GA Exemptions for Rescue and Firefighting Requirements
IAOPA has for a long time been working with ICAO to get alleviations for GA with respect to rescue and firefighting requirements which in some cases creates challenges for smaller airfields servicing GA.
The problem has been aggravated after common EU airport requirements went into effect, since an airport which is subject to EU regulation is required to establish full rescue and firefighting service (RFF) for a small GA aircraft to take-off or land. This has caused significant reductions in service and increase in costs at some regional airfields, but now there seems to be progress at all levels:
Frank Hofman, IAOPAs representative at ICAO, report that ICAO at its latest meeting in the Airport Design and Operations Panel decided to propose an exemption in the ICAO standards for aerodromes that would exclude GA from the requirement for rescue and firefighting. Also, both EASA and several national authorities at a recent meeting in the EASA GA Committee recognised the problem, and lately the Danish CAA issued a general exemption for GA so regional airfields in Denmark can now again serve General Aviation without PPR and huge fees for rescue and firefighting service:
After EU airport regulation went into effect some airfields have imposed a PPR requirement and very significant fees for operations at hours of low traffic density. For instance Roskilde, the main GA airport in the Copenhagen area, would charge a new and additonal fee of well over 1.000 Euro for a Cessna 172 to take-off or land at night just to recover the cost of maintaining full rescue and firefighting capacity. Even for those willing to pay, the availability of required staff on short notice could not be guaranteed.
This kind of fee is prohibitive for most of GA and pilots have instead moved operations to smaller nearby airfields which are not subject to the EU RFF requirement. The effect on safety was obviously quite unfortunate: rather than taking off from a towered airfield with a controller who could alert municipal rescue service, the same operation would now take place from a completely unmanned grass strip with nobody on the ground to call for rescue in case need be.
AOPA Denmark has worked with both regional airports and the Danish CAA to find a solution and the Danish CAA has now issued an exemption so GA can continue to operate from EU regulated airports without the airport beeing obliged to establish full RFF. The exemption can be found here.
AOPA HOLDS 29TH WORLD ASSEMBLY IN NEW ZEALAND
Leaders of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), representing more than 400,000 general aviation aircraft owners and pilots, convened in New Zealand in March for their twenty-ninth biennial World Assembly to discuss challenges facing the general aviation community around the globe. The assembly highlighted global medical reform, new and emerging technologies, benefits of PBN, and challenges and opportunities with UAS.
‘As the reach for IAOPA continues to expand, the voice of general aviation has never been more united than it is this year gathering in New Zealand,’ said IAOPA President Mark Baker of the bi-annual meeting. ‘We all come from different places and face unique challenges, but we all share a common passion for flight,’ Baker told the delegates.
The World Assembly produced a series of resolutions to guide IAOPA and its affiliates moving forward. Significant among the 11 resolutions were initiatives related to medical reform, new and emerging technologies and ADS-B.
‘Our work here will help advance general aviation long after we've all returned home to our own countries,’ Baker said in World Assembly closing remarks. ‘I want to thank each of you for your participation, contributions, and support of IAOPA and our shared interests.’
The full text of all IAOPA World Assembly resolutions and presentations will be posted shortly to the IAOPA website at www.iaopa.org. Courtesy AOPA US
AOPA HELLAS HOSTS EASA “GA ROADMAP” SEMINAR
AOPA Hellas, in conjunction with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), hosted a “General Aviation Roadmap” conference on January 22, 2018 and the program was a very large success. The purpose of the event was to inform the Hellenic and European general aviation community on the significant changes being introduced by EASA as they continue to implement the General Aviation Roadmap. Over 85 representatives of the general aviation community in Greece attended the event, and an additional 1,500 watched the event as it was live streamed on the AOPA Hellas Facebook page. This marks the first time that such an event has been provided on the web for those that were unable to attend in person.
The General Aviation Roadmap is a high priority for EASA and they are dedicating efforts and resources toward creating simpler, lighter, and better rules for general aviation in Europe. Recognizing the importance of general aviation and its contribution to a safe European aviation system, EASA in partnership with the European Commission and stakeholders like IAOPA is working to implement a more proportional, flexible and proactive regulatory system for general aviation. More information about the Roadmap can be found on EASA’s webpage.
In addition to the conference, a delegation from IAOPA and EASA met with senior officials within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport to explain the importance of general aviation in Greece and Europe, and discuss efforts to adopt a more general aviation friendly regulatory environment within Greece. Meetings were held with the Minister Hellenic Republic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Christos Spirtzis, Deputy Infrastructure and Transport Mr. Nikos Mavraganis, and representatives of the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Accident Investigation & Aviation Safety Board. For more details on the event, contact AOPA Hellas.
Vintage Air Rally Beach Stol Competition in Belgium
The World's first aircraft Short Take Off & Landing (STOL) competition on sand is set to take place in Belgium this summer. It is expected to attract pilots from all over the globe and establish some new world records. This first event, the ‘Vintage Air Rally International STOL Competition' will take place on the beach of the fashionable spa town of Knokke-Heist, Belgium. Pilots will engage in precision of, sometimes hair-raising, landing and take-off manoeuvres with the shortest distance being the winner. The ultimate goal is to establish some new world records at this spectacular aviation event!
Set to take place from the 14th to 17th June 2018, the competition is not only for modern specialized 'bush planes', it is also for the iconic visually stunning vintage biplanes. The STOL aircrafts taking part are designed to land where there is essentially little or no runway. And while the pilots and planes will be used to the rough and tumble of bush flying they will have relatively smooth landings on the sand of a fine Belgian beach.
Throughout the event there will be exhibitors on the beachfront at Knokke-Heist for competitors and the thousands of spectators expected to attend to visit. VintageAirRally will also establish a temporary exclusive 'Pilot's Club' on the sand. The Pilots' Club will be holding a series of events throughout the day and evening, with guest speakers from the world of aviation in Belgium and around the world.
There will be numerous categories to enter, from vintage biplanes last seen in action in the 1920's and 30s, to up-to-date aircrafts ("bush planes") that can land in wildest locations. The winner of each category will be awarded a prize at this first ever STOL and beach landing competition in Belgium. This event is organized with the assistance of Knokke-Heist Municipality & Tourism. For more information or to register visit their website.
Meandair asks for support to develop a synthetic 4D weather forecasting radar
Meandair, a start-up from the Netherlands, is developing a synthetic 4D weatherforecasting radar with a smart route advisor. This technology is able to rapidly compute efficient flight routes around moving adverse weatherconditions. More information on this can be found on Meandair’s webiste http://www.meandair.com/.
The technology will have applications in flight planning operations, as well as being directly usable for pilots to make tactical decisions during their flights. At the moment, Meandair is focussing on the latter. . The company is funded by the European Space Agency and the Netherlands Space Office and they are now performing a technological and market feasibility study for this service together with other partners (the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and Science [&] Technology BV). As a part of this effort, they designed a questionnaire for aviation pilots in which they are collecting information regarding various operational scenarios related to navigation through, and around, adverse weather conditions you, the aviation pilots, experience in your flight planning and during your flights.
It would be great if you could find the time to help Meandair develop this project. You can access the questionnaire directly here.
Meandair was started in 2015 by Peter Novák and Antonín Komenda, two accomplished computer scientists and aviation enthusiasts based in Delft, The Netherlands and Prague, Czech Republic. They managed to establish the company earlier this year together with partners.
Marcel Felten has passed away
Sad news from our friends in Luxembourg. Marcel Felten, our former IAOPA-Europe Senior Vice President, who held the position from 1992 to 1999, died on the 9th of January 2018. He was a highly respected colleague and leader due to his knowledge of, and passion for, aviation, and because of his straight-forward and likable character. We will honestly miss Marcel, and cannot even begin to imagine the loss his family feels.
EUROCAE AND IAOPA COLLABORATE TO INCLUDE GENERAL AVIATION IN DEVELOPMENT OF STANDARDS
EUROCAE and the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) formalized and signed agreements on March 26th concerning the inclusions of general aviation in the development of standards in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The collaboration between EUROCAE and IAOPA Europe will focus on the exchanging of general and technical information; sharing of expertise and best practices; participating in each other's working groups; and coordinating communication activities.
IAOPA Secretary General Craig Spence said, ‘It's great to see that general aviation will have a strong voice and representation in issues that are impacting the community every day. We applaud EUROCAE for their willingness to include IAOPA in developing these standards and look forward to a long lasting and successful alliance.’
Christian Schleifer, EUROCAE's Secretary General, said: ‘IAOPA is filling the gap in our standard developing activities, representing the general aviation as a sector with specific needs and a large community of airspace users - the private pilots, which is needed to shape the standards to comply with the regulation. As an active private pilot myself, I couldn't see a better fit for this role as IAOPA and I'm personally very happy to work with the IAOPA team in this partnership.’
The new partnership will allow EUROCAE to benefit from the practical aviation expertise of the IAOPA membership in the drafting of new standards while simultaneously addressing global aviation challenges.
EASA publishes the 2018-2022 European plan for Aviation Safety
The European Aviation Safety Agency published the 2018-2022 European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS), which also includes the Agency's rulemaking program. The EPAS, a key component of the European Aviation Safety Program, provides a coherent and transparent framework for safety work at European level, helping the identification of major safety risks and defining the actions to take. It also supports the Member States of the European Union to implement their State Safety Programs and facilitates the sharing of best practice and knowledge.
This year's edition of the EPAS includes EASA's strategy in the areas of International Cooperation and Technical Training. Patrick Ky, EASA Executive Director stated that "safety actions need to be coordinated more than ever at regional and international levels, which explains the growing role played by regional safety oversight organizations in the field of aviation and the pivotal activity of EASA in this domain".
In addition, the EPAS 2018-2022 includes several new research projects, which illustrates the growing importance of Research in the EU policies as an enabler to enhance safety.
The implementation of the plan has already been extended to European states not under the EASA umbrella. EASA is working closely with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of the United Nations to extend its scope to the 56 States that are part of the ICAO European and North Atlantic region.
The EPAS also has a chapter specifically dedicated to General Aviation. So far it covers the topics Airspace Infringements, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods and the Dissemination of Safety Messages. The EPAS and related materials are available on the EPAS page on EASA's website.
Invitation to participate in the Hans Gutmann Tourist Rally 2018
Jean Birgen from AOPA Luxemburg is inviting European AOPA pilots to participate in the renowned Memorial Hans Gutman Tourist Rally Flight 2018.
Every year pilots from all over Europe fly across nice countries together, paying tribute to famous Austrian aviator Hans Gutmann, who organized many long-range trips. Jean Birgen, as technical adviser FAI-GAC, has taken initiative in organizing the annual memorial long range rally. A team of individuals has volunteered to help organize the rally: Mihail Kornev, secretary general, Artem Kirillov, project manager, and Pierre Lorang, accomodation and tourism.
The last rally, which was held in 2017, was from Luxembourg to St. Petersburg in Russia, via Scandinavian and Baltic countries. Twelve aircrafts participated and made this event a success.
The 2018 rally will be taking place in Eastern Europe, culminating in Venice, Italy. Proposed dates are from the 13th till 22nd of July under the partnership: Luxembourg, Let’s make it happen!, and the International Aeronautical Federation, FAI-GAC.
The starting point will be Luxembourg, or your own homebase of course. First meeting point is Jakabzallas in Hungary, at the famous aerohotel (LHJK). Plans are to visit the following destinations in various Eastern European countries: Hungary (Jakabzallas or Hertelendy-Kastely), Moldova (Chisisnau), Ukraine (Odessa), Romania (Constanta), Bulgaria (Bourgas), Serbia (Niš), Croatia (Zadar) and Slovenia (Slovenj Gradec) or Italy (Venice). For more information please go to: http://www.hansgutmannrally.eu/
IAOPA EUROPE BRIEFS MEMBERS OF EU PARLIAMENT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF GENERAL AVIATION
On 10 January 2018, IAOPA, in conjunction with the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the European Regional Aerodromes Community (ERAC) hosted an informational lunch for members and staff of the EU Commission. The event took place at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was organized and hosted by Ismail Ertug, who is a member of the Transport Committee. The event focused on the importance of regional air traffic in Europe, the benefits it can bring, and the political and administrative obstacles it has to overcome.
The first speaker was Dörthe Hausmann, managing director of Rostock-Laage Airport, who spoke on behalf of ERAC. She described the costs that a regional airport has to deal with because of various new regulations. The central problem is that all costs must be passed on to the users, which starts a dangerous price spiral even if the airport is working efficiently. As prices rise, the demand decreases; if the demand decreases, the cost per flight gets even higher. Although regional airports are described as important infrastructural facilities for remote regions, for several years they have been purely business-oriented.
Rob Baltus and Andreas Mundsinger from EBAA spoke on behalf of business aviation. They showed the benefits and flexibility of general aviation, which leads to time and productivity gains for general aviation users. Business Aviation yearly creates 100,000 city connections in Europe. By comparison, scheduled commercial air transport only provide for around 30,000 connections.
IAOPA Senior VP Michael Erb (AOPA Germany) pointed out that general aviation, with access to over 5,000 airports in Europe, offers a more robust infrastructural network than scheduled commercial air transport. However, in comparison to the USA, the IFR approach procedures, which would permit weather-independent flights, are still lacking. General aviation airports with all-weather capabilities are essential to the safety and efficiency of general aviation in Europe. On a positive note, Erb noted that the European GNSS Agency is working to set up GPS-based approach procedures for general aviation airports, but many nation-states are reluctant to participate. The support of MEPs is enormously important to reverse this trend.
This info-lunch was very well attended with over 40 participants and provided general aviation associations in Europe an opportunity to clearly position themselves and make their voices heard by the European decision-makers.