Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Let's start by wishing everyone Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.
In all respects, with family, professionally and of course flying.
As we say: many beautiful flights and happy landings.
To start with we can tell that the Jeppesen offer for AOPA members will also be available in 2024
AOPA members will continue to receive a 15% discount on their invoices when they are due or for new purchases of almost all products in 2024 if the purchase is completed through Jeppesen (does not apply to Pilot Supplies). The discount cannot be automatically applied to the Renewal offers, please contact Jeppesen by email and provide your AOPA membership number: firstname.lastname@example.org
EU wants to protect citizens from cumene in fuel - Private pilots also refuel professionally
Unfortunately, there is yet another example of bureaucratic strangeness to report from Brussels.
The European Commission wants to protect EU citizens from the substance cumene, which is basically a good idea: cumene is toxic, can damage the liver, lead to dizziness and drowsiness and possibly cause cancer.
What does this have to do with general aviation? Cumene can be mixed with diesel fuel and Jet A1. Since December 1, 2023, it should no longer be supplied to the "general public" in accordance with European Directives 1907/2006 and 2023/1132, but only to "commercial and professional users". Unfortunately, the EU directives do not define these terms. Private motorists are exempt from the regulation and may continue to fill up with diesel themselves.
And professional pilots are allowed to refuel their aircraft independently with Jet A1 or diesel. But private pilots have somehow been forgotten. Together with other industry associations, we asked the European Commission months ago to clarify that private pilots must and can refuel their aircraft with diesel or Jet A1 independently without the support of trained fuel attendants. But apparently Brussels has not yet found the time to resolve the issue with a statement. A current expert opinion supports us: it also counts holders of a private pilot's license as "professionals".
This is because CPL and ATPL holders are trained in the same way as PPL and LAPL pilots when it comes to refueling. And if you want to take it to the extreme, how about this argument: PPL holders are qualified to refuel diesel or Jet A1 due to their qualification as diesel refueling drivers. In the last few days, we have received many questions from members who have received a message from Air BP stating that fuels containing the substance cumene may only be dispensed to "professional users" in self-service. However, the all-clear can be given here: Air BP defines all customers as professional who have a pilot's license and refuel at airfield fuel stations.
So please remember this if you are asked at an airfield: You hold a pilot's license and are therefore naturally qualified to refuel your aircraft very professionally with diesel or Jet A1 yourself!
Cessna improves Caravan avionics
Textron Aviation/Cessna has announced avionics improvements to the avionics at the Cessna Caravan turboprop family: the Cessna Caravan and Cessna Grand Caravan EX. From 2024, the turboprops will offer the latest Garmin avionics suite: the Garmin G1000 NXi. Further avionics that will become standard include the GDL 60 data link, the GTX 345DR ´diversity transponder´ and the GI 275 electronic standby.
Cessna Caravan owners also get other new options available, including a Garmin GWX 8000 weather radar, which adds ´Automode´ and ´Lightning and Hail Prediction´. Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) also now offers optional ´Taxiway Routing´, which provides visual guidance when manoeuvring at the airport.
News from the joint GA.COM and GA.TeB meeting
On November 6 and 7, a total of 45 members of the EASA General Aviation Advisory Body met in Cologne. Most of the participants took part on site, the others online. In keeping with tradition, both industry representatives (GA-COM) and representatives of the European EASA member states (GA.TeB) accepted EASA's invitation, once again ensuring a good flow of information between all participants. IAOPA Europe was represented by Michael Erb and Jacob Pedersen.
The official EASA summary report with the most important items on the agenda can be found under this link
Facts and Figures of General Aviation – A threat to Law Enforcement?
by Daniel Affolter, President of AOPA-Switzerland
At the Annual Conference of Drug Control Networks 2023 of the Pompidou Group (Council of Europe), the question once again arose as to which extent General Aviation is a danger in the international drug trade, money laundering, smuggling, men trafficking and the like. To answer this question, it is necessary to know what we are talking about and how large the share of General Aviation is in the Transport Market.
First: The biggest problem is and has always been the Babylonian confusion surrounding the term “General Aviation”. Everyone understands it differently, from 700 kg MTOW to 200 tonnes MTOW, everything is seen as General Aviation and dangerous. General Aviation absolutely needs a new classification method, the one used by ICAO is outdated, incomprehensible and, above all, misleading. If this is not done, General Aviation will remain under the general suspicion of being a "black hole" and will be disproportionately affected.
Here some key facts and figures on Aviation and other means of Transport. They are very revealing and show – look at the high differences - how false the perception of Private (General) Aviation as a danger to the public really is. The figures come from Eurostat, "Key figures on European Transport 2022" (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-key-figures/w/ks-07-22-523) and "European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) 2023-2025 Volume 1 EASA" (https://www.easa.europa.eu/en/document-library/general-publications/european-plan-aviation-safety-epas-2023-2025).
In 2022, there were the following number of licences in EASA territory (including Switzerland), with the proportion of the EU population (around 460 Mio. persons in 2022) shown in brackets for comparison:
69'985 ATPL(A) (0.015%),
6'396 CPL(A) (0.001%)
100'923 PPL(A) (0.022%).
Around 65% of PPL(A) licences are held by France and Germany, 18% by Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and 16% by the other 20 EASA countries. For comparison: In Europe, there are 560 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. With a population of 450 million, that makes around 250 million cars. It can be assumed that there is at least one person with a driving licence for every car, so that there exist over 200 million car driving licences. This results in a ratio of 99.95 % driving licences to 0.05 % PPL(A).
The situation is similar for the number of aircraft. In Germany, there are around 6,900 aircraft up to an MTOW of 5.6 tonnes. With a population of 85 million people, 0.008% Germans an aeroplane. As there are no corresponding statistics, I extrapolate this figure using the EU population (460 million people including Switzerland). This results in 36,800 aeroplanes. The figure is much lower in reality, because in the vast majority of EU countries the proportion of aircraft with an MTOW of less than 5.6 tonnes is smaller. The ratio of vehicles to aircraft is therefore 99.986 % to 0.014 %.
In terms of flight movements, it looks like this: There were around 5 million Commercial Aircraft movements in 2022, in 2023 there are likely to be more than 6 million. No statistics are kept for Private Aviation (MTOW under 2 tonnes).
The same for passengers: With an EU population of 450 million and a ratio of 0.8, this equates as 356 million passengers. In addition, there are around 135 million passengers from outside Europe. This makes a total of around 500 million passengers per year. Again, there are no corresponding statistics for Private Aviation with MTOW >2 tonnes. My estimate is that there are probably less than 3 million, resulting in a ratio of 99.994 % commercial passengers to 0.006 % private passengers.
For the sake of completion, it should be mentioned that 5.2 billion train passengers and 268 million ship passengers travelled in 2022.
The situation is similar for freight: In 2021, 3.5 trillion tonnes were transported by road, 399,4 trillion tonne-km by rail and 3.5 trillion tonnes by water. There are no statistics for air freight as whole, but an indication is that the 10 largest airports handled 13.5 million tonnes of freight. There are no statistics for General Aviation with an MTOW > 2 tonnes, but I estimate that less than 0.02 million tonnes are handled there.
If we put Private/General Aviation (flights by private individuals without a commercial or other public purpose) in relation to the other means of transport, it becomes obvious that the real danger lies in transport by rail, road, airline and sea. The constant bashing of Private/General Aviation is neither proven nor justified. It is populist propaganda.
I do not exclude the possibility of abuse in isolated cases, such as "A C172 was seized in Ireland with gold and government bonds on board". These are then hyped up. The fact that at the same time more than 8 tonnes of cocaine were seized in the Port of Rotterdam in a single operation - probably more than in all of Private Aviation in the last 20 years - is simply suppressed.
It is time to focus the limited resources of Law Enforcement on the real problems and refrain from spinning the wheels against Private Aviation. It would be more effective.
Introduction to European Aircraft Maintenance for Pilots and Owners, seminar by Aufwind GmbH
Malte Höltken of Aufwind GmbH will give a seminar about aircraft maintenance, to which all AOPA members in Europe are invited. The seminar will be conducted in English. Those interested can register. Aufwind is a small team of General Aviation enthusiasts and specialists. They discovered that there is a benefit to delivering engineering, maintenance, research & development, technical advice, airworthiness service, education, flight training and much more out of one single bureau, available to all GA stakeholders. Have a look at their growing portfolio on their website.
The seminars that are organized with AOPA-Germany cost 160 € per participants incl. VAT, non-AOPA-members are charged with 200 €. If you are interested (together with your national AOPA) the prices need to be negotiated between the affiliates and Aufwind. (for addresses: see their website).
The seminar will take place online on the 13th and 20th February, both days from 18:00 - 22:00.
Participation requires a good Wi-Fi connection and a tablet or computer with a webcam or smartphone.
Although a pilot and aircraft owner may exercise certain release rights under European maintenance law via Pilot-Owner-Maintenance, aircraft maintenance is not part of the LAPL or PPL. The aircraft owner has to find his way through the jungle of European maintenance regulations and gather his own information.
The seminar "Introduction to European Aircraft Maintenance for Pilots and Owners" introduces you to the basics of European maintenance law.
The topics are:
-Structure and organisation of European maintenance law, particularly with regard to Part-ML and Part-66
-Type of European maintenance organisations (Part-M Subpart f, CAO, CAMO, Part 145)-Concepts and terminology of maintenance, repair and airworthiness
-Maintenance documentation, ARC, RTS
-Structure and contents of maintenance programmes
-Structure and contents of maintenance files, operating time overview, LTA overview, change overview
-Concept and scope of pilot-owner maintenance
-Completion aid for release certificates, IHP and maintenance overviews
If you are intereset in joining this online seminar, and for more information, please send a short email to: email@example.com
EASA Management Board selects Florian Guillermet as future EASA Executive Director
Florian Guillermet has been selected as the future Executive Director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, following a decision by the Agency’s Management Board.
According to Piotr Samson, Chair of the EASA Management Board and President of Civil Aviation at the Polish Civil Aviation Authority, Guillermet is deeply respected for his operational knowledge of aviation as well as his high-level strategic thinking. ‘I am sure that, under his leadership, EASA and the European aviation community will grow and prosper even further.’
Also Magda Kopczyńska, Director-General for Mobility and Transport at European Commission is very pleased with the selection of Guillermet as the future Executive Director of EASA. ‘He has an impressive track record and the future of aviation safety in Europe and beyond will be in capable hands.’
Guillermet is currently the Director at DSNA, the Air Navigation Services Provider designated by the French State. He has over 26 years of aviation experience, with a particular emphasis on Air Navigation and Air Traffic Management.
From 2014-2021 he was Executive Director at SESAR Joint Undertaking, which he joined in 2012 from EUROCONTROL where he had held several roles since 2004. Earlier in his career he held positions at the French DGCA and in Air France.
Guillermet: ‘EASA will have an instrumental role in accompanying the transition to greener aviation while maintaining the sector’s strong safety record. I look forward to steering the Agency through these challenges and to building a positive, multicultural working environment on a basis of trust and transparency.’
The nomination follows an open and transparent procedure launched by the European Commission, and a preliminary selection to identify the candidate best suited in terms of merit, competence and experience relevant for civil aviation. A shortlist of candidates was then proposed to the EASA Management Board to make its selection.
The Management Board selection process was concluded in Cologne on December 13.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone or whatsapp + 31 6 50831893