Editorial by Vice-president IAOPA EU Dr Michael Erb
As in many other areas of society, there is now a lot of relaxation of the original restrictions in General Aviation in European States. Thanks to the hard work of the national AOPA affiliates the closed airfields are open again, training flights can take place in most of the states, and flying activity is strongly increasing with the excellent VFR conditions ahead of us for the summer.
GA pilots are even doing low approaches at the International Airports of Amsterdam Schiphol, Copenhagen and Frankfurt. But these caprioles might be behind us soon as the airliners are coming back, at least slowly.
Is everything in order again? No, of course there are still problems. Many professional groups currently have no reliable income and can no longer afford to fly privately. Cross-border flights are still not possible in all EU countries, and some airports still have operating restrictions, e.g. on the East Frisian Islands. Unfortunately, the air taxi companies are still a problem, the customer slump is noticeable, similar to the airlines that are currently struggling to survive and are dependent on subsidies in the billions.
We are currently in contact with EASA in order to develop principles for the safe maintenance of air traffic in General Aviation in the event of a new virus outbreak. We want to state that the pilots' flight operations on their own or with family members generally do not pose an increased risk of infection, and that there are options for effectively reducing the risk when taking passengers or in the multi-crew cockpit. See the free published EASA guidelines which are actually tailored to large-scale aviation, with the name "COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol". Anyone who invests in a short checklist, a contactless clinical thermometer, face mask and disinfectant can also offer an airline's level of protection in their own aircraft.
The crisis also offers certain opportunities for our industry: Over the next few months, we will increasingly point out to politicians that, especially in times of crisis-restricted public transport, general aviation can offer fast, safe and flexible transport connections for private and business trips, on which our continent is dependent. It is therefore important to keep small airfields open and to invest in the establishment of IFR procedures at small airfields in order to make them future-proof.
We continue to work for you. Please stay healthy and confident
Covid19 Guidelines for GA issued by EASA
In its effort to support the "Return to Normal Operations" for GA EASA has issued some recommended guidelines for best practice during the COVID19 pandemic situation. The guidelines have been created in cooperation with IAOPA and a number of GA organizations.
It is in a poster-format so it would be easy to print and post in your local aerodrome or aeroclub. You can download it here.
It is intended to be used as a best practice where it can support a return to normal operations. Fortunately GA in many countries is already back to normal operations and many restrictions have been lifted around Europe as COVID19 has been suppressed. In such cases the real value of the guidelines will primarily be in case we should see a second wave of the pandemic and some countries would again contemplate imposing new restrictions on GA.
In order to even further disseminate these recommendations EASA has offered to publish the poster in other languages. If you are willing to provide a translation please send it to SafetyPromotion@easa.europa.eu. EASA wil then check that the information on the poster is consistent and make it available in your language.
European Aviation calls for Green Recovery Support
Aviation really doesn't have an easy time right now. On the one hand, because of COVID-19, the demand for flights worldwide collapses and leads companies to the economic abyss. And full recovery will not be achieved soon. On the other hand, politicians continue to demand that flight operations must become significantly more environmentally friendly. But this goal can only be achieved with the purchase of new low-emission aircraft, which, unfortunately, nobody can afford in times of economic crisis.
That is why the European aviation associations have signed a position paper in which they draw attention to their situation and ask for the promotion of investments in greener propulsion systems. In addition to the airline associations, the associations GAMA (GA Manufacturers), EBAA (Business Aviation), EHA (Helicopter) and IAOPA-Europa have also joined this initiative. Read here the letter that was sent to the European Commission.
IAOPA´s SVP Michael Erb welcomes and supports this broad-based initiative of the united European aviation industry. He states that Aviation is already investing heavily in environmentally friendly propulsion, especially in our sector General Aviation there is intensive research and development done, and the first aircraft are already flying successfully.
But if the EU wants its ambitious ecological deadlines to be met, then Aviation needs public investments in addition to private ones.
Updated GA Roadmap 2.0 by EASA now online on our website
EASA updated the latest GA Roadmap on all the initiatives affecting GA. Published as GA Roadmap 2.0 you now find it online on our website.
The GA Roadmap 2.0 – the second phase of the GA roadmap – contains important strategic priorities that will help to ensure a safe and sustainable future for GA in Europe. GA will remain high priority for EASA. The Agency will provide progress information at the EASA Safety Conference on General Aviation which takes place every 4 years – the next one is due in 2022.
EASA distinguishes six strategic priorities which you’ll find explained in the GA Roadmap 2.0. One of them is the fact that as they say GA goes digital. EASA will coordinate the development of innovative technical solutions that will provide cockpitaccessible real-time aeronautical and flight data. Another important issue is that EASA will use the provisions of its new Basic Regulation to simplify Part 21 requirements for the design and production of General Aviation. Also EASA is extending its existing General Aviation community platform to include Safety Promotion material. To read the whole GA Roadmap 2.0 click here.
Member Benefits for TopMeteo - reloaded
We all know how anticipation and good planning make our flight safer. That is why IAOPA EU has an agreement with TopMeteo, which provides pilots with some excellent weather resources. They are useful both for meteorological planning of a flight and for in-flight monitoring of the current weather developement. This weather forecast service provides very clear maps for the whole of Europe as well as precise local weather information. These tools allow you to plan your flight up to several days in advance. Before take-off and through the same website, you can also access live data such as satellite images, rain radar, ... and all METARs and TAFs for your flight. If some Cumulus Congestus are expected at your destination at the end of the day, you can use the TopMetSat app to follow these developments and make sure it's safe or find a quick detour.
As you could not fly during the previous trial period, TopMeteo renews its offer to all AOPA members:
+ 2 weeks free of charge including the use of TopMetSat
+ 50% discount on any subscription bought in 2020
+ 30 % discount for the Europe Super Package for following years, and 25% for all other Packages for the following year
Click here to visit TopMeteo's website.
EASA awards GA Safety Awards
In May EASA handed out prizes in the context of the first General Aviation (GA) Safety Award. The GA Safety Award recognizes the most secure smartphone / tablet application for use in the GA. The aim is to promote the development of reliable tools to improve safety, encourage investment in this field, support and increase the visibility of valuable products and further increase the involvement of the GA community in safety.
The apps submitted have been assessed for their ability to address one or more of the four main safety concerns identified in the European Aviation Safety Plan (EPAS): maintaining control, managing flight, avoiding collisions in the air and handling again.
First prize went to (the international, free) Open Glider Network (OGN). OGN provides a unified tracking platform for gliders, GA planes, paragliders, drones and other small objects in the sky. The OGN platform helps reduce airborne collision risks by differentiating information from a series of pictograms. It also makes it easier to provide weather information directly in the cockpit, allowing pilots to deal with changing conditions.
The Dutch PocketFMS won with its product EasyVFR 4 the 2nd prize. EasyVFR 4 offers a complete solution for flight preparation, route planning and flight navigation. EasyVFR 4 helps pilots manage flight and reduce the risk of airborne collisions through planning tools that also allow the identification of different types of airspace and links to relevant NOTAMs. It also helps pilots deal with the weather by displaying weather images on the cockpit display.
The third prize went to another Dutch organization: Flytool. Flytool provides a Safety Management solution to the GA community that supports flight management and also helps reduce overall risks in all accident categories. It does this by providing a simple and convenient event reporting feature that allows club managers to review events and share lessons learned with the pilot community. It also offers other features such as an electronic log and license reminders.
In addition, a special recognition award was given to Oscar Yankee for their Wings Toolbox. This App shows considerable promise to support improvements in aviation safety. It provides features such as standby instruments in the event of a major technical failure, airfield and location information to help with situational awareness and helps pilots cope with weather by providing a “Personal Barometer” function.
IAOPA EU congratulates the prize winners.
IAOPA World Assembly 2021, Save the date
IAOPA and COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) are pleased to announce the new dates for the 30th IAOPA World Assembly. The event will be held in the same venue that was planned for this year (in Montreal, Canada) and the new dates for the meeting are July 19-23, 2021.
For those of you that want to plan ahead and possibly tack on your holiday, the timing of the event is the week prior to EAA’s AirVenture 2021. With AirVenture 2020 cancelled, you can bet that the 2021 AirVenture will be a must attend event for aviation enthusiast around the globe. More details will be emerging soon, and the website is expected to be updated later this year. In the interim save the date and contact IAOPA HQ if you have any questions.
Andorra becomes 82nd IAOPA Affilliate
The Board of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations has approved full membership for AOPA Andorra. The additional IAOPA Affiliate brings the total number of member countries to 82.
AOPA Andorra was founded in February 2020 by seven enthusiastic pilots of Aviacio General. Its first president is the Andorran pilot Robert Guirao Bailen. The seven pilots who created AOPA Andorra run the association on a voluntary basis, without any remuneration or contract, motivated by their fondness for aviation.
Andorra–La Seu d'Urgell is a public airport owned by the Government of Catalonia and hosts general aviation and commercial flights. It is located in Catalonia and serves the city of La Seu d'Urgell and the microstate Principality of Andorra, which is 12 km north of the airport. The airport has a short runway which limits aircraft sizes and the distance to destinations.
Digital Sanicole Airshow on September 11
Perhaps the most popular annual air show in the Benelux is the Sanicole Air Show, which has been taking place in September every year since 1977.
As with so many air shows, Covid 19 has also put a spanner in the works here this year. But the organization has found a solution for it! They will organize the Digital Sanicole Airshow on Friday September 11, the original date of the evening show. The Red Arrows will participate in this digital air show. Would you like to experience this air show, just from your comfortable chair with a bag of chips at home? Then visit www.sanicole.com
EASA certifies first electrical engine
A few weeks before EASA certified the electrically powered Pipistrel Velis Electro, another milestone was reached in this area.
On May 18, 2020, EASA also certified an electric engine for the first time. This engine, type E-811, model 268MVLC, is, just like the Velis Electro, developed by Pipistrel.
The power output of the engine is 57.6 kW at 2500 rpm (Maximum Take-off Power - max. 90 seconds) and 49.2 kW at 2350 rpm (Maximum Continuous Power).
The Pipistrel Velis Electro is the world's first fully electric aeroplane ever to receive type certification. The two-seater, intended primarily for pilot training, is a game-changing aircraft in terms of technological innovations and cost-efficiency. Its EASA certification paves the way for the future of environmentally sustainable, emission-free aviation.
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.