148th Regional Meeting of IAOPA Europe held in UK
Regulations in the GA causes AOPA a headache
On 12 and 13 May this year, the 148th (already) Regional Meeting of IAOPA Europe was held. This time at the headquarters of AOPA UK, in Seven Oaks, south of London.
There was an extensive agenda. The meeting started on Friday afternoon from 2pm. Via a live video link, Frank Hoffman called in from Montreal. Hoffman is our representative to ICAO. He brought in issues like adaptation of the Rescue and Firefighting Standards, the use of Electric and Hybrid aircraft (in the future), the switch from Magnetic to True North, with AOPA noting that it has concerns as far as the GA fleet is concerned. IAOPA is now working with industry and regulators to identify the issues that need to be resolved before a decision is taken on any change to the True North reference. No implementation is expected before 2035.
From IAOPA's US headquarters, Jim Coon attended the meeting online. The meeting that afternoon focused on the problem that leaded piston fuel (Avgas) will have to be replaced by unleaded fuel. The problem is known and is being worked on both in the US and Europe.
Meetings were held all Saturday and several issues were discussed, presented by different AOPA people. For example, Michael Erb from Germany (who is also vice-president IAOPA Europe and chairs the RM in that capacity) deals with EASA regulations in his function of chairman of an EASA-advisory-committee for GA , among other things. Nick Wilcock (UK) is a specialist for EASA´s Flight Crew Licensing and always has a lot to say about it. U-Space, I-conspicuity and ADS-B are also issues that remain constantly on the agenda and are widely discussed.
AOPA France has managed to get GA pilots (who are members of AOPA) to access the airside of airports in France with a special apron-access card where you are normally not allowed. The question is to what extent such a credential card would also be desirable in other countries.
Martin Robinson of AOPA UK talked about the problems the GA is facing in connection with Brexit. For example, it seems it will no longer be so easy to buy an aircraft in the EU and import it within the UK.
Mark Rademaker spoke at length about airspace infringements, a problem that plays lays a huge role in the 'tight' Dutch airspace. He called for a European approach to lower airspace. To this end, a working group was set up to include AOPA people from Switzerland and Germany, among others.
The next RM will be held in Luxembourg in September.
Offsetting CO2 Emissions for General Aviation by AOPA Luxembourg
AOPA Luxembourg has decided to take a proactive approach in shaping the future and promoting sustainable development by implementing a carbon strategy. At the General Assembly in March 2022, this idea was first presented. AOPA Lux proposed a new way of looking at the General Aviation and how it could be changed for the better. A more sustainable approach, that could be implemented on a global scale. This idea was met with enthusiasm and support from many of the attendees, and has since been developed further and implemented in AOPA’s activities
This new approach for reducing and neutralization carbon footprint has been fully supported by Mr. Francois Bausch, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Mobility and Public Works of the Government of Luxembourg, He is a strong advocate to keep going in this direction. He believes that this is the best path for to take and encourages AOPA Lux to keep the heading.
The concept was also presented at the IAOPA Regional Meeting. Although there was some skepticism if the GA would really be able to satisfy the climate activists with this initiative there was a warm reception of the project. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Luxembourg at least will be fully implementing a carbon neutral approach in all of its activities, and beyond.
This approach will benefit all members, aircraft owners and pilots, by reducing the environmental impact of their activities. They are confident that this initiative will have a positive effect on the environment and are excited to begin implementing it systematically, based on flight hours and real fuel consumption. The total compensation amount per member, will go to an NGO called Graine de Vie which is dedicated to protection, afforestation and reforestation. The carbon offsetting is ensured by planting trees in large-scale projects whose nurseries an plantations are managed by Graine de Vie.
Fraudulent Medical Examiners Face Prison
The CAA Chief Medical Examiner and nine medical doctors in Denmark are each facing up to three years of prison for having issued almost 2000 fake medicals using fake stamps and doctors who did not have an authorization.
The invalid medicals have since been revoked by the Danish CAA with big implications for the affected pilots who were suddenly without a medical. Worst hit has been students that started flight-training only to find out that their medical was invalid and they did not live up to the medical requirements but had already spent a fortune on their training, etc.
The case shows quite obviously that no medical regime is bulletproof!
Click here to read a google translated copy of the full story
Climate activists also becoming more aggressive in aviation
A Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1+ aircraft with Austrian registration was sprayed with orange paint by "Last Generation" activists at Sylt Airport on the morning of 6 June 2023. The activists, 5 in total, had previously gained access to the apron through the airport fence with bolt cutters. The engine covers were also deliberately removed in order to be able to apply massive amounts of paint directly into the nozzles. The damage to the engines, airframe and windows visible in pictures suggests that the damage is close to the value of the aircraft. Paint of the same shade was also used in the attack on the Piper Aztec at BER airport, which unfortunately could not be removed by cleaning, but required a new paint job.
On the positive side for the climate activists: they apparently did not go to jail, but went home in the evening. The police and the judiciary are apparently still investigating whether it is a case of damage to property at all.
A comment on the recent attacks by climate activists by AOPA Germany President Prof. Dr. Elmar Giemulla:
Coercion, damage to property, trespassing, interference with road and air traffic - what's next? Will banks soon be robbed to finance a higher purpose? Are climate change activists and aeroplane damagers endowed with some kind of higher wisdom that entitles them to commit crimes because it is borne of the basic understanding that everyone else has not yet realised what the hour has come to?
Today, no one needs to be convinced of the necessity of climate protection. Climate activists are under the delusion that they are the only ones who have eaten from the tree of knowledge. And if that were so - then in any case it is a counterproductive and downright grotesque persuasion strategy to obstruct other people in their urgent daily tasks or to smear shop windows, works of art and aeroplanes with paint. Hardly anyone affected dares to make use of the right to self-help because the scenes are filmed by "passers-by" (media-speak), i.e. by other activists, and in the end it is not the violators who are punished but possibly those who do nothing but defend themselves.
What do they really want or - at least - what do they achieve with it?
The answer is: anger, despair. Dislike and - worst of all: loss of confidence in the rule of law. The judiciary is hesitantly beginning to develop appropriate responses, but at the same time politicians and party representatives are discouraging them again with appeasement talk. Is this really just civil disobedience, which is part and parcel of an open society? No! Disobedience is something else. With disobedience, I refuse instructions or evade expectations. But here there is a proactive and organized attack. Can one seriously call an attacker "disobedient"? Is a bank robber "disobedient"?
"But we're not criminals!" one hears an activist spokesperson say in the news, pretending to understand. Does the criminal himself now determine whether he is a criminal? Or are they all "criminals de luxe"? Are they even resistance fighters who, in a perfidious appropriation of an honourable tradition, turn against a state and a system that must be eliminated? If society concedes that, there is no stopping them.
Stop the beginnings! Freedom and prosperity are not laws of nature, as is sadly the case in many areas of our planet. They are valuable goods that have to be fought for hard and again and again. To take them for granted and, moreover, to insult their creators may be dismissed as a sign of spoiling and naivety.
It is already no longer a question of protecting the rule of law from arson. It is already burning!
New carbon tax for Portugal threatening for GA
We received some alarming messages about a new law in Portugal, which would dramatically increase the cost of General Aviation via a Carbon Tax. The carbon-tax seems to target at private jets, but it hits small piston-aircraft even harder.
We hope that this can still be stopped, so that it doesn´t hit Portugal and also can´t spread to other countries. AOPA, APAU (the ultralight association) and several aeroclubs formed a discussion group some weeks ago and had some meetings, including with the government office responsible for the matter.
Antonio Penaforte Rodrigues has been heading AOPA representation on this group. So far the Portuguese government has assumed that the law has obvious errors (namely in the formula) that show the absurd on the taxes to be charged and that need correction. There is no news though of additional steps following this assumption and timings for the needed changes.
We will keep a finger on the pulse and keep you informed.
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