Book now for the IAOPA World Assembly
AOPA China has extended the ‘early bird’ booking discount for the IAOPA World Assembly in Beijing to August 15, after which full registration fees must be paid. The biennial Assembly will take place at the Kunlun Hotel, from September 8 to 13, 2014.
Working with the IAOPA Secretary General Craig Spence, the AOPA China team have put together an impressive programme of panel discussions and events. General aviation faces many challenges and changes around the world, and for emerging GA in countries like China the most important part of the World Assembly will be the development of IAOPA Resolutions. As these resolutions guide us in our work in the years ahead, the World Assembly offers affiliates the opportunity to shape the future direction of International AOPA. To register for the World Assembly, go to http://www.aopa.org.cn/zt/iaopa/
Changing the Basic Regulation
All AOPAs are urged to look at the Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment to the Basic Regulation 216/2008, which sets out the European Commission’s requirements of EASA. IAOPA has been campaigning for years to have the Basic Regulation amended, and we must seize this opportunity because it won’t come again for at least ten years. The consultation is now running, and the deadline for comment is September 15. The ANPA can be found at http://easa.europa.eu/system/files/dfu/A-NPA%202014-12.pdf
Some European states, like the UK, are taking action to try to alleviate some of the problems raised by EASA regulation, but the answer is to tackle them at source. For example, attempts are being made to smooth the transition of small flight schools from Registered Facilities to Approved Training Organisations, but if the requirement for approval was removed from the Basic Regulation, the whole problem would go away.
At the same time IAOPA is keen to avoid making dramatic changes that would have unforeseen consequences for aviation. There has been discussion in the UK of the potential for a single European aircraft register, which could lead to a situation in which all flights between European countries are classed as domestic, and therefore become liable for fuel taxes which as ‘international’ flights they do not currently pay. So while such issues as the definition of ‘commercial’ desperately need to be changed, we have to keep the law of unintended consequences at the forefront of our minds – especially as the new Chairman of the EU Transport Committee is from the Green Party, and has no love of aviation.
Language Proficiency – help AOPA fight for change
Philippe Hauser of AOPA Switzerland is conducting a survey of implementation problems surrounding the Language Proficiency Requirements in Europe and needs AOPA members to answer his questionnaire at http://new.aopa.ch/public/aopa-switzerland/iaopa-language-proficiency-survey.html
At the last IAOPA-Europe Regional Meeting in Iceland it was agreed that we need to have an accurate overview of the current Language Proficiency Requirement situation in Europe in order to help us formulate a solution which can be proposed at the ICAO meeting this autumn. Philippe has taken on the job of collating the information, in pursuit of the final goal eliminating the most onerous requirements – some of which simply cannot be accomplished – and to ensure that all pilots once again have access to all uncontrolled airfields throughout Europe.
Please help us by answering this questionnaire at your earliest convenience. It only will take you a few minutes. We will then prepare a summary for ICAO.
AOPA syndicate wins SESAR contract
A syndicate including AOPA UK has won a contract from SESAR to create and demonstrate a portable electronic conspicuity aid for general aviation which could retail for less than €1,000. The syndicate involves the British ATC provider NATS – National Air Traffic Services – the German avionics company FUNKE, and the Edinburgh-based GA avionics manufacturer Trig.
AOPA’s function in the syndicate is to carry out airborne trials of a Low Powered ADS-B Transponder (LPAT) made by FUNKE. It is expected that some 180 to 200 hours of flying tests will be required, and AOPA is planning a flight test programme in conjunction with NATS. Tests will also involve a panel-mounted ‘LASE’ system manufactured by Trig.
The aim is to provide GA with an electronic conspicuity system that was satisfy the requirements of all airspace at minimal cost and with no eight and balance considerations for aircraft.
Sweden to suffer new avgas tax regime?
The European Commission is threatening to sue Swedish tax authorities if they continue to rebate taxes on avgas to corporate users. Lars Hjelmberg of AOPA Sweden reports that Brussels is demanding that tax must be levied on those who use avgas for company flights or air transport. While such a change is estimated to bring in only a few hundreds of thousands of euros more in tax, the losses in jobs in revenues in the GA industry would far outweigh them.
The Swedish Treasury Department, which rebates avgas tax to companies at 100%, has begun a consultation on proposed changes and suggests that tax changes should be introduced from July 1 2015. While EU directives are open to interpretation by EU member states, the EU can attempt to enforce them through the courts if it believes a state’s tax regime can disadvantage other states.
The EC’s insistence on conformity could eventually lead to a situation where training or commercial positioning flights did not qualify for fuel tax rebates as they are not ‘transportation for remuneration’. Much needs to be clarified about the EC’s intentions and the effect of their demands on the industry.
Tagging and tracking for GA
IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson spent much of the Farnborough Air Show explaining general aviation and its problems to the international media.
In particular, news outlets were interested in the tagging of aircraft and electronic conspicuity following the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines 777 in the Indian Ocean. Using a Cirrus SR22, Martin explained to the French TV news channel France 24 the workings of transponders and ADS-B.
While Farnborough is no longer a general aviation show, it attracts the media like no other aviation event, and it’s important to capitalise on the opportunities.
Picture shows Martin (right) with French TV crew and Cirrus.
Channel Islands EASA anomaly
The situation of the Channel Islands – a UK Crown Dependency which is not part of the European Union – is causing concern for AOPA UK. Under EASA, the islands are effectively a ‘third country’ and their companies are subject to the same rules and charges as companies in, say, the United States. A Florida flight school was recently quoted €39,000 for approvals to run two training courses for European licences. The concern is that Channel Islands flight schools will also be required to pay impossibly high fees to train pilots. IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson raised the issue at a UK government meeting, but received no satisfactory answer.
The problem could also affect ‘fifth freedom’ rights for airlines based in the Channel Islands, who would be unable to fly between UK or European destinations because they were classed as third country operators.
Jersey runway change
As of October 16 Jersey’s runway will be re-designated 08/26, having been 09/27 since 1952. Work on changing the runway markings starts on September 15.
Flying to the islands became easier this year when the entire CI CTR below FL080 was changed from Class A to Class D airspace, allowing for higher cruising levels for VFR traffic, and allowing holders of the UK IMC/IRR to exercise the privileges of their ratings.
Jersey Aero Club, who are responsible for GA handling for aircraft below 3000 kgs, have announced that their regular summer opening hours are now extended until 1930 BST. With notice, they will stay open later at no extra charge. The landing fees are £4.10 per tonne for each arrival and departure, so a PA28 pilot would pay £16.40 for his or her visit. Parking for up to seven days is free. Jersey Aero Club charges an administration fee of £10, in exchange for which you get a one-stop facility for GA, use of the club, its bar and catering services, dedicated flight planning and customs computers, and help in organising hotels and hire cars.
For information see the CI CTR website at www.cicz.co.uk.
AFW – Athens Flying Week
It’s the final countdown. Less than two months from now the Athens Flying Week Air Show 2014 will take place, from September 26 to 28, at Athens Tatoi airport, reports Anton Koutsoudakis of AOPA Greece.
This is the greatest Air Show in the South East Europe. Those of you who are planning to come and taste what will be cooking up in Athens during those days should read carefully the planning instructions at www.aopa.gr and at www.athensflyingweek.gr
AOPA Greece operates a pilot assistance office to answer all your questions – contact Mrs Marina here.
The AOPA pilot office will support also all flights you may plan in Greece between September 15 and October 5. See you on Athens!
The Risk of Outcomes – thoughtful safety articles on Airsoc.com
To make mistakes is considered innately human and an integral part of our development as people. Risk is the dark force that has been stalking these discussions and it is an activation of the underlying connecting roulette wheels of chance that occurs when we make a decision. The consequences are determined by physical laws that intertwine to give a result, an outcome, which may or may not be commensurate with human comfort or even survival, but don't expect the numbers to care. Mistakes however come in two varieties...
Read more here