We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2019 with lots of safe flights
IAOPA Europe wishes you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Magical New Year. We hope it will bring you joy and happiness and a lot of safe flying.
A plea for more and better IFR service by Air Traffic Control for GA.
It is no secret that General Aviation (GA) does not have the highest priority level for air navigation service providers in Europe, most likely because they earn their money mainly with the airlines. However we are still shocked to read in Air Traffic Management magazine that NATS Chief Executive Officer Martin Rolfe finds it "perverted" when EASA advocates improved access for IFR flying. His outburst is unfortunately indicative of the way of thinking in the executive offices of many other European air traffic control.
It is quite clear that air navigation services in Europe are currently experiencing many problems. GA is a natural aviation participant though, both under VFR and under IFR conditions. As a monopolist, Air Traffic Control is not allowed to select favorite customers, just because they pay the best. Of course, general aviation is also entitled to the best possible service.
By the way, its quality must not be affected, of course, by the fact that there is a decision, based on infrastructure policy, that particularly light General Aviation aircraft (less than two tonnes MTOM) are exempt from IFR route charges. It is often forgotten that owners of these aircraft pay energy tax on the fuel that lands at the Ministry of Finance. The airlines, however, do not pay a single cent of energy tax - but air traffic control fees.
The number of IFR flights in GA is declining and remains far behind its potential. Because the IFR training is too complicated, because the smaller airfields can only obtain IFR procedures with enormous effort, because the air traffic control does not want to hold capacities in the lower airspace ... there are many reasons. To stop this trend, we need to tackle these causes. Because IFR flying contributes to an increase in flight safety and a more economical and weather-independent use of airfields and aircraft. We associations are now in demand and we will continue to seek dialogue with air traffic controllers and EASA.
Conference in Vienna: EASA wants to promote General Aviation
On 6 and 7 November 2018 an EASA Security Conference on General Aviation took place in Vienna. The event was booked out with about 300 participants. This was the second conference dedicated exclusively to General Aviation after the first EASA event in Rome in 2014 where a "General Aviation Roadmap" was introduced with the aim to reduce the overregulation. The motto at that time was "Lighter, better, simpler rules for General Aviation".
The Executive Director of EASA, Patrick Ky, remains ambitious and stands for a positive development of the GA industry, which will run under the working title “GA Roadmap 2.0”. EASA has set itself two concrete goals. GA, private flying should become safer and more affordable. Two goals that complement each other well, because rising costs also have an immediate negative effect on the pilots' flight activity: they fly less, the level of experience goes down and the risk increases.
But even self-critical sounds were heard. Patrick Ky explained that it is difficult to understand why it should take 6 years to improve the maintenance requirements. The administrative procedures must simply be faster. The European Commission is also aware of the problems. There was a lack of legal experts to publish the regulations. According to Filip Cornelis, head of the aviation department of the EU Commission, this bottleneck has apparently been eliminated and the required legal personnel has been hired.
The aeronautical authorities of France, UK and Austria had a strong presence at the event. The Austrian Minister of Transport Hofer opened the conference on the GA, an industry to which he has a direct personal connection as an active pilot.
A much-debated question was also how to bring along member states that are struggling to implement the new regulations for the GA. EASA said that it needed to become more involved in providing the national authorities with the rules early on. Auditing it every two years and criticizing misconduct is obviously not effective. In terms of licensing, quite a bit has changed for the better: The acquisition of the instrument rating was simplified, the LAPL sells well in the flight schools. Next, EASA plans to simplify the training of new PPL flight instructors, as there is a lack of flight instructors. For this purpose, it is planned to delete the CPL theory as an entry requirement throughout Europe as early as 2019.
Another focus of the discussions was the much needed innovation in the industry. The engines and the airframes have hardly changed in the last five decades. But there are certainly evangelists of a new age in the GA. "Take your children to the airfield, show them the old winged planes, because soon they will not be there anymore" was a full-bodied statement from Ivo Boscarol of the Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel. Frank Anton von Siemens also sees the end of internal combustion engines approaching, the future of GA would be electric, cost-effective and environmentally friendly when operating conventional aircraft
Despite all the enthusiasm for necessary innovations, there are still doubts as to whether the electric planes are actually going to be with us soon. We will not have our old-school aircraft scrapped before the new electric aircraft are mass-produced and delivered.
For IAOPA Michael Erb, Klaus-Peter Sternemann, Gerald Gollob (D), Nick Wilcock, Martin Robinson (UK), Karel Abbenes (NL), Carlos Marti (ESP) and Terje Sande (N) were present.
EASA invites GA Pilots to take part in Exciting VFR into IMC Simulator Experiment
During the EASA Safety Conference in Vienna, EASA made a commitment to creating a Safety Promotion Portal for General Aviation. Work on this has started as part of EASA’s new Safety Promotion Strategy and the strategy will take a new and innovative approach to Safety Promotion. One of the first major initiatives is about VFR flight into IMC conditions targeted to GA pilots.
It is important that we help pilots to understand both how to avoid such situations through effective pre-flight planning and updating their weather knowledge, as well as exploring what actions a pilot can take when such a situation still would occur.
EASA is inviting 12 pilots to take part in a simulator experiment where we will film them flying into IMC conditions with a scenario developed with our flight instructors and weather experts. We will then interview the pilots about what happened and what they felt during the situation. In addition, we will provide a second group of pilots with some basic techniques to help them handle the situation to highlight how pilots can be more prepared for this type of situation.
EASA has just issued a call for interest to GA pilots to join this exciting project, which will take place in March of 2019 (13+14 March). The deadline for application is set for 25th of January 2019. EASA will directly take care of the travel arrangements for the selected pilots to travel to Germany.
Follow the link below to find all the information you need about this great opportunity to support the EASA Safety Promotion efforts:
EASA meeting on New Basic Regulations
Karel Abbenes (AOPA NL) attended the EASA meeting on New Basic Regulation (BR). The meeting was well attended with approx. 275 attendees. The main purpose of the meeting was to explain what the New Basic Regulation include and what is still open for further discussion, quite a few topics. The definition of “Commercial” and “Complex aircraft” are gone from the Basic Regulation and therefore the future scope of both Commercial and Non-Commercial Complex (NCC) regulation will be determined through the rulemaking work, hence giving IAOPA an active role in shaping the outcome.
It is clear that the new BR calls for a lot of work, clarification, explanation and thought over the next years to make sure the following elements are incorporated in any new legislation:
Risk based elements reinforced
Promoting proportionate, performance-based rules
Additional flexibility for regulating GA
Safety plan for Europe and national safety plans
Opt-in for aircraft manufacturers
Opt-in for ‘state aircraft’
Opt-out for micro-lights
Interdependencies with security and environmental legislation (Cyber security, Chemical legislation (REACH))
Proportionate safety standards for ground handling
European requirements for certification of aircraft noise and emissions outside of Annex 16 scope
An operation centric framework for unmanned aircraft.
Alignment with 'common approach' on decentralised agencies
New forms of revenue (Grants)
Demand driven resources for certification (flexibility in adjusting fee-financed staff)
Making best use of EASA resources
Furthering the use of EASA expertise by the Commission (security, environment, research, training and SES implementation)
Everything is summed up in the EASA-presentation that was given at the workshop and which you can find here
Not all member states apply the EU rules in the right way - now there is help from EASA.
The new Basic Regulation holds a very welcome opening that invites pilots to call EASA for help with nationally divergent interpretations of EU regulations.
All aviation legislation adopted by the EU for some years now is directly applicable in all EASA Member States. At least that's the theory. But one of the main criticisms of the European aviation legislation repeatedly put forward by AOPA is that the States regularly do not adhere to these new rules of the game.
For example, in Germany it is still not clear if you can fly IFR in Class G airspace or if you need one or two 8.33 kHz radios to fly IFR. The EU regulation clearly allows it but some German Aviation Authorities are still having problems with the implementation of European aeronautical regulations. Repeatedly they were admonished by the EU. But it takes years before a formal EU infringement procedure is initiated and closed. Then it is too late for most people affected.
How is the dilemma solved? To call EASA as arbitrator in this context, who has the power to interpret its own rules, would be obvious and useful. As the European IAOPA, we have repeated this proposal, and with the entry into force of the new EASA Basic Regulation in September 2018, the situation has changed fundamentally. Article 62 on "Certification, supervision and enforcement" in the new EU Regulation 2018/1139 provides in point (11) that EASA (referred to as "the Agency") may be called upon by citizens or businesses In order to remedy difficulties in the application of EU law at national level:
Any legal or natural person subject to this Regulation may notify the Agency of suspected infringements.
Where differences in applying the rules cause significant difficulties, the Agency and the national competent authorities of the Member States concerned shall cooperate to address the differences and, if necessary, to eliminate them without delay. If the differences cannot be overcome, the Agency will present the matter to the Commission.
IAOPA ecourages all affected parties to make intensive use of this new possibility. If you think that you are not being treated under current EU law in licensing matters, in the areas of flight operations, technology, maintenance and so on, then contact EASA at www.easa.europa.eu. You are very welcome to keep us informed: firstname.lastname@example.org
Danish CAA in Confusion over EU Regulation: One Case Lost, Another one Dismissed
As if underlining the need for assistance to national authorities when it comes to interpreting EU aviation regulation (see article above), the Danish CAA has recently been overruled in two cases both regarding the application of EU regulation:
The Danish CAA in December lost a court case against a pilot who was convicted in a case involving the new cost-sharing rules. The Danish CAA insisted that the cost had to be split equally between all occupants, but the pilot's share of the cost amounted only to EUR 30 out of a total cost of the flight of approx. EUR 230. For this the pilot faced a EUR 10.000 fine and loss of his license!!
The EU regulation only requires that there can be no profit and that costs must be shared between all people onboard the aircraft, pilot included. It does not require the cost to be split in equal shares. For this reason the Danish court concluded that the pilot did not violate the EU cost-sharing rules and the Danish CAA lost the case.
This comes right after another case raised by the Danish CAA was dismissed by the public prosecutor. Here a helicopter pilot was convicted for having flown below 1.000ft when landing in an industrial area. This would have been illegal under previous national regulation and the Danish CAA refused to accept that it is now legal under current EU Part-SERA regulation. The CAA would not allow the pilot to fly away the helicopter and instead forced the helicopter to be trucked away and subsequently grounded the helicopter because of special maintenance being required after truck-transport. Obviously, the pilot is now seeking compensation for both truck transport, maintenance inspection and legal costs.
Both cases could have been avoided if the Danish CAA would have been more willing to accept that the EU Regulation brings changes instead of trying to enforce old national regulation. Hopefully the above mentioned mechanism in the new Basic Regulation can help to resolve such cases long before they end up in court. It is extremely damaging and hampers the progress made, when pilots need to fear prosecution and severe sanctions for making use of the new possibilities given to them by the EU regulation.
The difference between a PPL and LAPL
You can get two types of licenses , the Private Pilot License (PPL) and the Light Aircraft Pilot License (LAPL). LAPL (light aircraft pilot license) was introduced in 2014. What is the difference between a LAPL and a PPL?
The LAPL is cheaper to acquire than the PPL because of the lighter requirements. The cost difference lies mainly in the fact that the 'hour requirement' of the PPL is considerably higher. LAPL: 30 hours of flight instruction at an Approved Training Organization (flight school). PPL: 45 hours of flight instruction at the same ATO.
LAPL: authorized to fly within Europe (not only the EU) with a maximum of 3 non-commercial passengers (including friends, family and flyers), maximum 2.000kg MTOW The medical is also easier to maintain.
PPL: authorized to fly worldwide, including countries such as the United States and South Africa.
PPL offers more possibilities for expansion, including extending to a commercial pilot license (to eventually become a commercial pilot). Expanding with ratings such as: IFR, Flight Instructor (instructor papers), Aerobatics
Conversion LAPL to PPL:
It is possible to convert your European pilot license into a worldwide PPL license.
Not everyone is ready for his flight exam after 30 hours of flight instruction, it often takes more time to fly the plane really well. The reality is that the rules and requirements are specific and complex, so let yourself be well informed.
From a couple of European AOPA’s we received the confirmation that LAPL was implemented in their country: Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Cyprus. In Germany LAPL is a real commercial success, as the conventional flight-schools can offer a license now that is from a cost-perspective competitive with a Microlight license, which is giving less opportunities to be upgraded.
If your country is not mentioned and you do have LAPL, please mail us: email@example.com.
Will the UK stay in the EASA system after Brexit? Are you prepared?
Basically, the British Aviation institutions, the British airlines and the British General Aviation, want to continue to be part of the EASA system. They have invested a lot of time and energy in the development of EASA. Many of the positive elements of the EASA system are due to British influence. For example, with the improved rules for general aviation, the EASA General Aviation Roadmap came about only when the governments of France and the United Kingdom joined the airline industry's criticisms and pushed the changes. Staying within the EASA system is possible for the United Kingdom as a non-EU Member State, as it is currently the case for Switzerland and Norway. However, there are questions that make an EASA Brexit seem likely:
Firstly, Britain would have to accept the European Court of Justice as a last resort in the event of litigation. Secondly, Britain would have to give up its voting rights in the EASA Committee, and thirdly, Britain would have to pay Brussels a fee of several million euros a year to use the rules. These points are hardly acceptable to die-hard Brexiteers.
How can the EASA Brexit affect the European General Aviation?
In the meantime, there are quite a few pilots in the countries on the continent who got their pilot’s license in the UK. The CAA UK is known for its fast and good service. For the same reason, many aircraft operators in Continental Europe are flying aircraft under a G-registration.
Both pilots and aircraft owners/operators should urgently consider how Brexit could affect their operation and consider moving pilot licenses and aircraft registrations to an EASA member state prior to EASA Brexit. There is significant risk that after Brexit they will be considered "Third Country", with the painful restrictions experienced by US licensees and aircraft operators a few years ago.
For instance, as a pilot holding a UK license you quite likely will no longer be allowed to fly EU registered aircraft without a validation from the country of registry. Similarly if you are today flying a UK registered aircraft on a non-UK license then be prepared that you likely will need a validation after March 2019 if you are flying outside the UK. Whatever you decide to do, don't wait till the last minute. The UK CAA has indicated that an application to transfer a license should be submitted before New Year in order to be certain that it can be processed in time before the anticipated Brexit date.
In response to our questions to senior CAA-UK officials, whatever recommendations they can give, they tell us only: "We honestly do not know, and we are not allowed to speculate. But you better make sure you are on the safe side."
Martin Robinson, director of AOPA UK, is not very optimistic about the changes of the UK staying with EASA. ‘The current info I have is that we will not remain a part of EASA. The Prime Minister said the future relationship with EASA is to be based on capabilities and the legal format will happen in the next phase of negotiations after the U.K. has left the EU. We have also decided to not continue with Galileo! What a mess.’
We hope that Britain will remain in the EASA system, which would be very important for the future of European aviation.
For more information regarding the impact of Brexit please consult:
UPDATE ON IAOPA PARTICIPATION IN ICAO LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
Short report of the last ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements (LPR) Implementation Task Force meeting. The 33rd meeting of this group took place on October 9 – 10, 2018 at the EASA HQ in Cologne, as EASA recently joined the Task Force. Because ICAO and EASA together invited all EUR CAA’s to attend the meeting, there ended up being 40 participants. The most important European CAA’s were present, and IAOPA was represented by Philippe Hauser from AOPA Switzerland. With the largest number of participants to date representing CAA’s from all around Europe, Philippe took the opportunity to explain the burdens that General Aviation (GA) encounters with regard to the Language Proficiency (LPR) implementations. Key points discussed included:
In addition to national languages, English shall be allowed at all radio stations; and Language Proficiency for VFR flights shall only apply in airspaces class Delta to Alpha (and NOT in Echo, Foxtrot and Golf).
For the very first time, everybody agreed that a certain relief, especially for VFR pilots, should be discussed in future. An EASA representative stated that the requirements for GA should not be the same as for Commercial Air Transport. A Eurocontrol representative fully supported the idea about linking LPR to airspace classifications. There was not a single objection for having English language allowed at all radio stations. GA’s voice was clearly heard and EASA is interested in finding a suitable solution for GA. Many CAA representatives expressed their support for the ideas expressed by IAOPA Europe. Further discussions about the implementation of LPR in Europe showed that there is a great deal of work that remains to be done. EASA tends to introduce an English training for CPL and ATPL pilots as well as for a full IR. Romania now has introduced an English LP check for cabin crews. Strange to see that CAT is about to rise the LPR whereas GA should benefit from a softer regulation. The next meeting is scheduled for Spring 2019 and IAOPA will again be participating.
Any news for your European colleagues? Send it to us.
We're always open for aviation news from the AOPA afiliates around Europe. So if you have any news, that might be of interest for the colleagues in Europe, don't hesitate to send it to us. You can direct your newsitems, newsletter, pictures, reports or whatever you find worth sending to Gerrit Brand, NEWSLETTER IAOPA EUROPE, firstname.lastname@example.org.