IAOPA Europe Enews July 2012 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

IAOPA sets out its stall on PPL licensing to the US and Europe 

IAOPA-Europe and AOPA-US have made a joint presentation to an EASA-FAA conference on harmonisation of licences between America and Europe which it is hoped will lead to a simple, low-cost route to recognition of qualifications at the PPL level across the Atlantic. Craig Spence of AOPA US and Martin Robinson of AOPA UK outlined IAOPA's position on licensing to European and American delegates at a conference in Cleveland, Ohio, which is part of the process of establishing bilateral agreements on aviation between the continents. Both sides have agreed to make action on recognition of private pilots licences a priority.
IAOPA is asking that recognition processes be kept simple, and that unless there are serious safety issues to address, the regulations of one authority should hold good in the territory of the other once they have been validated. Validation is important because it allows a national authority in Europe to 'take ownership' of an individual's qualifications, and to amend or suspend them as necessary – something national authorities complain they cannot currently do.
In an ideal world, the holder of an American PPL would be able to take a European Air Law exam, have it certificated by a local examiner and pay a small fee to a national authority before it can be used in Europe. In the case of holders of FAA Instrument Ratings, they could be validated for use in Europe on the condition that the holder undergo an annual check ride with an instructor. European authorities look on the rolling renewal system used by the Americans as a game-stopper and an annual renewal may be the price that has to be paid for recognition.
From the American standpoint, there is a problem with validation because under their law, licences are only valid in the state in which they are issued. If, say, an FAA licence was validated in France, the holder would only be able to fly within the boundaries of France; America does not recognise Europe as a political entity. But the FAA representatives in Cleveland are willing to look at solutions to this problem and Craig Spence will be pursuing the issue. The presentation was positively received by both sides; IAOPA has been asked to write to the FAA and EASA setting out our proposals, and Craig Spence and Martin Robinson are working on that document, which will pertain solely to private licences and ratings – professional tickets will be dealt with separately. 
IAOPA is also talking to the FAA about the position of holders of FAA 61.75 licences, issued on the basis of their European qualifications. These will lapse because they are issued on the basis of the number of your European licence, and this will change when you get an EASA licence. IAOPA is working on ways to get 61.75 licences reissued without the holder having to go through the security clearances and other hassles now involved.

*One more bit of good news: IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson was the winner of a Hawker Beechcraft draw in which business cards were deposited in a glass jar at the conference centre in Cleveland, Ohio and drawn out at the end of the day. The prize was a beautiful model of a Beech Bonanza G36. Martin is pictured here (left) receiving the model from Hawker Beechcraft test pilot Stuart Mochrie.


IAOPA's new Brussels lobbyist starts work today

IAOPA's new lobbyist in Brussels, Lutz Dommel, embarks today on a project to increase awareness and understanding of general aviation among European lawmakers. Modelled on the successful GA Caucus established by AOPA US in Washington, the project  is allied to a programme called 'GA Connecting Europe' which aims to capitalise on the Parliament's strong interest in freedom of movement between states as a basis for understanding and trade.
The appointment of a full-time lobbyist comes at a time when EASA is showing encouraging signs of flexibility in its approach to general aviation and is giving positive support to the French-led group which will propose new ground rules for the regulation of the non-commercial end of the industry.
Lutz Dommel is a former employee of several members of the European Parliament who set up a consultancy in Brussels and is well acquainted with MEPs and their staffs. He is also a private pilot who keeps his own aircraft just outside Brussels. Lutz is armed with IAOPA statistics which show that across Europe, some 155,000 people depend for their livelihoods, directly and indirectly, on general aviation.

New hope for AOPA Lebanon pilots 

Following a series of meetings with AOPA Cyprus and IAOPA, the authorities in Cyprus have removed obstacles which had the effect of making it impossible for pilots from Lebanon to fly into Larnaca and on to other destinations worldwide. The blockages, many of them security-related, have been relaxed to the point where any Lebanese pilot, pre-cleared by AOPA Lebanon, can fly to Cyprus with 72 hours notice. The Cypriots have agreed to work on reducing this to 24 hours. At the same time, moves have begun to reduce landing and handling fees at Larnaca from €450 to around €112. While these fees are still on the high side, they will have the effect of encouraging private flights between Lebanon and Cyprus, which have been almost 

moribund for several years. The new head of the Cypriot CAA is a former general aviation pilot with some 800 hours experience and an understanding of the problems GA faces, and the low risk it represents. Cypriot officials are pictured above with IAOPA representatives from Germany, the UK, Lebanon and Cyprus. At a time when Cyprus is taking over the Presidency of the European Union, it is good to be able to report some positive aviation news from the island. 
Clearance to fly into Cyprus at affordable cost is a huge boon to AOPA Lebanon pilots, who have effectively been confined to their country because of problems at Larnaca. Pilots have been reduced to flying local sorties from Beirut - the two other airfields in Lebanon are military-only. With the prospect of being able to fly only one hour to Cyprus opening up, the Lebanese have ordered two brand new glass cockpit Cessna 172s. AOPA Lebanon will do the pre-entry clearances, sending the names and details to Cyprus three days ahead for flights to be pre-authorised.
Martin Robinson, who took part in the negotiations, said: "We are now working with the airport to get the landing and handling down from €450 to a more sensible level, and the target price is €112. The airport wants a couple of weeks to sort this out with the handling agent and we believe we will get some progress there.
"The Cypriot aythorities, from the Minister of Transport and the Head of the CAA on down, have been very helpful and there is a lot of goodwill between all parties. The airport is keen to see more traffic coming through, so everyone is a winner. To pilots outside Lebanon it may seem onerous to have to arrange on a Wednesday to fly on the Satuday, but that is a huge improvement on the situation before today, and we will be working to reduce the notice period further." 

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EASA and twin turboprop safety

IAOPA-Europe is joining with small aerodromes and the owners of twin turbine aircraft to roll back a new EASA requirement for accelerate-stop distances for non-commercial operations. The regulation would make it impossible for private twin turboprops to use airfields from which they have flown safely for years and could force some owners to downgrade to single turboprops or piston twins, with a significant reduction of safety.
IAOPA fought against the new regulation throughout the consultation period, saying such requirements have no place in the non-commercial world, but EASA has taken no notice. The accelerate-stop regulations mean an aircraft must be able to accelerate to V1 and decelerate to a stop without running out of runway. EASA says they apply to complex twins like the King Air and the Cheyenne which have a V1 value in their flight manual. While they are fine for commercial flights with paying passengers, pilots flying their own or company aircraft should not be forced out of perfectly adequate airfields by unnecessary rules, with the alternative of downgrading to less safe aircraft.
Dr Michael Erb of AOPA Germany has put forward the case of one of his members who upgraded from a TBM700 to a Piaggio Avanti because the twin is safer during long over-water journeys. EASA is proposing that he be debarred from using the Avanti from his home airfield, which would force him back to the single-engined aircraft. Jacob Pedersen of AOPA Denmark, who has represented IAOPA during EASA consultations on complex non-commercial Ops, says: “It’s an absurdity if, in order to marginally increase safety during five seconds of the takeoff phase, the operator has to accept a lower level of safety during 99.9 percent of the flight.”
EASA claims it is merely applying ICAO standard procedures, but this is untrue. ICAO SARPS apply to turbojets above 5.7 tonnes MAUW; EASA has changed the definition to include many turboprops under 5.7 tonnes. 
Dr Erb says: “Will this rule make flying safer? Definitely not! Will it damage our industry? Definitely yes! IAOPA considers Part NCC as a clear over-regulation with a negative business case and, most importantly, a dangerous reduction of safety in our industry. It is superfluous, and we described it as a masterpiece of bad regulation at the meetings of the group tasked by EASA’s Management Board to produce a paper for a new general aviation strategy. We are making all users of turboprop twins aware of this issue and we ask them to get in touch with us.”

IAOPA-Europe RM moved to Cyprus

The venue and dates for the next Regional Meeting of IAOPA Europe have been changed because of difficulties the original hosts, AOPA Malta, were experiencing over accommodating delegates. 
The new location for the next RM will be Larnaca in Cyprus on October 27, 2012. There are a number of reasons for choosing Cyprus as the alternative, the main one being that they take over the Presidency of the EU today (July 1, 2012.)
Special landing and hotel rates have been negotiated in Larnaca. Malta hopes to be able to host the IAOPA-Europe Regional Meeting early in 2013.

Kavala Air Show 2012

More than 65 light and microlight planes gathered at Kavala airport in Greece for this year's International Air Show on June 22 to 24. Over 30,000 spectators from all over Greece came to Kavala for the event. The highlights of the show were the Red Bull acrobatic helicopter and a microlight seaplane, together with some impressive performances from military helicopters. Participants from Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania took part.
The town of Kavala stands on a curved hillside overlooking the sea, making it the perfect amphitheatre for an air show.
Anton Koutsoudakis of AOPA Greece says: "Kavala Air Show is now an established yearly event. It is actually the only general aviation event in South East Europe. It is hoped that in the next few years it will grow to take its place among the premier general aviation events of Europe."

Midsummer night flying

On June 21st a few private pilots took a trip from Akureyri in northern Iceland to Grímsey, some 22 nm north of mainland Iceland, to celebrate midsummer in their own, unique way. The Artic Circle (66° 33′ 44" north of the equator) lies through Grímsey - or to be more precise, through the northern end of the only runway on the 5.3 square kilometer island. Here the pilot, Birgir Steinar Birgisson, poses with his Ray Bans at 1 am on the Artic Circle.
At the annual Flying Day, Akureyri was the place to be for all pilots. Kristjan Thor Kristjansson came first in the Icelandic aerobatics competition in his Pitts S-2B for the third time. A few rare birds were seen - the local DC-3, TF-NPK, made some low passes and Norlandair's Twin Otter showed everyone what short-field takeoffs and landings should look like.
During the weekend of July 6th, the annual fly-in of the National Aero Club of Iceland will be held at Hella airfield. Many pilots visit for a great time, flying, camping and participating in landing competitions. Foreign guests are always welcome. This year a gyroplane manufacturer is demonstrating his products at the fly-in, a rare treat for the Icelandic pilot community.

*AOPA Finland's Sunny Nights Fly-In ends today, and this year it attracted visitors from the Ukraine for the first time. Running since 2006, it has attracted pilots from Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Latvia and Belgium. AOPA Finland organises the event in conjunction with the Aviation Clubs of Oulu and Pudasjärvi.
AOPA Finland's Esa Harju reports an unusual hazard to aviation on a Finnish airport - a moose loose on the runway. See video of the runway incursion on youtube.

AOPA-Netherlands invites you to Texel in September

The Dutch Light Aircraft Fly-in will be held at Texel Airport from September 7th to 9th and all pilots in Europe are invited. This event is organised jointly by the NVAV (Dutch Homebuilders Association), AOPA Netherlands, KNVvL (Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Luchtvaart) and Texel Airport with the aim of sharing their passion for flying with other pilots. Texel is a beautiful destination, the atmosphere is informal - you can talk flying, enjoy a dinner and drinks and sleep in a tent under the wing of your plane, or in a hotel if you prefer. On Saturday night a BBQ will be organised, followed by a party, while on Sunday morning a joint breakfast is planned at the Airport Hotel. In 2011 the fly-in Saturday was one of the busiest days at Texel, and this year the organisation hopes to improve that record. For more information and registration visit www.flyin.nl

AOPA on Airsoc.com

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