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IAOPA Europe Enews June 2018 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

What does IAOPA stand for? 

People often ask, what does IAOPA Europe stand for? What's in it for us? Well, here are the issues that IAOPA EU sees as her tasks:

  • To facilitate the movement of general aviation aircraft internationally, for peaceful purposes, in order to develop friendship and understanding among the peoples of the world and to increase the utility of the general aviation airplanes as a means of personal and business transportation;
  • To coordinate with other international and national organizations to promote better understanding of general aviation's requirements and further the interests of the membership;
  • To integrate the views and requirements of member organizations with regard to international standards, recommended practices, procedures, facilities, and services for international general aviation, providing forums appropriate for meetings of representatives of the member groups;
  • To advance the interests of general aviation internationally and to represent the membership on matters of interest to general aviation at pertinent meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization, WMO, ITU, EEC, etc.;
  • To encourage the implementation of planned systems, facilities, services and procedures in order to promote flight safety, efficiency and utility in the use of general aviation aircraft;
  • To encourage representatives of national general aviation member groups to meet with, and work with, their national authorities in the interest of promoting better understanding, enlightened regulation, and adequate facilities for general aviation;
  • To encourage the collection, and dissemination by ICAO, of information, data and statistics related to general aviation from ICAO Contracting States to provide a meaningful base for the development of technical programs.

AOPA AT AERO Friedrichshafen 

AOPAs from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the US joined forces at Aero Friedrichshafen, the biggest general aviation event in Europe, to get the word out on how IAOPA Europe is working on making Europe more general aviation friendly. Additionally, AOPA Spain was represented in a separate display.


Flight is passion and fascination but also innovation: General Aviation was once again the focus of the AERO 2018, especially electric aircrafts.
Experts presented the latest state of the art technology, for example aircrafts that sail through the skies barely making a sound at the e-flight-expo. The 26th global show for general aviation came to a close with an exceptionally positive result. This was thanks to the 31.100 industry visitors (2016: 30.800) from all  over the world, as well as the 630 exhibitors whom came from 38 countries.

This year, the AERO especially focused on new topics that have been very well received by the industry. The newly created area dedicated to flight simulators was met with strong visitor interest. In light of these large crowds, experts believe that the Flight Simulation Area offers great potential. Another area that made its premiere was the Helicopter Hangar, where experts on the "worker bee" of aviation came together. Helicopters are known as the worker bees of aviation due to the fact that they perform important services in rescue and work operations, in construction projects on difficult terrains and in aerial observation. The use of civilian drones is also a subject of extensive and controversial discussion in the aviation industry, and with many new exhibitors in attendance it was given a broad platform at the AERO in Friedrichshafen in the West Foyer.

New products were the focus of both the industry and the media at Friedrichshafen.

The AERO Friedrichshafen is the international business meeting for general aviation. Ultralights, powered aircrafts and business planes are all exhibited, as are ultralight helicopters, gyrocopters. In addition, many suppliers of pilot equipment as well as cockpit and on-board systems can be found at the exhibition. The new 600 kg class was met with strong interest, in particular in the ultralight area. This is an area in which manufacturers expect significant revenue growth. The be a pilot campaign also made a noticeable impact. The Messe Friedrichshafen team believes that the efforts to recruit a new generation of pilots with special offerings, for example drone demos and the simulators area, were successful.

IAOPA vice-president Dr. Michael Erb was interviewed by the EASA magazine.

Here are some highlights from the interview

In general, what is your relationship with EASA and other regulators?

I think “constructive criticism” describes the relationship between an authority and an association best. The most valuable assets IAOPA can offer in such a relationship are cooperation, the provision of 

What do you think about the achievements of the EASA GA roadmap and what are the challenges lying ahead?

Expertise, and in general, honest feedback. For this purpose we are active in many of EASA´s Rulemaking Tasks and Advisory Committees. Some years ago it was evident that our honest feedback was not much appreciated, but instead considered as a disturbance and clear evidence of ungratefulness. EASA was very successful in regulating airlines and commercial aircraft manufacturers, but all too often it was applying a “one size fits all approach” that led to over-regulation of general aviation in Europe.  

The achievements of the GA Roadmap are very remarkable. The climate between EASA, AOPA and other GA associations has significantly improved.
The big challenge today is the implementation of what has already been achieved within the GA Roadmap. There are many rules, such as for example the Part M Light, that were agreed upon in Rulemaking Groups, but they have been seriously delayed by the EU Commission. There are many competent authorities that haven´t fully adapted to the new regulations yet, but also many maintenance shops and pilots whom haven´t fully digested the positive changes yet. Rules are often difficult to understand and are therefore open to interpretation.

The light end of GA appears to be already very well covered by the GA roadmap, but we also need to focus on the small commercial enterprises within GA. To give one example, the Commercial Pilot Licenses are too burdensome to achieve for pilots within commercial parachute and commercial sight-seeing-operators as well as flight schools nowadays. Their theoretical exam requires about 80% of the ATPL knowledge, which is too much. The solution could be a light/competency based CPL, following the example of the Competency Based Instrument Rating.

What is the role of Safety Promotion?

The authorities and the associations need to reach out to the community, explain the new legal framework, and support the pilots in improving their attitudes and skills. Our association invests a lot into flight safety promotion. AOPA-USA is the shining example with the Air Safety Institute and a plentitude of freely available online courses and videos. But here in Europe we also do what we can in order to reach out to our community. We offer various Flight Safety Seminars, Flight Instructor Refreshers, Safety Letters covering many critical subjects, Flight Safety Training Events bringing together trainees and flight instructors, Upset Recovery Trainings, Sea Survival courses, etc. We negotiated with Insurance companies and several of them agreed to provide discounts as an incentive for pilots who attend flight safety events or install collision avoidance systems.

To read the whole interview, klick here.


IAOPA Europe has called on the EU Commission to take the necessary steps in order to implement EASA Opinions, which would lessen the regulatory burden on general aviation in Europe. EASA began working to revise European regulations at the urge of IAOPA, and to date they have been very successful at addressing many of the key issues that impact our members. Full details of these efforts, known as the General Aviation Roadmap are detailed in the story below.

Unfortunately, their recommendations, which were presented to the EU Commission as Opinions, have reached a logjam and have not been converted into corresponding changes in the basic law. Some opinions were already delivered over two years ago.

In the letter to the Commission, IAOPA Senior Vice President, Michael Erb (AOPA Germany) states "IAOPA Europe, together with its colleagues from Europe Air Sports, GAMA, and other associations, have been working hard since 2012 to revise European regulations in the sector of our industry within the framework of the General Aviation Strategy and the resulting General Aviation Roadmap. Immediately after the entry into force of the European regulations for general aviation, there were initially very violent rejection effects due to the excessive regulations, which have now largely disappeared as a result of the General Aviation Roadmap Initiative. A major criticism was above all the enormous cost increases in the maintenance of aircraft by the Part M, which could not even achieve any safety gains.

The cooperation with EASA and the European Commission in the committees, such as the EASA SSCC-GA / now GA COM, has always been constructive and characterized by mutual respect. In addition to the technical cooperation in the committees, we also support associations in informing the industry by holding events together with the EASA, the so-called GA Roadshow.

However, we have a big problem: the late entry into force of Part M Light. Two years have passed since the publication of the EASA Opinion 5/2016 in April 2016, and the introduction has been repeatedly announced "for the coming months", which we have communicated to the best of our knowledge and belief. However, as of this date nothing has been done."

"Our members no longer understand any further delays, and we have no arguments. Even if the European Commission has to reduce its budget, a reduction would seriously jeopardize the reputation of the GA Roadmap, EASA, the EU Commission and the associations as well.

Therefore, we urge you to bring the initiated process for the introduction of the Part M Light to a good ending as soon as possible, even if we understand that the Commission must also save in the face of shrinking budgets."

IAOPA Europe will continue to push to get these much-needed changes, which will lessen the burden on general aviation operators in Europe, through the Commission. 

AOPA Finland facilitated Openflightmaps' release of Finland

In April 2018 openflightmaps added another territory, Finland, to the countries covered by the project. This took the total up to 18 countries supported by the project. With Finland the openflightmaps project reaches into the Arctic Circle, the furthest north openflightmaps has ever supported. Finland's openflightmaps are developed and maintained in co-operation with AOPA Finland. 
It is important to emphasize that each of these 18 territories requires constant and rigorous maintenance to ensure that all of the information is always current. The rate of progress is encouraging as two new territories have been added in 2018 so far, withmore in the pipeline.

New PDF Export Feature

Once again, new features for the personalised maps have been made available on the Website. Even  unregistered users can now create a map  for their own convenience. For instance, they can now place their local aerodrome at the center of the map in order to create their own personal map after setting the scale and size. The map can then be downloaded, or shared with other users via a link.

List of countries supported by OFM

More countries are supporting the OFM project. The 18 countries currently covered by the OFM are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Namibia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland.

AOPA Finland and Pocket FMS Foundation have also agreed that EFIN openflightmaps will be made available as a free download to use in the EasyVFR application, one of the most sophisticated flight planning and navigational software tool for GA pilots, in the near future.

Incidents with drones in the Netherlands

According to a government report, the number of incidents involving drones in the Netherlands increased in 2017. Publication of this report has also led to media attention, including the RTL News. Mark Rademaker, chairman of AOPA Netherlands, was asked to speak on camera.

AOPA’s point of view is that drone-pilots should be more familiar with the rules. To be able to regulate this it is necessary to implement compulsory licenses and certificates in the same way as is customary in manned aviation. In addition, the registration of drones is necessary for proper enforcement of these rules. It is currently impossible to trace the pilot or owner of the drone in case of an incident and enforcement is therefore only possible in those cases in which the pilot is caught red-handed. Furthermore, technical tools, such as geofencing, should be made compulsory for drones to prevent collisions with manned aircraft.

AOPA Netherlands recognizes that drones can be used effectively and that recreational flying with drones provides people with a lot of pleasure. The professional users are generally aware of the rules and regulations, and the concern is therefore mainly focused on the  recreational drone pilots, whom in general have no idea which rules apply.

EASA Roadshow in the Netherlands

On May 4th Boudewijn Deuss of EASA came to the Netherlands to present the latest state of affairs concerning the realization of EASA law and regulations together with the Dutch Ministery of Transport (Aviation).EASA roadshow in the Netherlands

It is not true that legislation simply fell onto our plates without consultation and participation from Brussels. The whole process wass done in a transparent manner with consultation of the General Aviation sector. Mr. Deuss talked about the history and objectives of EASA. The issues that are currently under discussion came up. For example, the new laws and regulations for balloonists and glider pilots which are being introduced. This legislation came about with the help of and even under the direction of the sector. EASA is pleased with the simplification of the rules. Note from the sector: simplification in relation to the current regulations has not been achieved, only the proposed regulations have been simplified.
A newly written Part-Ops and FCL for ballooning and glider flying will be introduced before 2020. With regard to the motorized GA, many subjects were discussed.

Update existing files

The DTO (Declared Training Organization), which should have been introduced in April is now expected in July. Part M Light has ceased to exist and the introduction has been revived. The simplification of Instrument Flying by means of the BIR (Basic Instrument Rating) is for review  in Brussels and is expected to be introduced in 2020.

It was emphasized that consultation with pilots plays an important role in the process. AOPA in particular plays an import role in the process through the European branch IAOPA. Through  IAOPA we can influence the realization of new legislation and regulations.


Michael Erb, vice-president of IAOPA, shared his views on the negotiations between the GA and EASA in his usual humorous way. The GA sector is indeed a good discussion partner for EASA and Mr. Erb plays an important role as chairman of the GA consultation group. Input from the various National AOPAs are of great importance to him. The amendments to the Basic Regulations will have consequences for the GA, and in particular the Annex 2 aircraft (later Annex1). The counting of hours flown on an Annex 2 aircraft is subject of discussion.


Finally, ILT (the Dutch ministery responsible for the aviation sector) shared the latest state of affairs with regard to GA. Safety, consultation and controls played a leading role in these presentations. Reporting incidents is mandatory, but 70% of the reports do not come from the pilots themselves, making you wonder why this is the case.

All in all it was a very useful meeting where many new and current issues were discussed.

Flight Plan Equipment codes for Dummies

As most pilots are probably aware a lot of new equipment codes has been introduced over the last couple of years – and you need to get it all right in order not to have your flightplan rejected by Eurocontrol.

For many GA pilots finding the right codes can be a bit of a challenge. If you get it wrong you risk that your flight plan will be rejected or that ATC expects you to follow procedures that you are not able to perform.

AOPA Denmark has prepared a miniguide to the GA pilot for getting the equipment code fields right.

You will find the miniguide to flightplan equipment codes here.


AOPA Denmark: How cooperation and increased awareness helped save an airfield

Airport and airstrips is a threatened species all over the world. Governments and municipalities are looking for savings in their budgets and are maybe not aware of the benefits to the community that a local airfield brings. 
Very recently AOPA Denmark helped save the small countryside airfield, Sydfyn/Taasinge, EKTS. A VFR day/night grass strip serving the public, local businesses, the local flying club and home of Denmarks smallest commercial airline, Starling Air, operating single engine Cessna´s and the twin-engined Partenavia. The local municipality saw an opportunity to save approx. EUR 70.000 annually by closing the airfield.
A joint effort between users of the airfield, the local community and AOPA Denmark convinced the politicians, that it was vital to continue the support and that the loss for the community by closing the airfield would be many times higher than the potential cost saving: The local airline would need to close or relocate, local businesses would loose quick access to their export markets, fewer flying tourists would visit the area and generate less activity for hotels, restaurants, car rental companies etc.
The massive response to the proposed airport closure coming not only from Denmark but from several countries around Europe made the significance of the airport very clear. So much in fact that the local politicians agreed to provide a 20 year lease of the facilities instead of the current very short 6 month lease period which for many years has hampered investments in the airfield. In combination with the increased awareness of the importance of the airfield this is now hoped to lead to increased investments and maybe a hard pavement for the runway to make it usable year round.


As the IAOPA (Europe) FCL representative, Nick Wilcock attended an EASA meeting at the end of May.  Some useful topics were discussed and EASA appears to be is in a rather more receptive mode these days. Here’s Nick’s report.

Medical.  My CAA colleague raised the case of a pilot holding a CPL issued by the FAA who could not meet Part-MED colour perception requirements, meaning that he wasn’t able to convert his CPL to the EASA licence he needed in order to conduct remunerated parachutist dropping work.  At the previous meeting I’d suggested that conversion to a 'day only' licence would be reasonable and at the meeting the CAA proposed that a 'day VFR' restriction should apply.  I queried the VFR restriction, which was agreed to be unnecessarily restrictive.  The outcome is that a pilot in such circumstances may now apply to convert a valid 3rd country CPL to a Part-FCL CPL restricted to 'day only'.  This does NOT apply to initial CPL issue for pilots who have not previously held a CPL.

Annex II flight time.  EASA has now agreed to the use of 'Annex II (a)-(d)' aircraft for training, testing, revalidation and renewal purposes, provided that the NAA issuing the licence, rating or certificate has assessed and approved the aircraft to be used.  This amendment will probably appear in the Aircrew Regulation when the Decision following Opinion 05/2017 come into effect.

Microlight / Ultralight flight time.  EASA's Annex II proposal does not include flight time in aircraft defined in Annex II (e), known as Microlight / Ultralight aircraft.  However, I made the point that the UK does allow flight time 3-axis Microlights to be credited towards the revalidation of SEP Class Ratings included in national non-EASA licences, provided that pilots have received conversion training from a Microlight Instructor.  As a result, EASA has asked me for further details, which I have now supplied.

Sub-600kg aircraft.  Although the topic of aircraft which are outside Annex II (e), but which weigh 600 kg or less wasn't discussed at the meeting, it is clear that this will become a future topic as EASA intends to devolve regulatory decisions concerning these aircraft to NAAs. 

Basic IR.  The Opinion concerning the BIR should be released in October 2018.  Again I made the point that BIR training needs to be within the scope of DTOs, not just ATOs.  However, EASA hasn't said yes, but hasn't said no.  They wish to see the DTO system bedded-in first; however, Opinion 11/2016 concerning DTOs has yet to be accepted by the European Commission.  Of course in the UK we've been conducting IMCR / IR(R) training outside ATOs for over 40 years!

FI shortage.  Austrocontrol highlighted the problem concerning shortage of PPL-level FIs, which is become ever more acute.  The reasons being that many FIs are retiring and that very few younger pilots wish to plough through the morass of CPL theory just to become a PPL/FI.  Of course I supported this (as it has always been IAOPA Europe’s view) and pointed out that Part-FCL already includes the right for PPL holders with FI ratings to receive remuneration for such activity.  This is 'commercial' activity under the dictionary definition as it means working for money!  EASA never intended that CPL-level knowledge should be a prerequisite for PPL/FIs, but the 2008 CRD included strong (often self-interest) arguments that CPL knowledge should be required.  However, as ICAO Annex 1 requires flight instructors to have theoretical knowledge for a commercial pilot licence ‘appropriate to the aircraft category’, 

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