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



The registration portal for the IAOPA 2020 World Assembly, being hosted by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) is now open for business.  An international event not to be missed, general aviation leaders from all over the world will gather in the aeronautical capital of the Americas June 29 to July 3rd.  Next Year’s World Assembly is the 30th gathering of the IAOPA board and is set to be one of the most entertaining as well as informative events that has been hosted.  Situated in the heart of Montreal, a city that is one of North America’s most cosmopolitan venues, this event will provide attendees with a rare glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at ICAO and allow you to have one-on-one conversations with your countries representatives.  You can explain to them the importance of protecting and promoting general aviation in your country and network at a level that will allow you to accomplish so much more at home.

Registration covers the full program including the welcome reception, riverboat evening and the closing dinner.  A partner’s program has been developed that includes special activities and the evening social events.  Remember when you are registering that the amounts listed are in Canadian Dollars.  Don’t delay, go online to secure your position at the table.  

Not everything is sunshine. Development of drones takes more time.

Some personal thougts on UAV's by Peter Sodermans (pres. AOPA Luxembourg)

The EASA draft opinion on U-Space boldy starts with stating in its first sentence that Unmanned aircraft — commonly called drones — are the future of aviation and a promising source for delivering innovative services.
However, the reality on the floor is less shiny as it seems at first glance. There are wider security concerns. Also, some sound names from the drone industry pulled the plug in in recent months.

Last fall, the US Interior Department, which oversees federal land and resource management, grounded its entire aerial drone fleet of some 1000 drones out of concern for Chinese spying and drone-aided cyberattacks.
The well-known French gadget manufacturer Parrot, which has always been in the spotlight with its drone shows at major tech fairs in recent years, stopped producing and even the development of its consumer drones last summer.
Also GoPro, known for its popular action cameras, no longer believes in the flying toy. First, in January 2018, GoPro announced that it intended to exit the drone business and it laid off hundreds of staff who worked on Karma, but continued to provide software updates. GoPro's first and only drone has been entirely grounded around the world in January 2020 by a GPS-related technical glitch.
So many consumers who enthusiastically purchased a drone in recent years now have their flying toy laying down in the cupboard after only a few flights. The new thing is done, also because the strict legislation does not allow much.
Many consumer drones that still were under the Christmas tree are mainly of cheaper Chinese origin. Also, the Chinese brand DJI took swiftly over the consumer market shares from Parrot and Go Pro and they are now dominating the consumer market.
The DJI Mavick Pro is a fine piece of technology which anyone can buy at Amazon for some 1000 euro. However, seeing that one can fly up to 7 kilometers horizontally and way beyond line of sight by and 500 meter vertically (without using the available patches which removes this vertical limit), it causes a serious security risk not only for plane owners and pilots, but for every passenger sitting on board of a plane.

We also see an intense consolidation in the market for business applications. Some prominent names from the sector, ran into troubles. Drone startup Airware crashed, after burning 118 million USD. Drone maker Aria Insights, formerly CyPhy Works, also shutted down operations.
The Belgian drone manufacturer Gatewing closed doors. After two takeovers, the promising maker of fully automatic planes had come into the hands of the American Delair, which decided to place its worldwide production in Toulouse in the shadow of the aircraft manufacturer Airbus).

Another example is the Volocopter story.
Less than a decade ago some engineers had the idea of an electric aircraft and built a first prototype, the Volocopter. They developed the project further until they could do a first test-flight outdoors and in front of an audience in Stuttgart. But all they did was a four-minutes flight, 20m height, the aircraft was remote controlled by a pilot, there were no passengers or payload on board. But the politicians were still joyful! Have a look at the images of the Volocopter flying. The Volocopter CEO said in Davos in January 2020 an air taxi fleet would be ready by 2022. Really? And again, is there really a market for as an alternative for ground transportation?

The business potential of drones is not lost, but the market needs more time to reach maturity than was thought a few years ago. The industrial drone market is still in its infancy worldwide. You see that applications are developing in various sectors. Some of them are becoming more mature, but we are not there yet. To develop an industrial application, you need more than a drone: cameras, sensors, secure data connections likely with 5G technology, specialized software, on-board multi-sensor fusion for small UAVs using IMU, cameras, LIDAR etc ... The development and integration of all that technology which is researched at our University costs a lot of money, while the returns on many projects are still uncertain. (in the next newsletter more on UAV's)


By Daniel Affolter, President AOPA Switzerland

The topic "General Aviation: Still… A blind spot in Law Enforcement" was the focus of the third expert group meeting on General Aviation (GA).  Law Enforcement Officials from 29 European countries and 9 international organizations met in La Valletta, Malta, on 26-28 November 2019. Goal was to address and discuss ways of reducing illegal trafficking using GA and prevent GA from being abused. IAOPA, represented by Daniel Affolter, President of AOPA Switzerland, took the chance to educate conference participants about GA.

The problem starts, as Affolter stressed, that the there is no widely accepted definition of GA and lack of "one size fits all" approach makes it impossible to talk of "the one and only" GA. Risk assessment and management of the different types of GA is therefore of basic importance to address this problem. What is valid for a G50 is wrong for a C172 or a Gyrocopter and vice versa. Flying is already today a very regulated and vastly controlled activity (as for example variety of licenses, airspaces, airworthiness, cross border flights, airports) including numerous hazards. A pilot cannot – other than a car driver - pull out and park his plane in the air to solve a problem. Pilots of the GA are already very conscious about rules and restrictions because they want to be safe, besides enjoying flying.

For IAOPA Daniel Affolter made several suggestions to the participants for a fruitful cooperation. He proposed IAOPA as an information/knowledge partner for GA to the representative and international organizations. IAOPA would be pleased to help in the Risk Assessment, creating a risk manual and evaluate appropriate tools to enhance the fight against abuse of GA. Further was pointed out, that already today GA (pilots, ATC, airports, etc.) is delivering a lot of information. The problem is that they are not shared within the involved international organizations. An additional proposal was to create a Law enforcement checked program (LEC) which has the goal to create a generally accepted security ID Card. In closing the "Airport Watch" program of AOPA US was presented with the recommendation to adapt and introduce it to Europe. 

Flight training on Annex 1 (non-EASA) aircraft possible, but note the conditions

After a recent update to EASA FCL regulation it is now possible to use certain non-EASA aircraft for flight training. This is a big step forward that IAOPA has been pushing for since several years. It is however, also important to note the limitations regarding the applicable aircraft and the fact that your national aviation authority must authorise the use of the aircraft:

What aircraft are we talking about?
(a)  Historic aircraft whose initial design was established before 1 January 1955, production of which ended before 1 January 1975; or those aircraft having a clear historical relevance, related to participation

 in a noteworthy historical event, a major step in the development of aviation, or a major role played in the armed forces of a Member State. (b) Aircraft specifically designed or modified for research, experimental or scientific purposes, and likely to be produced in very limited numbers. (c) Aircraft, including those supplied in kit form, where at least 51 per cent of the fabrication and assembly tasks are performed by an amateur, or a non-profit making association of amateurs, for their own purposes and without any commercial objective. (d) Aircraft that have been in the service of military forces, unless the aircraft is of a type for which a design standard has been adopted by the Agency.

But there are conditions.
The conditions which must be met are: Aircraft that fall under points (a), (b), (c) or (d) of Annex 1 to Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 may be used for training if all of the following conditions are met: (1)  during an evaluation process the competent authority has confirmed a level of safety comparable to the one defined by all essential requirements laid down in Annex II to Regulation (EU) 2018/1139; (2)  the competent authority has authorised the use of the aircraft for training in the ATO (or DTO).

Airspace infringements

Airspace Infringements continue to be an issue within aviation. Already in 2010 IAOPA contributed to a paper about this subject. In 2018 IAOPA was invited to participate in a working group, run by CANSO and supported by Eurocontrol.

The first meeting took place at the Eurocontrol premises in Brussels, the second was held in November in Langen with DFS.

It was quite shocking to hear that in the past, before this project, that the main reason for infringements was believed to be just the stupid VFR-pilots, who are in the view of some ATCOs simply not professional and well trained enough to fly in complex airspace.

Meanwhile we did our part to turn that view around and put the focus also on the issues which can make it difficult for a pilot to fly properly:

•           Airspace Management: ANSPs failure to provide a qualified Flight Information Service to support pilots in challenging environments

•           Airspace Design: Some critical examples are too narrow VFR-corridors between CTRs and too complex 4D-airspace structures which are changing over time.

•           Information Campaigns: ANSPs should be reaching out to associations like AOPA, flying clubs and airfields, hosting meetings to create better awareness, etc.

There are new meetings coming up next year and IAOPA will actively participate. Vice-president IAOPA Europe dr Michael Erb will personally focus on the issue. But also representatives from the national AOPAs are invited to join the upcoming meetings:  19-20 March, Bordeaux, 12-13 May Sophia.

Night VFR finally allowed in The Netherlands

Night VFR was so far only possible during flight training but not permitted to the everyday VFR pilot. That has changed. After a long struggle AOPA NL finally succeeded in making VFR Night flying (Flying outside UDP)  possible in the Netherlands. Since the 1st of January 2020 NVFR is allowed.

The regulation concerns a change to the 2014 Air Traffic Exemption Regulation. The relevant amendment in the 2014 Air Traffic Decree Regulation (Article 3.2; "Operations outside the daylight period") permits conducting a flight by plane, helicopter, airship or TMG outside UDP. AOPA NL developed a special Safety Leaflet which was mentioned in the AIC that was published on  December 19 2019.

The new rule does not apply to MLA’s, MLH’s and other aircraft, they still may only be operated during the daylight period.
SERA regulations also apply to Night VFR.
An awareness campaign was considered of great importance, in particular by the ministry. So AOPA NL organized some well-attended symposiums on behalf of the GA sector with important support from flying clubs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the ATC NL. AOPA also published a safety leaflet with all the ins and outs of NVFR.
Although allowing NVFR from 1 January 2020 is a good step for the GA in the Netherlands, restrictions apply under other regulations. The flying clubs will undoubtedly attach their own conditions to VFR flying in the dark.

IAOPA visit to the European Parliament – airspace and UAV’s key issues

Maintaining and expanding contact with the newly elected members of the EU Parliament is very important for our European association.
That is why IAOPA representatives Peter Sodermans (Luxembourg) and Michael Erb (Germany / EU chairman) visited several MP’s in Strasbourg together with the consulting firm RPP and its CEO Lutz Dommel on November 26 to discuss current issues.
This included questions of European airspace, and above all the upcoming challenge of integrating unmanned aerial vehicles. There was great interest and unanimity concerning the fact that European policy has so far not taken sufficient account of this issue. Because the planned massive arrival of parcel drones and unmanned aerial taxis will have an enormous impact on many areas of the lives of European citizens, and not only on manned aviation, which has to share the airspace with the drones according to unknown rules. To be continued.


On the picture from left to right: Dommel, Erb and Sodermans

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.