aircraft owner. The proposal will give the responsibility for maintaining the aircraft back to the aircraft owner.
Instead of using a CAMO, the owner can declare that he takes responsibility for the aircraft maintenance and the maintenance programme. The owner-approved maintenance programme must respect all airworthiness directives and comply with certain minimum requirements, which are described in Part M-Light, but will not require an approval by their National Aviation Authority. The new Regulation must go through the full regulatory process, so it is not expected to come into effect before 2017.
AOPA Spain Plans Annual Fly-in, 5-7 June
AOPA-Spain will celebrate its first official “AOPA Fly-In” at Requena in the province of Valencia, from the 5th to the 7th of June this year.
This event aims to bring together members of the Spanish general aviation sector as well as aerial work operators, with a programme including both technical/informative and festival elements. The Aerodrome of Requena, a founding member of the Spanish “Aopa Airfields Division”, will act as host for the event. Its privileged location and the expectation of good meteorological conditions lead to the hope that a large number of participants will be able to reach the event by air.
ork operators, with a programme including both technical/informative and festival elements. The Aerodrome of Requena, a founding member of the Spanish “Aopa Airfields Division”, will act as host for the event. Its privileged location and the expectation of good meteorological conditions lead to the hope that a large number of participants will be able to reach the event by air.
The celebration of this first Fly-In represents another step towards AOPA-Spain’s goal of uniting, defending and promoting General Aviation in the country. In addition, it ties in with the promotion of the use of Spain’s network of alternative aerodromes to the official “Public Use” airports, as envisaged in the GAFA (General Aviation Friendly Airports) Project, recently presented at the Aero-Expo 2015 in Friedrichshafen.
The programme of this first Fly-In comprises events for Aerial Work professionals on the afternoon of Friday 5th June, and presentations and discussions open to the public on the morning of Saturday the 6th with the afternoon reserved for the AOPA-Spain general assembly. The morning of Sunday the 7th will be dedicated exclusively to flying activities.
More detailed information about the event will shortly be available on the AOPA-Spain website: www.aopa-spain.org.
EU Excludes Light Twin Turboprops from OPS-NCC
At the meeting of the EASA committee 22nd and 23rd of April in Brussels it was decided that all twin-turboprops up to 5700kg MTOM will be exempted from the requirement to follow the OPS-NCC rules, which will enter into force for the non-commercial operators of complex aircraft in August 2016. IAOPA Europe was strongly engaged to achieve this change, which will now to a great extent align the European definition of Complex Aircraft with the ICAO definition of a Large Aeroplane. But the decision should have been even more ambitious, as we consider the type of propulsion as not relevant for the classification of an aircraft as complex or not. The single-jet-engine Cirrus Vision SF50 will probably have flight characteristics that are no less benign than its turboprop counterparts. Many EASA member states also don´t know how to implement the new rules within the remaining short timeline.
All aircraft which remain under the NCC rules, that is all aeroplanes above 5700kg MTOM, powered by one or more jet engines, having more than 19 passenger seats and requiring a minimum crew of two pilots, will have to follow the requirements of OPS-NCC, which foresees the implementation of rather extensive Safety Management Systems. For small operators, deemed to be those with fewer than 20 full-time staff (among other criteria which are still under negotiation), a more simple “NCC-light” will be introduced.
Parallel to this development the European Commission is still working on a change of the Basic Regulation which will also cover the definition of Complex Aircraft. IAOPA still hopes to achieve its goal: to free as many operators as possible from the new rules, as the safety case for NCC does not show an immediate need for additional regulation. Corporate and owner-operated flights already have better safety statistics than air taxi operations (Business aircraft accident rates by operator type, EASA NPA 2009-02g).
Finally, the NCC-rules can be described at best as a relic from those days when airlines and the ANSPs feared a mass-invasion of Very Light Jets and required a new rule which would impede the operators of these aircraft and reduce their competiveness. But the VLJ alarm was called off years ago, as the bubble imploded. The announced revolution has turned into a calm and discrete replacement of ageing piston aircraft by new turboprops and jets. The manufacturers and VLJ operators disappeared, and what has remained are the OPS-NCC rules. A clear anachronism.
AOPA Italy Trying to Overcome Milan Expo VFR Flying Ban
AOPA Italy has campaigned successfully to modify the implementation of the Single European Rules of the Air (SERA) regulation in the country, as it applied to flight plans, in what it describes as “a considerable victory.” Essentially The SERA regulation was poorly translated by the Italian authorities leading to it re-establishing, after 22 years, the compulsory filing of a written flight plan at least one hour before every flight in controlled airspace (even in case of a CTR crossing). Italian authorities admitted the error and modified it rapidly, with the introduction of the “Piano di Volo Abbreviato” (abbreviated form FP).
A different but no less serious situation has arisen in relation to World Expo 2015 in Milan, which is running from 1st May to 31st October. Shocking TV images and newspapers reports followed attacks in the town by hooligans and terrorists. However, according to the Italian CAA, General Aviation presents a far more serious risk: on the basis of a TV program imagining a “possible” attack by air on the Expo, the police authority, supported by the CAA, decided to close all the airspace around the Expo to VFR and, consequently, the only airport of the town open to GA traffic.
Italy expects more than 20 million tourists to visit the Expo. Yet those willing to fly their own airplane are apparently not welcome! AOPA Italy has immediately taken action by suggesting a viable alternative to the authorities, acceptable to most pilots. The authorities have shown interest in our proposal but so far AOPA Italy has not received a decision.
Estonia Becomes 74th IAOPA Affiliate
The Board of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) approved full membership for the Estonian Private Pilots Association to join IAOPA as the affiliate in Estonia, making the organization the 74th IAOPA affiliate member.
The Estonian Private Pilots Association is headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia and is a not-for-profit association dedicated to uniting persons engaged in non-commercial aviation activities and interested in hobby aviation in the Republic of Estonia.
Mr. Raul Reap serves as president of the association. The Estonian Private Pilots Association will be included in IAOPA’s European Region and is committed to promoting the importance of general aviation to the public.
City Plan Shows Threat to EFHF in Helsinki
Helsinki-Malmi Airport (EFHF) is by flight movements the second busiest airport in Finland and one of the best-preserved civil airports from the early days of commercial aviation. However it is threatened by ambitions to turn the airport into a residential area. The newly completed Helsinki city master plan draft proposes new construction, especially for the Malmi Airport area.
Malmi Airport offers the greater Helsinki area of more than a million people an international airport for GA, an active recreation and hobby oasis, a venue for public aviation events, and a chance to train to become aviation professionals. The historically valuable milieu also serves with distinction the border guard, the rescue department, the air force and the police. In addition, the airport is a spacious nature reserve and bird oasis in northeastern Helsinki.
Helsinki City is clearly playing against the odds because several studies and research reports predict that growth of GA will be enormous in the future. For this reason it is essential to save EFHF to help the Finnish economy to recover from the economical downturn. The country’s inadequate public transport and deteriorating main roads and highways are not good enough to serve the economy, where links between Helsinki and other parts of Finland are so important.
AOPA Finland has been campaigning (with other parties) against the new master plan. The latest action was a statement to Helsinki City against the plan for the Helsinki-Malmi airport area.
AOPA Romania Raises Profile of GA
On February 16th, AOPA Romania organized a two-hour workshop on “VFR Flight in FIR Bucuresti” that proved to be a huge success. More than 90 people attended – 30 AOPA members, 29 air traffic controllers, guests and two commercial partners (Pilotshop, and Fortis watches).
AOPA Romania invited its partners RATCA – Romanian Air Traffic Controllers Associations – to join it at the event and have a technical presentation about the VFR flight from the ATC perspective. The positive response to the event means that it will now be held on a regular base – with a three-month frequency. The next event will have as its guest the other major ATC authority, the military.
On February 24 AOPA Romania attended a meeting of the Aviation Committee at the Ministry Of Transportation, giving a speech addressed to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Ioan Rus, aimed at making him aware that GA exists in Romania and asking him to impose lower airport fees and to press on with the AIP for VFR. All the major actors in Romanian aviation are members of this Committee, on which AOPA Romania has two seats.
AOPA Romania also has a voice on the Committee that is finalising the new Single European Rules of the Air and had some amendments that advocate the importance of the GA. Before the start of the committee AOPA had a one-hour meeting with the Deputy Director of the CAA, Mr. Tudorel Roman, to find a solution to a problem created by a CAA regulation whereby the AOPA Crew Member Certificate became invalid at Romanian Airports. The CAA regulation is not against AOPA, but this aspect has adversely affected members. AOPA Romania and the CAA are collaborating on finding a solution.
Finally, on 17th February the first female pilot enlisted in the ranks of AOPA Romania. She is an aerobatic pilot hired today by the National Airclub.
Airspeed vs. Angle of Attack - What Pilots Need to Understand!
From Airsoc.com: Most pilots don’t really understand the relationship between airspeed and angle of attack. If they did, we would not have the loss of control accidents that we do. We fly strictly by numbers because we were taught that way. Very few flight instructors have any experience or knowledge in this area. What really matters here: airspeed or angle of attack? For every flight operation where we use a certain airspeed to achieve maximum performance, there is one correct AOA. That AOA never changes, but the airspeed to achieve it does. All the time. Unfortunately, we are usually only given airspeeds that apply to a very specific set of circumstances. These speeds are only correct at gross weight and 1G. Read More
IAOPA Regional Meeting in Norway a Great Success!
IAOPA representatives from around Europe met in Sandesfjord, Norway (near Torp Airport, to the south-west of Oslo) on Saturday 2nd May. Martin Robinson, IAOPA Europe senior vice president, said it was a great honour to chair the meeting, which was also attended by IAOPA secretary general Craig Spence.
“We come together to discuss the regulations that are put together in Brussels and enacted in Cologne, and try to come to a common consensus – sometimes this is easy, sometimes it’s difficult. But we try to recognise difficulties where they exist.” He stressed how important it was to recognize the role IAOPA HQ in Washington played, including through its permanent representation at ICAO. To this end, Frank Hoffman, was also present at the meeting.
Craig Spence reported on central IAOPA developments such as Estonia becoming the 74th affiliate, and Bulgaria coming back in following a meeting Spence had at Aero Friedrichshafen. He said that the 2016 IAOPA World Assembly would be held in Chicago, 20-23 July 2016. There would be coordination to allow representatives to visit AirVenture Oshkosh after the event. “It may be worth telling your NAAs and saying it would be wonderful if they joined us too,” said Spence.
Frank Hoffman updated delegates on activities at ICAO. He said to the gathered AOPA representatives, “You have a chance to provide input through IAOPA – a job that isn’t being done very well by the AOPAs but just to let you know that there is a period of time where your own CAAs make a decision…”
He said that IAOPA is represented on the ICAO Flight Operations Panel and the PBN Subgroup. “We also sit on the RPA [Remotely Piloted Aircraft] panel…the thinking at the moment is that the RPAs do not have adequate ‘see and avoid’ capability but the sector is pushing very hard to have access to airspace. So the only solution for them to integrate into the airspace is for ADS-B to be mandated on our aircraft – ADS-B is a good thing but it only works if everyone has it and the equipment is reliable.”
He added that with ICAO being made up of 192 states worldwide, he was in a very good position to speak with CAA delegations to ICAO from around the world. “The opportunity I have and the reason we need to talk is that I can influence from the other ends the delegates your CAA sends, which they cycle through every three years. So I can ask questions of delegations, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Difficult for you to do but easy for me to do on your behalf,” he said.
He noted that 62 percent of ICAO states have a compliance level of less than 50 percent. “So the regulators themselves are not sticking to the conventions they have signed…states are not doing their jobs as they don’t have the competence – so we need to help them more. We are the experts.”
He then noted that “IAOPA is helping to design the training programmes for PBN [Performance Based Navigation]” for GA pilots; and on another matter warned that “The FAA is looking to hand over responsibility for oversight for N-registered aircraft to local NAAs…which is not a good move and will add to the heartache [for aircraft owners.” He said that he would find out more on this when he returned to Montreal.”
A full report of the Norway meeting will appear in the June issue of Aircraft Owner & Pilot magazine, which will be published on the IAOPA.eu website in June.
The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations represents the interests of more than 450,000 pilots and aircraft owners in 74 countries. Formed in 1962, IAOPA is dedicated to promoting the peaceful uses of general aviation and aerial work worldwide. For more information visit www.IAOPA.org, and for IAOPA Europe visit IAOPA.eu. The IAOPA Europe eNews is edited by Ian Sheppard who can be contacted at email@example.com. Tel +44 (0)1737 821409 or +44(0)7759 455770. Please send any contributions to the IAOPA Europe eNews to firstname.lastname@example.org.