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IAOPA Europe news, September 2014 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

EASA moves to revive general aviation 

EASA’s Annual Safety Conference, to be held in Rome in October, is likely to be one of the most important ever for general aviation, and IAOPA Europe will have a strong presence. The conference, which has GA as its focus, comes at a time when the wind of change is running through EASA following the appointment of Patrick Ky as Executive Director. There is an increasing acceptance that GA is over-regulated to the point where its economic survival is compromised and that a new and more proportionate approach is urgently required.
The conference, beginning on October 15, will examine EASA’s “ongoing efforts towards creating a simpler, lighter, better regulatory framework for General Aviation”. A series of panel discussions will stretch over two days, addressing a range of important themes including pilot licensing, airworthiness for small aircraft and other elements of EASA’s GA roadmap.
The conference takes place at the Radisson Blu Es Hotel in Rome by invitation of Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile, the Italian CAA, and it coincides with the Italian Presidency of the European Union. With the Green Party having taken over the EU’s Transport Committee, there’s never been a more critical time for regulators to remove some of the unnecessary burden of red tape under which GA has to operate.
IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson, who has been invited to speak at the conference, has offered EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky the Association’s full support for the changes he intends to make. M Ky is urging national aviation authorities not to ‘gold-plate’ EASA regulation, and the UK CAA has responded by setting up a dedicated email address, in conjunction with AOPA UK, on which instances of gold-plating can be reported.
Among those invited to speak at the conference is British politician Grant Shapps MP, a private pilot who is behind moves in Britain to slash government red tape as it applies to general aviation. Patrick Ky is closely watching developments in the UK, where Shapps and CAA Chief Executive Andrew Haines are driving significant change.

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China - land of opportunity for GA

Only seven days to go to the beginning of the International AOPA World Assembly in Beijing, a conference which will establish resolutions governing AOPA’s priorities for the next two years.
The choice of China for the Assembly reflects the country’s exciting potential for general aviation growth, if airspace can be made available, flight approval procedures improved, and infrastructure provided. AOPA China is at the forefront of moves to create a thriving GA industry in the world’s fastest-growing nation. IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson says: “While China has been investing heavily in general aviation outside its borders, buying such companies as Cirrus, Mooney and Enstrom, it has yet to realise the potential of GA domestically. General aviation could be a significant factor in the growth of China, where in more remote areas the ground transport infrastructure needs improvement. General aviation growth in China lags behind the country’s growth in other areas. We hope that during the World Assembly we can reinforce the idea that China needs more domestic facilities for pilot training and that huge social and economic benefits can flow from easier access to airspace, improved maintenance and engineering facilities and the establishment of the back-up businesses on which the general aviation industry rests.”
The World Assembly runs from September 8 to September 14.

AOPA Greece fights for cost-sharing rights

AOPA Greece has tackled the national aviation authority over its failure to implement European rules on cost-sharing and introductory flights for PPLs in Greece.
Despite EASA rules allowing cost-sharing among a limited number of passengers and subject to strict restrictions, the Greek authorities have yet to make it legal in Greece. Similarly, introductory lessons are considered to be commercial flights.
Today, with regulation (EU) 245/2014 in one hand, and after consultation with IAOPA Europe, AOPA Greece informed the NAA that these flights are now perfectly legal in Greece as well as everywhere else in Europe.
Anton Koutsoudakis of AOPA Greece says they are now in the process of informing all AOPA members, flying schools and clubs about the new possibilities that have opened up as a result of newly-legal introductory lessons and cost-sharing rules.
"We do hope these changes will reduce the burden on the PPL pilot, who has been hit very hard by the economic situation in Greece," Anton says.

NATO Summit flying restrictions 

A temporary airspace restriction is to be put in place around a forthcoming NATO Summit in Newport, Wales, the UK CAA has announced. The restriction, in place from September 3 to September 5, covers a broad area from Bristol in the east to Bridgend in the west, and from Crickhowell in the north to the Somerset coast in the south. The restricted area will extend from surface up to FL105.
The temporary airspace restriction, or RA(T), is being established at the request of UK police as part of the overall security arrangements for the  Summit, which is expected to be attended by a number of heads of state and senior ministers. Aircraft entering the restricted area without authorisation will be subject to interception by police or military.
Restrictions also cover rehearsals for fly-pasts during the NATO summit.

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Airspace classification changes in London

Major changes are to be made this month to controlled airspace in the London area with the reclassification of the London CTR – the Heathrow Zone – from Class A to Class D airspace.
The implementation of Europe’s Standardised Rules of the Air (SERA) means that British authorities can no longer allow VFR and Special VFR flight in Class A airspace, as has been the practice in the past. In particular, helicopters were regularly issued with Special VFR clearance to fly on the London Heliroutes, while other VFR movements were allowed as circumstances permitted.
SERA, however, bans all VFR flight in Class A, so the British have responded by making the whole of the London CRT Class D, in which Special VFR is permitted. The CAA says the “change to Class D therefore offers the best balance between enabling access while ensuring a safe and efficient air traffic environment.” The change takes effect from September 18.
The London CTR is Britain’s busiest airspace, and the CAA stresses that while ATC may be able to offer a service, it will be dependent on workload. The airspace immediately around Heathrow Airport, now known as the ‘inner area’, will be further restricted – prior permission to enter will be required by telephone. The London CTR will be a Transponder Mandatory Zone (TMZ), with Mode S required.
For full details go to http://www.nats.aero/environment/consultations/london-ctr-reclassification/

Countdown to Athens

Athens Flying Week Air Show 2014 runs from September 26 to 28 and coincides with the Regional Meeting of IAOPA Europe in Athens. In just a few years this has become the greatest Air Show in South East Europe. If you're planning to go, have a look at the flight 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 hereThe AOPA pilot office will support also all flights you may plan in Greece between September 15 and October 5. 
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Radio Mandatory Zones - UK clarification

The UK CAA has issued a statement intended to clarify the use of Radio Mandatory Zones following concerns expressed by AOPA that controllers could deny entry to RMZs simply by being slow to answer pilots’ calls. RMZs are becoming popular as a ‘quick and dirty’ alternative to Class D controlled airspace, and a sizeable RMZ has been established around Southend which will affect some cross-Channel traffic. A pilot is required to make two-way contact with ATC before entering an RMZ, but it implies no further restriction or control.
The CAA has moved to dispel fears that controllers can effectively turn an RMZ into de facto Class D by failing to answering calls promptly, leaving pilots unable to enter the RMZ because ‘two-way communication’ had not been established. In response to AOPA’s request for clarification the CAA has stated that in the case of RMZs the pilot will have correctly discharged his or her responsibility to establish two-way communications by “alerting (ATC) to its presence and intentions”. It adds that controllers issuing a request to ‘stand by’ then not coming back to an aircraft as soon as possible is unacceptable.
AOPA UK is watching the operation of the Southend RMX closely to ensure that pilots are not inconvenienced.

Talking points: Feedback Loops

Flying is full of feedback loops. From the moment you decide to commit aviation to the moment you walk away from the aircraft they are at the core, of its joy and its dangers. The one I want to talk about concerned is the outermost one that concerns the pilot him or herself: Their “experience” feedback loop. By this, we are talking about the continual stream of what they have seen, felt, heard and smelt in and around an aircraft that reaches out of the past and spirals into the present. As we’ve already discussed, it does not exist in isolation, but sits within a context of influences...  Read more

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