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IAOPA Europe Enews  October 2020 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

IAOPA World Assembly Montreal rescheduled for 2022

The 2020 IAOPA World Assembly in Montreal, Canada will be rescheduled for July 18 – July 22, 2022 due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given this new date, we are hopeful the pandemic will be behind us, travel restrictions will be lifted, and the aviation industry will be on an upward trajectory towards recovery.  We are grateful that our IAOPA host affiliate from Canada, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), will not incur any fees for rescheduling to July 2022.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2022 World Assembly in Montreal!


Difficulties ahead for British pilots in regard to Brexit

The 31 December 2020 is fast approaching and with that the end of the EU/UK transition period for Brexit.
As far as we know from the 1 January 2021 the British CAA will continue to accept EASA licences, ratings and certificates for a further two years (31.12.2022).  This means that CAA-issued EASA part-FCL will remain valid and as it meets the requirements of ICAO Annex I British private pilots will still be able to venture beyond the shores of the UK if they want to.

The big change is in respect of commercial licences from CPL to ATPL, as from next year they will be issued by the UK CAA, which in effect means that these licences will only apply to those individuals seeking to work for a UK AOC holder which is the law in any case.  That is not to say that a UK CAA professional licence cannot be accepted elsewhere in the world, it does mean that there is no automatic acceptance by an EU State and what EU States require will depend on experience.  British individuals thinking of gaining a professional licence will need to consider who they want to work for, assuming that they have the right to live and work in another EU country, as that will no longer be automatic right.

It is understood that the CAA/DfT are participating in high level discussions with EASA/EU and are discussing a BASA (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement) which may have several annexes, one of which is seeking to achieve mutual recognition of licences between the UK and the EU, however we are also being told that the EU is not, at this stage, willing to discuss licences. We will see how these discussions develop in the near future.

There is likely to be an impact for some schools as they decide whether to opt for an EASA approval or not. There are some unknown costs here which don’t seem to be insignificant.  As they will also need to continue with their CAA approvals, the schools will have two lots of approval fees to consider when looking at their business model. Instructors and examiners will also have the ability to hold dual approvals at the same time, but that too adds to their costs and as with any business all costs get passed on to the customer.  This change is not likely to make the UK more competitive in the world for flight training.

So, there are some difficult decisions ahead for many, with no clear view of the future relationship between the EU/UK. This could all change by the end of the year but for now the UK Government’s message is - To plan for the worst and to hope for the best.


Drones done right: UK testing integration of drones with manned GA traffic

The first flight tests to combine unmanned aerial drones flying from an airport with regular manned air traffic will be conducted in UK airspace early next year by the newly launched Aircraft Innovation Center in Goodwood, Sussex. The UK government has awarded funding for the project.

The live trial shows Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations in non-segregated airspace. Drone operations management company ANRA Technologies, air traffic management company Trax International and avionics supplier uAvionix are participating in the project.

When flying unmanned BVLOS drones in the UK, a temporary danger zone (TDA) must be set up to separate them from other aircraft. However, as the use of unmanned drones grows, TDAs are considered impractical and pose a security risk. The project aims to provide a working environment for unmanned drones that do not require a TDA. This means that a so-called 'detection and avoidance' (D&A) is demonstrated in the unmanned drones and data on all airspace users is presented to the drone operator.
To be considered successful, its (D&A) capability must be as good or superior to seeing and avoiding conventional aircraft under Visual Flight Rules.
These drone technologies will be harmonized on ANRA's drone traffic management system to improve safety and enable BVLOS operations. The project will also take advantage of the UK CAA's intention to use 978 MHz as a second ADS-B frequency (automatic dependent surveillance broadcast) to share surveillance and flight information data with other airspace users.

The live trial is being conducted from the Aviation Innovation Center, which opened last month at Goodwood Aerodrome in Sussex. While other tests with BVLOS have taken place in the UK, this will be the first to be conducted from an aerodrome in live airspace.
The introduction of systems that integrate flying unmanned drones into existing airspace, known as Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems, is seen by industry insiders as a project with a number of challenges. Issues include the predicted volume of unmanned drone operations in both controlled and uncontrolled airspace, which could be comparable or even greater on a scale to current manned air traffic.
In addition, UTM requires that situational awareness of all aircraft operations be shared in an efficient and effective manner between manned aircraft operators and unmanned drone operators.

Drones done wrong: Danmark cut in two by 150km long drone corridor

A 150km long drone corridor has just been approved by the Danish CAA. It will strech from the surface up to 6.500ft and be activated in heightbands of 3000ft. It is implemented as a restricted area meaning that manned aviation will not be able to cross the airspace when active.

On days with a cloud base less than 3000ft the corridor blocks low-level flights and effectively cuts the country in two. For instance the drone corridor blocks the route flown several times daily by the commercial sea-plane service between the country's two biggest cities, Copenhagen and Aarhus. To get around, manned aviation will have to fly a detour of up to a 100nm. 

When the upper levels of the drone corridor are active, single-engine aircraft will be prevented to get sufficient altitude to obtain a safe gliding distance, so ultimately the consequences could be fatal.

The drone corridor was approved in record-time despite loud protests from both AOPA Denmark and other associations representing manned aviation. These voices have all asked for the corridor to respect the fundamental U-space principles, so that manned aviation is not banned from the area and so that drones and manned aircraft can share the same airspace. 

The corridor is initially foreseen to be active one day per month, increasing later on to one day per week.


Join our Facebook Page and/or Facebook Group

We have started a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group. People familiar with the social media (which we all are, aren’t we) will know what we are talking about.
The Facebook Page is a bit more official. Anybody who becomes a member can place news or other messages about General Aviation in Europe on the page.
The Facebook Group is meant for discussion and is open to any AOPA member who feels like sharing opinions and ideas about GA in Europe.
So if you have anything to tell your fellow private pilots about flying in your country, don’t hesitate to join the Group and start communicating with the GA community in Europe.

Click here for the FB Page and here for the FB Group.

Diamond DA50 RG EASA certified

Austrian aircraft manufacturer Diamond Aircraft announces that its DA50 RG has been certified by EASA. The innovative Diamond DA50 RG has retractable landing gear, five seats and a Continental CD-300 diesel engine with twin turbocharger. The aircraft is built entirely from composite materials. The DA50 Super Star has been in development at Diamond Aircraft since the beginning of this century and made its maiden flight in 2007. Until now it never got to production or certification. But after such a long preparation time, the market is expecting a very special Super Star soon.




EASA certifies first electric engine

A few weeks before EASA certified the electrically powered Pipistrel Velis Electro, another milestone was reached in this area. An electric aircraft engine was also certified by EASA for the first time. This engine, type E-811, model 268MVLC, was developed by Pipistrel, just like the Velis Electro. The power of the engine is 57.6 kW at 2500 rpm (Maximum Take-off Power - max. 90 seconds) and 49.2 kW at 2350 rpm (Maximum Continuous Power).


US General Aviation sales numbers collapsed due to Covid-19

The American Association of Aircraft Manufacturers for General Aviation (GAMA) has announced that delivery to customers of GA aircraft completely collapsed in the first half of 2020. The number of aircraft with tuboprops delivered decreased by 34.2% (152 in the first half of 2020 compared to 231 in 2019), the number of aircraft with piston engines decreased by 13.3% (497 compared to 573) and the number of business jets with 26.7% (244 vs. 333).


The number of helicopters delivered decreased even further: 45.2% fewer helicopters with piston engines were delivered (63 compared to 115) and 37.1% fewer helicopters with turbine engines (188 compared to 299). Naturally, Covid-19 is cited as the main reason for this decrease.



Please keep us informed about the aviation news in your country

If you have any news or things that you would like to share with pilots in other countries - for instance if you organize a Fly-in that might be of interest or if there is news about airports or new rules and regulations in your country that other pilots should know - please don't hesitate to send all your news to me, Gerrit Brand | Netherlands | email:, telephone or whatsapp + 31 6 50831893.