IAOPA EU GA-Desk cleared for takeoff
The IAOPA EU General Aviation Desk is now operational.
The purpose of the GA-Desk is to make sure that European Regulations are implemented in the same way throughout Europe.
Some European National Aviation Authorities do not implement EU regulations, whilst others implement them incorrectly. Some National Aviation Authorities might even enforce outdated National regulations which may neutralize the European ones.
To clarify the situation IAOPA EU asks member pilots to file situations in which their NAA handles rules that are opposing European Regulations, or situations in which National regulations make it impossible to work by the EU regulations.
When you encounter a situation like this, please visit the IAOPA EU website and register your complaint or remark in the “GA Desk” entry. Please complete the form carefully. Don’t rush things, please take your time as it is important to have a complete and correct form. If you are unsure about your observation, you could also discuss the situation with other pilots before filing it. When finished, copy the contents into the field on the site, make sure to included personal info, and press DONE.
Upon receiving your remarks, IAOPA will check the contents, correlate these with other similar complaints and finally will inform the relevant authorities.
It is important to remember that IAOPA EU has no legal power to directly change national regulations. However, IAOPA EU has a strong voice and can complain louder than any individual pilot could.
IAOPA EU intends to identify any legal deviation by any National Authority.
With this in mind the IAOPA GA-desk has now been cleared for take-off.
Unfortunately, there won’t be any EU funding for the 8.33 conversion
We have now received the official news that our application for funds on behalf of General Aviation in 19 EU Member States has not been successful. This confirms what we suspected, but needed to wait for the official confirmation before reacting. The reason given is that the allocation of funds to third parties was not foreseen (or is not allowed) within the rules. This is something that we are still querying pending the final announcement from the Commission which is yet to be made.
We are immensely disappointed that we have not been successful on behalf of the General Aviation community which is being financially penalised by the 8.33kHz mandate. At the same time, we think it is important to ensure that the voice of General Aviation continues to be made and that the impact of EU wide decisions which ultimately affect the viability of General Aviation activities are considered when mandates like EU Reg 1079/2012 are issued. However, we must also consider that the funds that were available were four times oversubscribed and so there will be many high quality bids which likewise have not been awarded any funding. If we had not applied, we would not have been in the running to be awarded.
We are extremely grateful for the support that you have given to this initiative by registering on the project website. We will continue to lobby for access to INEA funds and other financial instruments to support General Aviation where changes such as 8.33kHz can be considered as a European aviation infrastructure.
We must also look on this positively on this attempt in light of the fact that we have garnered the direct support of:
19 European States which sponsored the application to INEA;
More than 3000 aircraft owners covering more than 5000 aircraft;
More than 250 aerodromes.
We will now be suspending the project website and will keep you informed of any news updates that we have as we go through the appeal process and try to identify if there might be an alternative route.
It has been a pleasure to support you in this attempt.
136th IAOPA Regional Meeting in Vienna successful
The RM which took place on the 6th of May was a very successful and very pleasant one. It was held in the beautiful city of Vienna and was organised by AOPA Austria. Our special thanks go out to AOPA Austria’s president, dr. Walter Ebm, and to Carina Bartl for the perfect organisation of the meeting, which was opened by the new senior vice-president IAOPA Europe, Dr. Michael Erb. Please find a brief overview of the issues that were discussed at the RM in Vienna below.
Michael Erb identified the implementation of the GA-Roadmap on national level as an important challenge. ‘We have to work together with EASA, something that is continuously improving. We no longer see one another as opponents. Instead, we are trying to find ways to collaborate, even if there is a certain amount of resistance against them by some national authorities. Some people within the national NAA’s either don’t understand certain rules or don´t want them.’ In our last newsletter we already introduced the GA-desk as an initiative to track national compliance to EASA standards and in this newsletter you will also find more information about this subject.
The RM was very well attended and many subject were discussed, for example drones, the implementation of EASA rules and the fact that AOPA worldwide is starting a re-branding process and is working on a member benefits program, about which we will hear more soon.
IAOPA is present in many various workgroups. We occupy 21 positions at various institutions. This takes quite a lot of coordination and our senior vice-president, Michael Erb, elaborated on the plan to revitalise the coordination team.
John van Asperen took over as treasurer of IAOPA Europe from Gerrit Brand. John van Asperen is also treasurer of AOPA NL. Gerrit Brand (yours truly) is the new communication responsible, also responsible for issuing this newsletter. Carina Bartl (Austria) was added to the board of IAOPA´s Financial Officers. It is good to have a female pilot someone from the ‘next’ generation on the list.
In the afternoon there were various presentations of which you find the jest in our newsletters. We have mentioned Dominique Roland, Head of General Aviation at EASA, who presented the Authority´s GA Roadmap. Roland called for help from AOPA’s to implement EASA regulations in their countries ‘Because you can lobby, we cannot do that.’ Philip Winternitz from Austro control, a pilot himself, talked about the challenges that NAA’s and ANSP’s are facing nowadays. There are a lot of challenges, different from the ones before. This mainly has to do with the changes effected by EASA.’
Solo flying during aerobatic flight training not mandatory
There was some confusing as to whether solo flying during an AR course would be necessary or even mandatory.
The question was raised by Rafael Molina from Spain who asked for information, ‘although,’ as he stated, ‘there is still no ATO in Spain with an approved course for the AR, but one of the biggest ATO’s in Spain is now sending all the paperwork to AESA (Spanish NAA).’ The question was whether the student/applicant has to be in the plane by themselves during the final checks for the rating. In Molina’s view it would be against safety regulations.
In response to his question Nick Wilcock from AOPA UK dug into the archives and found that the topic was discussed at EASA in 2015. Wilcock’s interpretation of the outcome of the discussion was that solo flying is NOT a mandatory element of the AR course, but may be optional at the training provider’s discretion. Wilcock further states: ‘As the IAOPA (Europe) representative, I argued against any solo flying during the course - particularly during the Skills Test.’
The long-standing AOPA (UK) Aerobatic Certificate course does not include any solo flying. It has approval to be grandfathered for the Aerobatic Rating.
EU rescue and firefighting regulation causes problems and potential danger for GA
Airports that fall under the EU regulation are now in the process of adapting their procedures to the new EU regulation. The consequences of this, however, have turned out to be problematic for GA in a number of countries. One of the problems is with the rescue and firefighting requirements, as it is now a requirement for the airport to provide full rescue and firefighting service to operate, even in the case of small GA aircrafts.
In a number of regional GA airports this requirement has caused the introduction of a PPR requirement and severely restricted availability of the airport at off-peak hours; not to mention very significant extra charges for firefighting staff to be on duty (easily 1000 Euro at for instance Roskilde, the biggest GA airport in Denmark). The result is that GA pilots are now often forced to move their operations away from regional airports that are under EU regulation and into smaller airfields regulated by national rules, which tend to take the needs of GA into account.
The unfortunate net result is that a GA flight, which previously would take off from a regional airfield with long paved runways and a controller in the tower who could alert the municipal firefighting service in case of an accident, will now instead be taking off from a smaller grass strip with absolutely nobody to observe when there is an accident. This has caused a clear reduction in safety and is not making good operational use of available facilities.
We specifically asked to have this item on the agenda and at the meeting the problem was recognized by several authorities. There was a general consensus that this new obstacle does not fit in with the principles of the GA roadmap. EASA confirmed that the Agency will try to come up with a solution as soon as possible, but also mentioned that no authority had previously raised the concern during the discussions of the airport regulation.
Modular LAPL in France
The French CAA is pushing for a solution in which each state can introduce a modular LAPL at national level. The purpose of this push is to reintroduce their old "brevet de base". There is a possibility of voting for a proposal in June. Please see the attached presentation.
Norwegian VFR guide 2017 updated
The CAA Norway has updated its VFR Guide [link] . The booklet was made to assist VFR pilots when planning and conducting flights within Norwegian airspace.
The vast majority of the Norwegian land mass consists of mountainous terrain with countless valleys and deep fjords. You will enjoy a spectacular scenery and great fun while flying in these areas, but you should also bear in mind that the environment may suddenly “bite” you during unfavorable flight conditions.
The booklet tries to raise the awareness of such unfavorable flight conditions. Relevant rules and regulations applicable to VFR flights within Norway are covered and so is other information necessary for safe planning and conduct of flight. Set your own limitations and prepare for the expected so you do not have to recover from the unexpected! Here you can download it for free.
Part M Light delayed
EASA provided an update on the progress of Part-M-Light, the new maintenance regulation for aircraft below 2730kg. This regulation holds a lot of promise to simplify maintenance for GA aircrafts. EASA published its opinion back in 2016 and it was expected that the new regulation would go into effect later this year. Unfortunately, the process now seems to be further delayed. The initial indication was that the delay was purely due to capacity issues in the Commission and EASA Committee. Now, however, the message is that the legal experts in the Commission want to have the regulation reworded to improve legal clarity. This is bad news for several reasons: the original Part-M-Light proposal was deliberately written in a language that was short, clear and easy for the owner-pilot to relate to, and also the additional delay pushes all the benefits of a simpler maintenance regime further into the future. Currently the best case scenario is that the new regulation could be in effect mid-2019. The only good news is that they aren’t intending to make material changes to the content of the original Part-M-Light proposal.
PPR Portugal. Permission needed from ANAC to fly to Portugal. AOPA sent letter to responsible minister
Many people fly from Spain, France, Germany or the Netherlands to and from Portugal regularly without the Portugese AIP expressing any restriction. But at the end of May 2017 a NOTAM (number A1919/17 or DO296/17) was issued without warning. Pilots were informed that General Aviation aerodromes in Portugal, Cascais, Coimbra, or Portimão for example, are only authorised to operate Schengen flights if a previous authorisation was obtained from ANAC, the local aviation authority.
The new regiment is based on Portuguese decree laws. Under its provisions, based on national security considerations, only international airports, such as Lisboa, Porto and Faro, are exempted. IAOPA Europe has written a letter to the Portuguese minister of Planning and Infrastructure, stating that these airports are not accessible to General Aviation due to their high tariffs and intense commercial traffic.
IAOPA Europe understands that reasons of national security may require that pilots of non-commercial flights should send all required information concerning the identity of travelling people, matriculation and insurance of aircraft, by email and beforehand, as it is presently required by ANAC. However, the need of prior formal authorisation by ANAC (closed after 6pm and during the weekends), seems an unnecessary burden seriously compromising the viability of many flights.
AOPA -Portugal requested to meet with ANAC in order to propose a practical solution. We hope and trust that the Portuguese Government favours a solution which would combine the security requirements with the principles of the Schengen Agreement. For more information, please take a look at AOPA Portugal’s website. http://aopa.pt/english
Promising proposal for IFR approaches to non-instrument runways
EASA has focused on making instrument flying more accessible for GA pilots as part of the GA roadmap initiative. A lot of effort has already gone into making the licensing more achievable. This has resulted in the competency based instrument rating, the enroute instrument rating and more proportionate theoretical knowledge requirements. The process is still ongoing with the basic instrument rating already well on its way. However, the goal also is to remove other obstacles for IFR in GA operations, such as certification of equipment and the IFR operating environment for example.
A presentation held by The EU Agency for satellite navigation (GSA) provided some suggestions on how to implement LPV IFR procedures to non-instrument runways. Both the recently revised ICAO definition of "non-instrument runway" and the already proposed introduction of a UNICOM concept in Europe help pave the way for such IFR cloud break procedures to VFR airfields without a local ATS unit. The proposal was well received and found to give promise of further increasing the GA safety level. The technology is ready, but some regulatory issues, for example in relation to weather observation requirements, traffic information and approval of procedures, still need to be resolved. Proportionality is essential as simply copying how things are done for traditional IFR procedures will be driving costs up to an unfeasible level. EASA confirmed the intent to take onboard these tasks and IAOPA will be onboard.