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IAOPA Europe enews, March 2014 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

AOPA Sweden looks abroad for salvation

AOPA-Sweden is looking at the possibility of registering ATOs, CAMOs, aircraft and pilots in other countries because of the continuing massive increase in national aviation authority fees in Sweden.
For many years AOPA-Sweden has stressed to the Swedish Transport Agency and to the government the fact that extraordinary charges are having a devastating effect on all fields of aviation. It now seems that the only way of stopping the contraction of GA is to register everything in other EU countries.
Examples of the Swedish fees include: Annual fee for a PPL – €72. For a CPL, €300. For an ATPL – €380. A simple ATO with IR training, run by a flying club, faces an annual fee of more than €11,000.
According to EU legislation it is possible to register a pilot license in any EU country, on request from the holder. AOPA-Sweden has now tested the system and registered a pilot licence in Denmark, a country with no annual fees. The process worked without any flaws, but it took almost two months for the paperwork. AOPA Sweden is now providing members with instructions on how to register their licenses in Denmark and hopefully can provide them with instructions for other countries soon.
AOPA Sweden would like to hear from you with details of fees in your country, and if you would like to recommend your country as one in which it is simple and inexpensive to register pilots or aircraft, please email AOPA Sweden

IAOPA moves ahead with EU Intergroup

IAOPA Europe is meeting with supportive MEPs in March to finalise the details surrounding the setting up of a general aviation intergroup in the European Parliament ahead of the European elections. The current Parliament begins to dissolve in April, and the next Parliament will be in place by September and will begin work in October. In partnership with the European Business Aircraft Association and the European Regional airport community, IAOPA is driving forward its campaign called ‘General and business aviation connecting Europe’ which has struck a chord in the Parliament. Several prominent supporters of GA are not standing for re-election, but others are almost certain to reappear. IAOPA has hired former MEP Ulrich Stockmann as advisor and lobbyist on this issue.

Seaplane microlight information sought

AOPA Greece is faced with an unusual problem and has been seeking information from other AOPAs on how seaplanes are regulated. Seaplanes have only recently been legalised in Greece, and EASA regulations have been adopted to cover them. But microlight seaplanes do not come within EASA’s remit, and there are signs that Greek national authorities are likely to over-regulate the sector. Anton Koutsoudakis of AOPA Greece says that with thousands of islands in the Aegean, seaplanes are a perfect mode of transport and AOPA sees a bright future for them, if only the national authorities can allow reasonable regulations. Negotiations with the authority have not been encouraging.
In response to a please for information, IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson put AOPA Greece in contact with the British Microlight Aircraft Association, but they could give little help. The UK abolished its microlight seaplane rating years ago, and pilots are now required to obtain landplane ratings, then do enough “differences training” on seaplanes to satisfy an instructor. But there are no seaplane instructors in the UK.
Anton continues to seek information on microlight seaplane regulation, especially on requirements for instructors and examiners, and if you can help, please email him.
Greece has forged ahead over the last ten years with liberalising general aviation in pursuit of its intention to become ‘the Florida of Europe’ and the recent legalisation of seaplanes is a significant positive step.

Seaplanes come to Athens Flying Week

Seaplanes are invited for the first time to Athens Flying Week at the end of September, and the event promises to be the best-ever opportunity to fly around the most beautiful parts of Greece. The airports of Athens, Santorini and Samos are to participate in the flying week, and it is expected that at least 15 of Greece’s most glamorous destinations will also be included. AOPA Greece has been heavily involved in Athens Flying Week from the beginning and organises the event along with Podimatas AudioVisual S.A., one of the leading companies in Greece specialising in event production. Owner Panagiotis Podimatas is a PPL holder and a member of AOPA Greece. The week centres around the international aviation exhibition and air show at Tatoi military airport from September 26 to 28 – the biggest air show in south east Europe. All pilots are invited. Have a look at the show’s website or for details contact AOPA Greece or Athens Flying Week

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EC allows airport subsidies to continue

IAOPA Europe has welcomed the decision of the European Commission to continue to allow national authorities to subsidise small airfields which might otherwise be forced to close for lack of commercial viability. The EC currently allows countries to subsidise airports with less than 700,000 passengers a year, but it had been proposed that this number be reduced to 300,000. In February, however, it was decided to maintain the status quo.
IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson said: “We very much welcome this. Smaller airports are a vital component of Europe’s transport system and the Commission has recognised the need for distant and isolated communities to maintain air links, even if they are not strictly commercially viable.”
Not all European states subsidise small airports. Martin says: “In countries like Germany and Switzerland, regional airports are seen as important for transport links and the need for state aid is recognised. Other countries like the UK subsidise specific low-density routes which are deemed to be vital. Smaller airports also serve the business community and thus provide economic benefits to the areas they serve. It is important, however, that they continue to serve general aviation and allow self-handling and proportionate costs to GA operators.”

Romania accident – don't be put off

AOPA Romania is keen to demonstrate that flying in the country is safe following an accident which has highlighted the shortcomings of the national air traffic service and the search and rescue system. YR-BNP, a Britten-Norman Islander carrying vital transplant organs suffered engine problems and crashed in deep snow near Petrasa. All seven people on board survived the crash, but it was not until five hours after they were alerted to the accident that the authorities directed SAR teams to the site. During that time, the pilot and one of the passengers died. Amid a public outcry, several senior officials were dismissed from the air traffic services administration ROMATSA, and from the SAR co-ordination service.
Andrei Zincenco of AOPA Romania says: “We believe that some wrong messages have been transmitted to the flying community abroad. We, as AOPA Romania, want to assure aviators that Romania is a safe country to fly in, with top ATC personnel and efficient medical staff, both well-equipped and trained. What happened with YR-BNP was unfortunate and we are deeply saddened by the loss of the young medical student and the pilot. We are praying for the quick recovery of the co-pilot and the rest of the passengers. We will take care that a lesson will be learned by authorities and the local flying community, and we will actively disseminate the finding of the crash investigation when they are released. But we want to stress that mass media reports have been too pessimistic when describing the flying climate in Romania. Contact AOPA Romania for help and information if you want to fly here – it’s safe, and very beautiful!”

IAOPA World Assembly, Beijing

The AOPA World Assembly will be held this year in Beijing, China, and AOPA China has now set up an English-language website at setting out details of the programme. The Assembly runs from September 9 to 15, and from the website you can download the agenda and get details of the venue, the registration system, visa and accommodation requirements, and the programme for accompanying persons. If you have any questions, you can contact AOPA China through the website – just follow the ‘information’ link.

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Channel Islands airspace changes

AOPA in the Channel Islands warns of major changes to airspace classifications around the islands which come into effect on March 6, and should make flying in that area easier. The entire airspace, which is currently Class A, becomes class D from the ground to FL80. Full details of the changes can be downloaded from the Jersey ATC website at
Also from AOPA Channel islands we have details of the Guernsey Air Rally. After a year off in 2013 caused by major works at Guernsey Airport, this popular rally is back on the agenda for 2014. The dates for the rally are Friday 13 to Sunday 15 June. This will be the 42nd time the rally has been staged. More information can be obtained via this email address

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