What can an environmental strategy for General Aviation look like?
The pressure from politics, media and climate activists on the polluters of CO2 emissions is increasing. The question came up: Do we in AOPA have an environmental strategy?
Well, first of all, it is impossible for us as an association to develop a binding strategy for the entire industry or for all our members. We have Europe wide more than 20.000 members, and there are of course very different convictions on the subject. Ultimately, everyone is responsible for themselves, so AOPA is a reflection of society: some AOPA members voluntarily fly less and offset their CO2 emissions, while others fly as much as before for business and pleasure and without compensating.
What can AOPA do?
Our most important short-term goal is to switch from Avgas 100LL to 100 UL. We are coordinating between aircraft manufacturers, fuel producers and authorities. Our goal is to get rid of the leaded additive TEL as soon as possible and to ensure a trouble-free transition. TEL is now only produced by one manufacturer worldwide, this fact alone makes our industry dependent and vulnerable. The chances of getting rid of this lead legacy are good, there is a first lead-free Avgas 100 UL with STC approval in the USA, more are to follow, and the market launch in Europe is also being planned.
Defining long-term targets is becoming more difficult because political targets are constantly changing. We certainly have to react to the CO2 debate, the pursued goal of politics is to become climate-neutral in the EU by 2050 and to do completely without fossil energies. It remains to be seen whether this will be the case, or whether in a few years, after a reality check, a significant reduction in fossil consumption will also be accepted.
Our strategy must therefore focus on the future availability, quality and affordability of our fuels.
However, we will only be able to actively steer this political debate to a limited extent. The economic size and consumption volumes of our industry are too small for this. As soon as new Synthetic Aviation Fuels (SAF) for airlines and synthetic fuels for automobiles come on the market in significant quantities, it must be ensured that they are also available in General Aviation at acceptable prices.
We will continue to publicly present the importance that GA occupies in its versatile niche in the transport system and in the future. Apparently, in the context of the discussion about autonomously flying electrically powered air taxis, many previously skeptical realo-ecologists have been convinced that individual air transport is indispensable even on decentralized routes. But does it necessarily have to be the currently (still?) hyped autonomous flying multicopters with electric propulsion, or could it perhaps also be human-controlled fixed-wing aircraft with economical engines and SAF?
It is also a fact that all research and development activities for sustainable propulsion systems in large-scale aviation are currently being carried out on test vehicles in general aviation.
In addition to the ecological realists, there are also hardliners who literally regard aviation as an ecological and social crime and only want to allow it in a greatly reduced and more expensive form. There are also voices demanding that each person be assigned a CO2 consumption account with a strict upper limit - from food to housing to mobility - and that its observance be strictly monitored. Well, totalitarian and Marxist-influenced eco-ban fantasies will hopefully not prevail as long as our democracy and the desire for individual freedom rights exist.
In view of global warming and the increase in the price of energy sources, it is indeed necessary to change fundamental things, to reorganize the energy economy and to significantly reduce the ecological footprint of 8 billion people. In our opinion, this can only succeed if we manage to build up an attractive, technically resilient and affordable energy supply that is significantly less harmful to our environment, using market-based means. We reject a policy that is predominantly based on bans and de-industrialization.
In any case, AOPA will continue to fight for the freedom of our members and for technological and ecological progress in General Aviation.
AERO Friedrichshafen 2023, a must for General Aviation professionals
The aviation trade fair AERO 2023 will take place from 19-22 April. Interest from international exhibitors is once again high. The importance of the show for the entire General Aviation industry is underlined by the high number of stand bookings from key manufacturers, service providers and organizations from around the world, including IAOPA EU. We are well represented at the fair, with AOPA Germany, Austria and Switzerland leading the way. You find us in Hall 5, stand 201, next to the EASA stand.
AERO 2023 will feature manufacturers of piston and turboprop aircraft, ultralights, LSAs and gliders, as well as helicopter and business aircraft manufacturers. Suppliers of avionics, engines, safety systems and other parts and accessories have also confirmed their presence in large numbers. Unmanned aviation in the form of drones will also be prominently represented with its own exhibition area AERO Drones in hall A2.
Sustainability and electric flying
Aviation is in a phase of transition, defined by the drive for greater sustainability, talent shortages and digitalization. The fair responds to this with, among other things, the 'AERO Sustainable Aviation Trail', introduced last year, and shows with which solutions the various manufacturers are meeting the challenges and shaping the future of aviation.
Anyone who has ever visited the fair knows that innovation is at the forefront for the AERO. For 12 years, for example, there has been the e-flight expo as a separate focal point at the fair, where manufacturers and providers of aircraft and services in the field of electric flight present their innovations to visitors and inform them about the possibilities of this type of propulsion.
The transformation of aviation towards greater sustainability is also an integral part of the AERO Conferences, which will again have an extensive program.
Arriving with your own plane
At the last AERO, there were some problems with departures. ‘But,’ as a spokesman for the AERO said, ‘everyone has learned from last year. In constructive cooperation with Friedrichshafen Airport, AOPA Germany and the authorities, we have developed a new security concept that significantly speeds up the control process for pilots and their passengers, so that they can take their return flight more quickly, but still safely.’
Flughafen Friedrichshafen has based its procedures on the security concepts of the AERO before the pandemic. All parties involved are convinced that they have found procedures that allow for quick processing with the highest possible security.’
Reserve your slot
From April 6, 2023 at 10:00 a.m., the online booking system developed by the aviation payment provider aerops will be activated for slot allocation. There, the mandatory approach and departure slots for the trade fair period can be booked and paid for as a package in conjunction with the trade fair admission and any parking fee due. Pilots who are unable to take up their slot and return it online before departure will have their payment fully refunded, and the slot will be released again in the system for others. In the online booking system, the names of the passengers are entered at the time of booking – subsequent changes are also possible.
Before departure, pilots are asked for their license at the crew tent and it is checked. It is also checked whether passengers have been registered in advance. Passengers who are not accompanied by the pilot are denied access to the airport premises. A shuttle service is available. These shuttle vehicles must be used for safety reasons and allow pilots and their passengers a comfortable transfer to their aircraft.
Also in 2023 the Segelfliegergruppe Markdorf e.V. is pleased to provide Markdorf as a fair airfield. On the days of the fair, the airfield, located approximately 10 kilometers west of Friedrichshafen, will be operational from 06:00 UTC to 17:00 UTC for ultralight aircraft (3-axle piloted, trikes and gyroplanes). Typical piston powered light aircraft and motor gliders are not permitted on the site! Due to a change in the airfield approval, the approach is only possible with PPR. For this purpose, registration must be made beforehand online at www.SFG-Markdorf.de. For more information, www.aero-expo.com
EASA Consultation on revision of OPS Rules contains good and bad for NCC operators
EASA has issued a notice of proposed ammendment for the current OPS rules. IAOPA Europe has prepared a response to the consultation which contains both good and bad elements.
On the positive side there is now a clear recognition that for small operators the current requirements for documentation and compliance might actually be counterproductive and take away attention from actions which have a direct safety impact - something that IAOPA warned about since the NCC regulation came into effect.
EASA's analysis states:
"the development and implementation of a full-scale management system expected from a complex organisation is unnecessarily burdensome for such operators. For small organisations, verbal communication in the context of management systems is efficient. The cost of extensively documenting a management system outweighs the benefits. Most of the resources needed to document safety and compliance could be better employed for the benefit of safety."
Initially this new approach is used to allow for a less rigorus management system for certain helicopter operations with an option that the new policy cold also be extended to for instance NCC aeroplane operators.
On the negative side is a proposal that would further complicate the use of an aircraft for both commercial and non-commercial use. Such flexibility is extremely important for an costly asset like a business jet that can operate both for an NCC and an AOC operator. The current proposal suggest that a new declaration is submitted every time operational responsibility changes hands and also puts some additional limits to how long the NCC operator may use the aircraft. The regulation does not take into account that the NCC operator could be the main operator which is in fact often the case in real life.
The full consultation can be found at EASA homepage as NPA 2022-11:
The deadline for comments is March 20'th.
Jeppesen offer for AOPA members – also available in 2023
AOPA members will continue to receive a 15% discount on their due invoices or new purchases of almost all products in 2023 (does not apply to Pilot Supplies).
The discount works only for products which are bought directly from Jeppesen, not via Foreflight or other apps.
The discount cannot be automatically applied to the Renewal offers, please contact Jeppesen by e-mail and provide your AOPA membership number: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your membership number is not recognised please contact your national AOPA and make sure they participate in the action.
Learn mountain flying with AOPA Germany.
Invitation to Fly-In Camp in Eggenfelden, Bavaria, 6th-12th of August
AOPA Germany is organizing a Fly-In Camp in Eggenfelden, in the south of Germany, and invites everybody to take part in their training events:
We would like to take the opportunity to invite you and your members to one of our training events which are upcoming in 2023 and after that.
We are currently holding a Fly-In Camp in Eggenfelden, Bavaria during the period of August 6th to August 12th
The emphasis of this Camp lies in the introduction of mountain flying in the Bavarian, Austrian and Swiss Alps (ALP).
The destinations are usually located in Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland, but also in Slovenia and Italy.
The main purpose is the professional crossing procedures in mountainous environments.
Furthermore we are providing basic (BAS) and advanced training (ADV) as well as night flying (NGT) and simulator training (SIM), whenever possible due to local restrictions.
There is also a „pinch-hitter“ course for non-pilots. In this, a person not familiar with the operation of an aircraft will be (hopefully) taught to land a small plane safely.. After a short medical examination the education program starts with a specially trained and skilled flight-instructor. 90% of our flight-instructors speak fluent English and a very capable of teaching in this language as well.
Accommodation can be easily found in the near vicinity and all price ranges. A taxi shuttle service is provided for the participants traveling in their own airplanes. Fees are € 260 for AOPA members and € 360 for non members. For the flight-instructors the hourly fee is € 40 plus € 40 for briefing and debriefing per event.
The camp is held for over forty consecutive years and organized by AOPA-Germany.
AOPA-Austria and AOPA-Switzerland participate since about a decade in the D-A-CH format. The persistent success of the Eggenfelden Camp is probably based upon the charming atmosphere of the airport, the environment and the typical Bavarian gastronomy of the beer-gardens in the surroundings. The social factor of relaxed get-togethers in the evenings and a cooking course add to the warm character of the event.
Please feel free to offer the above to your members. AOPA-Germany will be happy to assist in any kind of pre-arrangements. We are looking forward to your replies.
Let’s Go Flying – The EASA GA Season Opener 2023
The sky is calling! However, before we strap ourselves in our cockpit, it’s important to remember that general aviation accidents are still a serious issue with an average of 87 people killed each year over the past 10 years. Therefore, now is the time to get into the right mindset and create the conditions to confidently act as Pilot-in-Command again!
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) launched the GA Season Opener 2023, in partnership with the Aviator’s Club. The aim is to provide pilots with the tools and information to have a safe and enjoyable flying season.
On 3rd March we kicked off with a Webinar featuring EASA pilot and instructor Wendell Lynch, IAOPA’s Michael Erb, Cate Brancart from the GA Manufacturers Association and Jani Hottola from the Finnish Authority TrafiCom.
On 10th March we followed with an update on the GA Roadmap from the EASA Team of Alain Leroy, Raphaelle Berthier and Vladimir Foltin.
Watch back both these webinars on the EASA Together4Safety YouTube Channel.
But the GA Season Opener is far from over! From 21st March through to the end of April there will be weekly evening webinars covering different topics. You will get lots of great tips and ideas from pilots, instructors and aviation experts. There will also be some quizzes and even some great prizes to be won. Here’s what you still can expect:
21st March: International flying.
28th March: Training and instructors.
6th April: Threat and error management and flying safely in challenging financial times.
13th April: Environment and sustainability in General Aviation.
Register for free for these webinars on the EASA events page:International Flying Webinar - GA Season opener 2023 series - Online | EASA (europa.eu)
Fly your best in 2023!
So, what can you do to make sure you are fully prepared? Think about what you want to achieve as a pilot and then take some simple steps to manage the risks you might face when you go flying.
The Safety Map provides an overview of the areas you could consider throughout your journey as an aviator.
Tecnam unveils new logo
Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam unveiled a new logo in mid-January. The new logo features a sleek design that, according to the factory, ‘conveys a sense of forward motion and progress. "Inspired by double wings, representing the duality of the founders, the Pascale brothers, the two pillars of Tecnam.’
The main colour is blue, which represents innovation for the company. The Italian flag has been incorporated into the brand to refer to the Italian heritage, the aircraft manufacturer said.
ZeroAvia develops hydrogen-electric Cessna Caravan
US-based ZeroAvia has agreed with Cessna owner Textron Aviation to develop a zero-emission hydrogen-electric powered Cessna 208B Grand Caravan. For this, ZeroAvia will equip the turboprop with its 600 kW (850 hp) ZA600 engine setup where the hydrogen tanks will be mounted under the Caravan's wings so operators can keep their seat capacity or cargo space.
The new version of the single-engine Cessna Caravan will be certified in 2025, according to ZeroAvia.
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: email@example.com, telephone or whatsapp + 31 6 50831893