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IAOPA Europe eNews May 2016 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

IAOPA Holds Successful Regional Meeting in Slovenia

On Saturday 16th April IAOPA Europe held its first Regional Meeting of 2016, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Below is a comprehensive report of the meeting. A summarized version will appear in the June issue of Aircraft Owner & Pilot magazine. (Pictured is a Pipistrel, a successful Slovenian light sport/microlight aircraft).

The meeting started with Martin Robinson, IAOPA senior v-p Europe, thanking AOPA Slovenia for the previous evening’s event, where some of the country’s aircraft manufacturers such as Pipistrel gave presentations. This was followed by a cocktail reception.

The date of the meeting was designed to be just before the AERO event in Friedrichshafen that some of the manufacturers were preparing to attend.

Martin Robinson read out apologies from Bulgaria, Iceland, Romania, Finland and Spain but otherwise there were representatives from all over Europe.

He then introduced the AOPA Slovenia hosts (pictured below), including Zdravko Stare, Peter Ravnak and Mihael Matevzic.

IAOPA secretary general Craig Spence introduced Jiri Marousek, AOPA (US) senior v-p marketing and in charge of the new rebranding for AOPA/IAOPA, including updating the website.

Craig also mentioned that planning was continuing for the IAOPA World Assembly, which is to be held in Chicago, 21-24 July. This will be over 2.5 days rather than the six days of the previous meeting in South Africa, and there will be a separate organised tour up to Oshkosh after the Assembly finishes. Spence said that the agenda was almost finalised and would include Dr Fang Lui, secretary general of ICAO, Patrick Ky, EASA executive director, and FAA administrator Michael Huerta. There will be a round table discussion involving them hosted by Tom Haines, AOPA Pilot editor-in-chief.

Spence also said that he had sent a statistical survey to all AOPAs to create the “most comprehensive database of GA activity anywhere.” It will be “used for a number of reasons, including the show the impact of regulations,” he added. Also circulated was a resolution package for the upcoming World Assembly, including a draft template for formatting proposed resolutions. “These will shape IAOPA activity for the next two years,” said Spence.

Martin Robinson noted that “There is no other GA organisation in the world that does what IAOPA does.” He said that its resolutions could be used by AOPA reps in their home countries, telling politicians and regulators that “the policies are globally agreed through the IAOPA process. Take them to your regulator – this is part of the value chain!”

He added that “Resolutions are important work–what you do with the resolutions dictates what Frank [Hofmann, IAOPA’s ICAO rep based in Montreal and present at the meeting] does for the next ten years, and is taken seriously.” Finally, Martin said that there were old resolutions that needed refreshing, “So do please make suggestions.”

Frank Hofmann (pictured) told delegates, “It is very important that we present a unified picture of all the AOPAs worldwide. Regulators want that as it gives credibility.”

Daniel Affolter of AOPA Switzerland said that all the national AOPAs should stress to their politicians and authorities that it’s an international organisation.

He then noted that ultralights and microlights represented “an incredibly fast growing market” with Italy, for example, having three times as many pilots of aircraft under 760kg than of larger types. “We’re losing a lot of members,” he lamented.

A Slovenia representative said “In Slovenia we have 300 aircraft and half are uncertified, and we have the ratio on pilots. Half are under a strong old-fashioned regime and the other half are self-governing, which means we’ll have more and more debate on this issue.”

Martin Robinson reminded everyone that AOPA was a membership organisation for any pilot no matter what they flew. “The important thing is the work we do…” and with other bodies (such as Europe Airsports) they are quasi-regulators. “AOPA maintains its independence so we can say what we wish, reasoning and making logical arguments. But what we have noticed is members of these other associations come to us when they need us.”

Eugenie Kalshoven, from AOPA Holland, said she agreed with what was said relating to microlights but that “in The Netherlands it is dealt with on a practical not a formal basis so if you show you’re dealing with their problems, they become a member….no matter what the aircraft is. For example, we have a partnership with Pipistrel [from Slovenia] and show their aircraft on our website. So we just try to gain ground…”

Martin Robinson said that at an EASA meeting two days before he’d asked for no complications as increasing to 600kg would destroy the new LSA proposals. Martin also said he supported manufacturers having to opt in to the EASA process if they wanted to take advantage of the wider European market.

Michael Erb, managing director of AOPA Germany, said he’d asked to go to EASA with the manufacturers. He added that the manufacturers were looking to combine design and production approvals.

Jacob Pedersen of AOPA Denmark (pictured, centre) said that old weight limits are not necessarily fit for purpose, noting that the 5,700kg limit above which aircraft need full type ratings was set long ago as half the takeoff weight of a DC-3. “And we still use that limit. So do we want a hard limit at 600kg?” He added that hours on a small aircraft “should count like hours on a certified aircraft – this is also the right way to go.” Other examples where ultralights/microlights are still “stuck on the old rules” includes cost sharing and official night (which for certified aircraft us until civil twilight), Pedersen pointed out.

Martin Robinson noted that the UK CAA, with its new “flexible” approach, would allow far more Annex II (which are now in fact called Annex I) aircraft in.” [NB EASA aircraft are either EASA or Annex I now, rather than EASA Annex I and II). He continued, “The big issue is how do we get more people into flying? How do we prevent the regulatory system from becoming a block and how do we make flying attractive again? It’s good to be able to start in a low-cost way, but you need a framework to facilitate that. So such divisions can be roadblocks.”

Nick Wilcock said that those with EASA FCL PPLs could generally fly microlights after differences training but not all European NAA’s have accepted this. “We need to tell the [remaining] NAAs that they should accept a Part FCL licence to fly a microlight subject to the differences training. Especially things that look like a love affair between a tent and a lawnmower.”

Michael Erb, who is the chair of the GA subgroup of the EASA SSCC committee, then gave his report on progress on EASA matters. He said that with Part M Light the CRD and Opinion had been published, so that maintenance on GA aircraft would in future be “significantly less complex and will cost less” [even though falling well short of what AOPA originally sought]. He said that “some good progress” was being made with the GA Roadmap. He also said that there was an early Rulemaking Task on AFIS but the early drafts were not well put together. A follow-on meeting on this was due to take place at Friedrichshafen.

Nick Wilcock, of AOPA UK and IAOPA Europe’s FCL rep, then discussed proposals for Basic Training Organisations saying “it looks like they’ll be only for VFR and SEP.”, added that the whole issue had become “hugely political” and suggested that non-complex ATO requirements would have been better. He added that he suspected the UK CAA would do this once the BTO had been sorted out. He noted however that the “opt out” for ATOs that must become RFs “has a hard deadline.” He also said “there was never a level playing field with RFs…the requirements were far more stringency in some member states that in others.”

He then talked about the lack of uptake of the LAPL around Europe. “I think it’s because the first ten hours [after you pass] you’re not allowed to fly with passengers.” A proposal to EASA is to allow these to be dome with an instructor. A Swiss lawyer/pilot that was present said, “the LAPL is not popular. You still need all the same theory etc but for Swiss pilots they’re locked in. It’s not an ICAO compliant licence so you can’t go beyond the border – and in Switzerland you need to go beyond the border!”

Then the need for FIs to have commercial-level knowledge was touched upon and Wilcock said there was an NPA coming out on the theoretical knowledge requirements. A drop in the number of instructors in Europe is leading to pressure to reduce the requirements. Instructors without CPL level knowledge can only teach to LAPL.

Craig Spence mentioned the “Rusty Pilots Course” that was developed by AOPA in the US, which the FAA has accepted as the ground portion of the Biennial Flight Review (BFR). He said that he would provide it to IAOPA Europe in a form it could be customised. Jiri from IAOPA in the US said the Rusty Pilots Course had been “rebuilt and relaunched” recently. “We’ve also used it as a marketing tool to get people back,” he added. [Pictured left is Zdravko Stare of AOPA Slovenia].

Jacob Pedersen said that “One of the biggest tasks in Denmark is to help our CAA to understand the implications of EASA regulations as many are very confused.” Martin Robinson said “We need to work harder to remove bureaucracy.”

Michael Erb said that AOPA Germany does annual “training camps”. He explained, “We reach around ten percent of our membership a year. They are usually over long weekends. With the one in Bavaria we fly into the Alps for a week. Anyone can do it, and we take instructors and ask the airfield [where we go] for reduced landing fees. People love it!”

Eugenie then asked Nick about EASA/FAA mutual recognition of licences. “We’re still waiting for the BASA agreement to be ratified,” he said. “EASA has given the nod to an extended exemption by one year, which is in law now.” He said that the UK CAA has issued a temporary derogation already but there was “a difficulty if you want to fly in a country that hasn’t accepted the derogation/opt out and you want to fly an N-Reg aircraft on an FAA licence to there.” Michael pointed out that the derogations we on a spreadsheet available on EASA’s website.

Erb noted that BASA “exists” but the administrative annex is delayed due to wording issues. But it is expected that the annex will be ratified by mid-2016. “So it makes sense to put this back until April 2017.” Martin Robinson suggested that it may be a good idea to notify trusts through which foreign individuals own N-Reg aircraft overseas that the changes are coming.

Jacob Pedersen then gave an update on issues he handles for IAOPA Europe. He noted on RNP approaches, “We fiercely opposed having two IRs, one with GPS privileges and one without. Other people said that some training schools don’t have aircraft that can do GPS. The compromise was that there will be one licence and after 2020 every flying school must give training that includes RNP/GPS approaches.” He noted that those that have already got GPS training “get grandfathered. So you will be able to get an add-on to your IR.”

Following a question from a Greek delegate, Jacob said, “A lot of pilots with licences from outside the EU don’t know if they can fly in Europe or not. It’s complex, and different from country to country.” But he noted that issues were being solved through IAOPA’s work one by one, examples being oxygen requirements, and dangerous goods regulations.

Craig Spence (on the right in this picture, next to Martin Robinson) said that AOPA runs a Pilot Information Center manned by certified FIs “who know the regulations. And we have two people that are familiar with international regulations too.” Billy Costa, from AOPA Greece, said it would be good to have such a help line in Europe as “sometimes I need help but I don’t even know how to look it up.”

The discussion moved on to the upcoming revision of the Basic Regulation (BR) that governs EASA in EU law. Martin Robinson said that the update was 180 pages plus annexes. “I think it’s a huge step in the right direction; it’s something we’ve been asking for for many years. Once published and it is law, EASA will have a five-year period to clear existing regulations to ensure all regulations comply with the proportional, risk-based approach.”

He noted about a recent meeting in Brussels where proposals to exclude some aircraft from the BR was discussed, including a 600kg limit and the manufacturer opt-in/opt-out provision.

Martin said he was looking for comments on his report on the BR from the national AOPAs that would be affected, “as [the new BR] will be the rules for the next 10 years! So it’s an opportunity for all of us to input and try to get further changes.” The draft is available in the various national languages of the EU, he added. The BR will get two readings in the European Parliament and one in Council and then it will go for a vote. He also suggested that AOPAs engage their members on it as well.

Jacob Pedersen said he was really concerned about the removal of the ‘commercial operation’ definition from the BR. “It’s not ideal but least it tries to explain what GA does. They think by excluding A-to-A flights they’re doing something, but it doesn’t help!” What is proposed is that simply having the definition of commercial air transport is enough, with this exclusion. Jacob said that GA is much more than A-to-A flights; he suggested using the ICAO definition of CAT, which Frank Hofmann said was simply any aircraft operation (passenger, cargo etc) for remuneration or hire.

“If you take out the definition of commercial operation you only have CAT to rely on,” said Jacob. It was decided that Martin should propose to the EC that commercial operation is reinserted and that the simpler ICAO definition is used for CAT. A Slovenian rep said not to forget about aerial work, and Martin replied that the ICAO definition of aerial work came out in 1985 and that it “falls within our purview.”

Concluding, Martin said that the BR is due to become law in late Q2, 2017, during the Dutch presidency of the EU. He noted that “the Dutch seem to be quite proactive on discussing the [BR].”

Moving on, Martin Robinson said he had been “trying to establish a pool of experts in AOPA UK, for example Bob Darby on LPAT who you met last time…we’re looking at ways to use the European system to achieve positive results for our members.” He said that the GSA in Prague has responsibility for EGNOS satellite over the Bay of Biscay and there was a project in place to “try to get some of our aerodromes live with GPS approaches.” He said that “last week we were successful in getting €250,000 in funding covering three aerodromes: Haverfordwest (in west Wales), Gloucester and Stapleford.”

With SESAR Phase I ending in mid-2016 he said that some projects are being “repackaged” under the new SESAR 2020. “We would like to achieve a European AOPA position we can submit to SESAR [Joint Undertaking] on what GA needs. SESAR can build on that and you can take it to your member states too.”

Martin Robinson then introduced Philip Church (pictured left), principal consultant at Helios, who has been advising AOPA and looking at “how we can influence and encourage greater use of non-certified equipment.”

Philip said that SESAR was created in 1999 with SES I legislation being passes in 2004, followed by the creation of the SESAR Joint Undertaking in 2007. He noted the “mountain of regulation” that flowed from all this, culminating most recently in 2012 and the second edition of the European ATM Master Plan. This aimed to achieve a 3x increase in capacity, 10x increase in safety and 50% environmental improvement.

Today, he said, the goals had been reduced to 1x, 4x and 10%, respectively, with a 40% reduction in ATM costs. This reflects the fact “political objectives have been driven into the ATM Master Plan.” He added that “SESAR is mainly driven by the interests of the ANSPs and airlines” with GA having “no direct [influence] on the programme. But you need involvement within SESAR to influence it.”

He said that, in his view, the impact of SESAR on GA was increased costs of €280 million, “And SESAR has not even quantified what the benefits will be for GA.” Meanwhile, “Airlines etc. will increasingly be able to go through Class Golf airspace.”

Philip stated “IAOPA has been clear and in February 2015 we reiterated the priorities” including access to infrastructure and information. He said that a draft paper was being prepared and IAOPA Europe is now “waiting for a meeting with the Commission.”

Michael Erb said that IAOPA started contributing to the formulation of SESAR in 2004 “and then we were a SESAR partner – but now it is limited to those who contribute financially. But some people say that SESAR is an instrument for cross-subsidising Airbus and Thales…[and] some people say that nothing has been achieved. But we want to do more on a political level, to ask them to consider GA and not to ignore us.” He concluded that IAOPA wants to issue a position paper on SESAR JU “but we need your feedback.”

Martin Robinson noted that states can be fined if they don’t meet targets for airspace improvements. He also said that the EU wants to reduce fragmentation of airspace “But we still have to operate within that airspace… we got funding from SESAR to help with the work we are doing.”

Nick Wilcock said that one of the issues is that air sports organisations don’t want a “known environment” – which can increasingly be achieved through technology – but this means the commercial operators push for more controlled airspace. “My view is if the low fare airlines get the network benefit, the cost should be transferred to them from GA.” He also queried the effect of proposals for Advanced RNP could have on GA. “Does it mean all airfields in that TMA have to [comply]? They need to take into account the potential impact or we end up trying to play catch-up.”

Craig Spence said, “If anything concerns me about GA continuing to have access to airspace it is PBN. There is a move to make this standard so GA is cut out. There are only three GE aircraft that are capable of flying RNP 0.3, and they are all owned by Honeywell!

“So things are being laid now where if the needs of GA are not considered, it will seriously affect us and we could get locked out in the future. But the military is an ally as most of their aircraft can’t meet the requirements either…so it’s worth contacting them.” It was noted that RNP 0.3, which is intended mainly for approaches and terrain-constrained environments, is so accurate that it is giving airlines a problem, with the aircraft using exactly the same point. [Note: Picture shows delegates' visit to Ljubljana Castle).

Philip Church said his concern was for example RNP into Antwerp “You’d think it was really good – but the volume of airspace needed is much larger than for the usual procedures. It caused quite a lot of problems, and even encroached on another CTR.”

Michael Erb said, “We could fly GPS approaches into our airfields independently but we have to fulfil the requirements of big airfields [e.g. Heathrow, Frankfurt] when we’re near them. I don’t think our problem has been fully understood yet.” Martin said “It is worth flagging up that there is €280 million of expense lying in wait for GA. The problem is the member states and EC are giving so much time to capacity and delays aspects of the network. And airlines can only grow if they show that emissions are less than [2011 levels] so there is pressure to get the airspace more efficient.”

Philip said that IAOPA had asked SESAR JU to clarify what the airspace vision was; Martin responded by saying it has been discussed with SJU “and they have indicated that they will engage with us on this.”
Erb noted that on the one area mandated so far, datalinks, “airlines are absolutely frustrated with this… it just doesn’t work.” But he suggested that something like Flightradar24 in aircraft could help with visibility of the traffic environment. Martin said a paper would be circulated on airspace issues and noted, “I see there is no objection to us continuing this work.”

Finally, Martin said that commercial single-engine IFR could be cleared in Europe soon more generally, so this could bring a new market. “We have to think about this kind of thing too.”

A talk was then given by Bogdan Petricel, senior ATC expert from Eurocontrol (pictured left), said that the organisation has 40 member states (not only the EU’s 28) and 65 ATC centres with some 600 sectors when at full capacity. It also has “approximately 17,000 air traffic controllers,” he said, and revenues of €8.2 billion a year. “We do not produce regulations, but we do help EASA with performance reviews etc. We do Network Management, and research, and redistribute charges; we don’t charge you, we collect money and redistribute it. And we manage scarce resources – airspace, transponder codes etc – and we try to coordinate how frequencies are used in the European region.”

He said it was around 100 years since the first known air-to-ground radio call, and then he went through how radio frequency spacing had changed over the years, from 200kHz in 1947, 100kHz in 1958, 50kHz in 1962 (360 channels), and 25kHz in 1972 (720 channels). Then the available spectrum range was increased up to 137MHz in 1979 to give 760 possible frequencies. But with a looming shortage, Eurocontrol started looking at 8.33kHz spacing in 1995 (2280 frequencies, theoretically).

In 1999 it was decided this would be implemented above FL245 and then in 2007 this was brought down to FL195, followed by the current 2012 mandate to have 8.33 in all EU airspace by 31st December 2018. He showed a slide that illustrated how there is little choice but to do this with current growth, suggesting that delegates visit the Eurocontrol website where the rationale behind the implementing rule (IR 1079/2012) has been published.

The first milestone will be 1st January 2018 when all equipment in the EU will have to be 8.33 capable, then all frequencies switch to 8.33 channels at the end of 2018 (the year allows for testing etc). “Some states will then not allow you to fly if not equipped…although the EC can grant exemptions.”

“The penalty for inaction is that it hits economic development – new airports and runways, aerodromes and new services (ATIS, FIS etc), and special event frequencies, along with the potential for interference increasing.” He said the potential benefits to GA included reduced detours around 8.33 areas, more frequencies for new aerodromes etc and reduced frequency interference and less frequency sharing.

He also said all new radio equipment that has been put into service since 2013 has been 8.33 capable, and highlighted the 8.33 Implementation Support Project that starts this year. “This will help to spread awareness. Anyone can join the Implementation Support Group and we do want you to come to the meetings if you can.”

In each state, he said, there were state national coordinators (SNCs) who can liaise with all airspace users – military, GA, airfields etc in their state. Bogdan said he would distribute a list of SNCs that IAOPA Europe could publish. He also said that Eurocontrol “wants to do an inventory of existing equipment” (in use and available) with information about installations, interference, certification. “And we will make this public too,” he added.

There will be field tests too, “especially to see if you can still use 25kHz at low level in an 8.33kHz environment, for example in France, Portugal and Spain. We don’t know et if it will cause interference.” Also in terms of awareness he said “that’s why I’m here!” The team at Eurocontrol is presenting at conferences and workshops and there will be flight planning support, “With an IFR FPL warning mechanism with an indication of FIRs likely to require 8.33 before 2018.”

Bogdan explained that “an 8.33 channel is not a frequency…it’s not the carrier frequency so you can’t dial it up on your 25kHz box!” There is a central frequency and two side bands for each channel, + and – 8.33kHz removed.

On funding he said “We tried to get a funding scheme but we need to know the cost to equip, how many aircraft are out there – as it is possible to apply for EC funding support through the TEN-T [transport funding] programme. Try to convince your [state] coordinator to apply on a state basis, as you can’t do it owner-by-owner. But if you engage on this it has to be very well organised.” He said there would be a website going live in October or November this year where people could enter their details onto the aforementioned Eurocontrol database.

Martin Robinson warned “The longer we leave it, the more the risk the avionics shops won’t be able to keep up with demand! We’re going to run up against a buffer.” He also said that in Class G airspace aircraft don’t have to carry radios so more could opt not to use a radio, and to remain outside controlled airspace at all times, rather than having the expense of new radio equipment.

Jacob Pedersen said his concern was flight safety “as the cost of installing radios is sometimes more than the cost of the aircraft – so people will end up flying without radios.” Martin said these points had already been made to Eurocontrol. But he noted that there would be six reserved frequencies that those with old radios could still use, including Safetycom 135.475 (in use in the UK since 2004), and the 121.5 distress frequency.

[Note: as an aside from this fascinating report we inserted a picture of the famous Lake Bled with its castle and island/church, taken during a flight in a Cessna 172 from Bled Airfield, along with a screenshot from SkyDemon on an iPhone while driving around Slovenia to visit airfields. A report will appear in the June eNews].

Following this presentation, IAOPA’s ICAO representative Frank Hofmann explained that the first international regulations for aviation were produced in 1944. “There was no GA at the time but now we are trying to undo the neglect that GA has suffered since then…” Being based at the ICAO HQ in Montreal is invaluable, he said: “You can only achieve things when people see and trust you, so when they see my they know I represent GA, and GA has a single voice at ICAO. I can get to see the national CAAs as they send reps too, normally on a three-year cycle.” He also noted that IAOPA was formed in 1963 “and in 1964 we joined ICAO.”

He noted a few things that IAOPA has done at ICAO, for example type certification for aircraft below 750kg (achieved last year). “So aircraft below 600kg can now get a type rating and so people can sell their aircraft anywhere in the world. Prior to that ICAO wouldn’t consider the aircraft for certification.” Frank also said he was gathering statistical data on aircraft age and equipage, starting with Canada (his home state). He noted the GA fleet in Canada averages 41 years old with a standard deviation of 23 years (The central 66% are 1967-2005).

Finally, Frank told delegates that there would also be an ICAO database/website showing regulations that apply in each country in the world, with differences from ICAO. “Most pilots are proudly flying illegally over many countries,” he suggested. “Ferry pilots say it takes six months to get information from some states – so ICAO has a room full of AIPs!”

Jiri Marousek (pictured left) from AOPA in the US (and IAOPA) then gave a presentation about AOPA’s rebranding initiative and a new focus on pilot “lifestyle”. Part of the thinking of AOPA in the US is “We have about 20% rate of people starting and actually finishing a PPL. That’s unacceptable,” Jiri said.

He added, “We make it seem so darn special that nobody is invited! And the organisation over the past few decades has come to take itself way too seriously, when flying is supposed to be fun and pretty cool.” He added that the AOPAs of Austria, Switzerland and Germany had already chosen to adopt the new international rebrand, which IAOPA can provide graphics (logos etc) for. “We’ll be bringing one or two designers to Chicago [the World Assembly] to help AOPAs with the logos,” Jiri said.

“We are rolling out a completely new web presence with a global brand over the next few weeks. There are nearly 500,000 pilots outside the US – 42,000 are members of IAOPA or its affiliates.”

Jacob Pedersen reported on the IAOPA Europe eNews and magazine (Aircraft Owner & Pilot), the latter produced by AOPA UK. The eNews has some 15,000 recipients. “I went through the list and added Google Analytics,” he said. “I was extremely pleased to look at it as more than 10,000 opened the newsletter. That’s completely amazing and some of the e-mails were opened by 300-400 people, meaning some organisations send it [to all their members/staff]. So the total is over 13,500 already, so it is going to a lot.”

There was then a discussion about Skyüber. “The CAA see it as a dating service,” said Martin Robinson. “[AOPA Germany have written to Skyüber to say they can operate there…and in the US it looks like the [Flytenow] court ruling might be overturned…and France is looking again at the proposal. So it is happening – we need to look carefully at how we approach it.”

Jacob Pedersen said his concern was that the website looks “so professional…but the important thing is that the person buying the seat I fully aware of what he is buying.”

Martin said that Skyüber has agreed to put on its site that it’s not an airline-type flight or air taxi, it is private, and the destination could change at any time. “I’ve found them quite responsible,” he noted. “And they have said they can come to the next IAOPA Regional Meeting, in Madrid,” confirming: “Now EASA does allow people to advertise cost sharing to strangers.” However, Nick Wilcock said “EASA is concerned about this – the intention was not an air taxi service to the public saying ‘Book a Seat, etc. The intention was friends and colleagues and is why the French have been so annoyed about it. And [in the listing of flights available] it only says e.g. PPL/IR holder, it doesn’t even say the aircraft type.”

Jiri suggested that it was a mistake to use ‘Über’ in the name. Martin added, “Which is why they’re thinking of changing the name.” Craig Spence said, “It is of world importance and is a possible [subject for a] IAOPA resolution in Chicago. The technology is unique and interesting.” A Swiss rep said, “There’s no way this is cost-sharing it is seat-selling” to which Martin said “For us it’s a safety issue, but we do want to encourage the right to share.”

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Jeppesen Mobile FlightDeck Expands

Jeppesen has announced that its Mobile FlightDeck software/app now encompasses Norway, Sweden and Finland. The company also released an expert report by Professor Elmar Giemulla that concludes that Mobile FlightDeck complies with IATA and EASA regulations for private pilots to fly without paper backup charts.

Jeppesen has further enhanced Mobile FlightDeck with a new single installation option for iPads that provides access to both VFR and instrument flight rules (IFR) real-time flight data. Mike Abbott, director, Jeppesen Navigation & Flight Deck programs, said, “The ability to switch between IFR and VFR data through a single installation offers pilots more flexibility in selecting the EFB service that best suits their requirements for flying.”

Pilots can also now import route information and third-party flight planning data from sources such as RocketRoute and AvPlan.

Jeppesen has also partnered with headset manufacturer Bose to add audio warnings to the Mobile FlightDeck VFR app. Pilots can connect their Bose A20 headsets to their iPad or other device through a wireless Bluetooth connection and receive real-time critical airspace and waypoint audio warnings. This adds an aural element to the visual warnings displayed on the device screen.

First Dutch AOPA Fly-In Planned

On Saturday, 2nd July 2016 AOPA Holland will hold its very first fly-In. The event will be held in the very southwest of the Netherlands near the coast, at Midden Zeeland airport (EHMZ). Flying in from the UK, Belgium, France or Germany is relatively feasible, said AOPA Holland. “All AOPA members and their passengers are very welcome.

The airport has AVGAS 100LL, JET A1 and EURO98 fuels. 

During the day visitors can enjoy a great variety of delicious food and drinks from local vendors. We have invited some interesting speakers. There will be a fair with booths representing aviation companies, such as aircraft manufacturers, maintenance and training companies. You will also be able to have a close look at some new aircraft.

“More importantly, it will be an event where all aspects of Dutch General Aviation are represented - ATC, Aviation Authorities and Interest Groups. So expect a great atmosphere and a great excuse to make an international trip. For visitors 
International AOPA Members have free access and do not have to pay landing fees. Non-AOPA members pay € 42.50 per plane. This includes the landing fees. Passengers have free access.

Are you planning to come over? Let us know. Please send an email to with the following information: Your full name
Country of origin and AOPA membership number; The registration of the aircraft with which you will fly to the Fly-In
’ The number of persons on board (POB); 
Your email address; Your telephone number.” For more information, please visit this LINK. 

LPAT Project Awarded 50% Funding

It has been announced that the LPAT (Low Powered ADS-B Transponder) initiative of IAOPA has been awarded 50% funded by SESAR which, with the support of NATS UK, TRIG and Funke Avionics, aims to improve situational awareness for GA operations.

The SESAR Joint Undertaking is a European Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme, with which IAOPA Europe has been involved since 2008/9. It is a co-funded project between the European Commission and the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) funding programme. SESAR is the technology arm of modernisation of the ATM system across Europe, similar to the US NextGen project.

IAOPA Europe stated: “As Phase I of SESAR moves towards SESAR 2020, IAOPA will continue to be involved, even if it’s only in a small way, in developing new methods of improving the safety of GA flights, the next stage in the of evolution, SESAR will have its challenges – will continue to influence the projects making sure that GA’s needs are not forgotten.”

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Air BP Acquires Stake in RocketRoute

International fuel supplier Air BP announced at last month’s AERO Friedrichshafen Show in Germany that it had taken a minority stake in UK company RocketRoute, which was founded in 2010. “The move strengthens the existing relationship between the two companies which will enable them to jointly continue developing new technology solutions that simplify the complexity of flight planning and fuel purchasing for private pilots, owners, operators and flight departments. In the coming months, RocketRoute, supported by Air BP, will be announcing more exciting new solutions for customers,” said the companies in a statement.

Also during the AERO show, RocketRoute announced that France’s Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile  (ENAC) had selected RocketRoute as its primary flight planning solution.

ENAC was founded in 1949 in Paris-Orly, moving to Toulouse in 1968 and merging with the SEFA (Service d’Exploitation de la Formation Aéronautique) on 1 January, 2011. ENAC is the only aviation-oriented university in France, operating from eight locations around the country.

Laure Gelminger of ENAC said: “RocketRoute will allow us to save time in flight preparation and allow crews to be more independent. Our instruction pilots are required to file multiple flight plans per day. The iPad application and website are very efficient and very fast to file, remove and modify a flight plan. The reception of ACK by SMS is a real operational tool.” RocketRoute will be exhibiting at EBACE, Aero Expo (Sywell, UK) and NBAA (Orlando, Florida) this year.

Garmin Pilot Enhances European Offering

Garmin has “streamlined” the preflight planning and flight plan filing for Europe in the latest release of Garmin Pilot, allowing flight plans to be filed from within the app. Filings are free to those with Garmin Pilot subscriptions. The company has also added VFR chart coverage for France, following on from the recent addition of UK charts. Flight profile view has also been expanded to include both iPad and iPhone, displaying a vertical cross section of airspace, terrain, obstacles and weather.

Garmin also said that when paired with the GTX 345, Flight Stream 210 or the GDL 39 3D, ADS-B In traffic could be viewed within the profile view.

It has also added the ability to enter customized personal minima or flight operations minima, including cloud ceiling and visibility, and a maximum crosswind component.
For those with the AERA 660 device, wireless flight plan transfer is enabled via Garmin Pilot.

Finally, it said that “new, cost-effective pricing of the Garmin Pilot base subscription provides worldwide navigation and weather for $149.99 annually.”

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DJI Shows it Takes Geofencing Seriously

Industry leading small drone manufacturer DJI is developing a system to prevent flights in restricted areas, it announced last month. The company stated that it “has experts available in the U.S. and Europe to discuss [our] industry-leading geofencing technology, which restricts flights near airports and other sensitive locations.

A reported drone incident at London’s Heathrow Airport has highlighted how technological solutions can help ensure aviation safety.

“Enhancing aviation safety is DJI’s top priority, which is why we have proactively incorporated geofencing technology into our drones over the past three years,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI’s vp of policy and legal affairs. “No one has any business operating a drone without authorization near an airport flight path, and we have supported proposals to criminalize hazardous operation in those circumstances.”

DJI’s geofencing system can help prevent inadvertent operation in areas that raise safety and security concerns, such as near airports, prisons, nuclear power plants, and areas sensitive to national security. In some restricted zones, a DJI drone’s software will not permit it to operate at all. More information about DJI’s geofencing system is available at

“DJI urges every drone pilot to act responsibly and follow applicable laws and regulations in their jurisdictions, just like the vast majority of millions of drone pilots around the world.”

Not that there will be a Drone Show running in parallel to the Farnborough Airshow in mid-July. Click here to view the CAA's Drone Safety Banner.

Continental Increases Diesel TBR to 2,100hrs

Continental announced at AERO Friedrichshafen in April that it had raised the TBR (time between replacement) of its Diesel CD-100 series engines to 2,100 hours. This lifetime
increase affects all CD-135 and CD-155 engines manufactured since 1st December 2015, “incorporating revision status 2 design changes.”

“Continental continues to invest in research, development and production quality enhancements,” said Jürgen Schwarz, EVP engineering of Continental Motors Group. “The continuous improvement of the engine design, based on the evidence and experience of 5 million flight hours, results in lower cost of ownership and operation.”

The lifetime extension was possible due to several design improvements engineered over the past two years, said the company. The TBR of the CD-155 increases from 1,200 hours to 2,100 hours, the CD-135 from 1,500 to 2,100 hours. In addition, the gearbox and timing chain will be rated for 1,200 hours once EASA issues the final paperwork for these components.

The CD-100 family of compression ignition engines are extensively used in flight schools around the world and have been chosen by OEMs such as Cessna Aircraft (Cessna 172 JTA Skyhawk), Diamond Aircraft (DA40 and DA42), Glasair (Sportsman), Mooney Aircraft (M10), Piper Aircraft (Archer DX - pictured) and Robin New Aircraft. Retrofit kits for many popular airframes are also available.

Danish Naviair Publishes VFR Guide

Danish ANSP Naviair has published a new 8-page VFR guide for pilots that can be downloaded as a PDF HERE

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Daher Starts TBM 930 Deliveries

Daher delivered the first TBM 930 to a European customer, Rheinland Air Service (RAS), in April at the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany. RAS is the TBM authorized distributor for Austria and Germany.

The new TBM 930, which was unveiled April 5 at the company’s factory in Tarbes, France, includes the Garmin G3000 avionics system and an “enhanced interior,” which differentiate it from the G1000-equipped TBM 900. Both turboprop singles are certified by the FAA and EASA.

According to Daher, the TBM 930 and 2016 TBM 900 also share several new features, including angle of attack (AOA) information on the primary flight display; electronic stabilization and protection systems; underspeed protection; emergency descent mode; and additional voice alerts for stall, overspeed, landing gear status and oxygen mask use. The first TBM930 was delivered to its buyer at Sun ’n Fun 2016 in Lakeland, Florida, in early April.

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EBAA Looks Forward to EBACE

The European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition will take place at the Palexpo centre, Geneva Airport, 24-26 May.

At a pre-show press conference in Brussels on 27th April Fabio Gamba, CEO of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), said he had concerns over the health of business aviation in Europe.

He said activity dipped last year over the previous year, and the further east the worse the picture looks. While the situation in Russia is known – a combination of a political stand-off with the EU and the commodities crisis that has suppressed the BRICS nations – the overall figures point to a move into the third dip of a “triple-dip recession” with a curious break away from the usual correlation with GDP.

EBAA has also looked at seven countries in more detail, including the main three Germany, France and the UK. Together these represent 63% of output, of a sector that employs 371,000, adds €27bn of value to the economy and “almost €98bn” to output, according to EBAA’s figures.

“The main difference is that we fly direct,” noted Gamba. “We don’t have hubs.” He added, “We’ve taken the 800,000 movements by bizav annually and looked at the fastest alternative, and on average we’re gaining two hours [on the airlines].”

He said that it terms of connectivity business aviation offers some 100,000 city pairs, “25,000 of which have no commercial service. So 200,000 flights a year are not possible via airlines.” He added that many would find they were “close to an airfield wherever you are.”

EBAA’s study also looked at airports, 2010-2015 with a focus on the top 10 business aviation airports. Gamba sais that Paris Le Bourget was “the biggest bizav airport by far in Europe” even though it had dropped in terms of movements, but some such as Geneva had seen considerable drops in movements. “So we have some concerns about Geneva”.

Moscow was down almost 5% and Rome Ciampino almost 7%. Only London Luton and Farnborough had grown, he said. The busiest city pair was Paris (Le Bourget)-Geneva with around 4,000 flights a year. Paris’s two main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, see very little business aviation traffic–Gamba contrasted this with London where bizav traffic is spread around 6 or 7 airports, giving choice depending on the part of the city you need to access.

The next most active city pairs were Paris-Nice, Milan-Rome and Moscow Nice, but Gamba noted that “All the top four have decreased.”

Looking at 2015 departures compared to 2014, Russia showed a 40% decrease, and even once booming Turkey dipped by 6.3%. Ukraine was down 57% and Belarus -72%, though it is a tiny market, Gamba admitted.

So there is a “bright side,” said Gamba, given that profits and margins are better on long-haul, there being less competition. “It’s where business aviation is at its best, to fly from a small airport in Scandinavia to a small airport in Brazil.”

Also on the bright side he noted that business aviation had maintained a steady 7% share of flights over the past 10 years, “despite everything”.

Gamba concluded by outlining what EBAA is focusing on at the moment, one priority being increasing the number of satellite-based precision approaches, to open up more airfields to business aircraft. He said that 500 LPV runway-ends were planned, and that there were 150 in Europe so far. This compares to the US with its more than 3,500 LPV approaches. “We’re telling the Commission that the runways are there,” he stated.

He said that EBAA is also working to “disseminate a Just Culture, the sharing of occurrences in a no-blame environment,” via E-SORS (the EBAA Safety Occurrence Reporting System).

Events-wise, as well as EBACE it has a new “Schedulers & Dispatchers” style event in October in Cannes, called Airops and dedicated to FBOs and airports.

A copy of Gamba's presentation is available HERE.

EBAA to Tackle “Grey Charters”

The European Business Aviation Association has urged “everyone involved with business aviation” to ensure that flights advertised and arranged are both legal and in compliance with the regulatory safety standards demanded by AOC holders.

“If you are a passenger, crew member, or anyone else who suspects a non-compliant Business Aviation activity, please report the activity to EBAA,” it said. The form is available HERE and any additional relevant documentation can be uploaded also.

It said that the information provided to EBAA would be used to produce an initial aggregated report on non-compliant activities. “This report will help us to develop tailor-made solutions to address the non-compliant activity issue, which can then be presented to national authorities.” No personal details will be published and only aggregate data will be included in the final report.

EGNOS Service Provision Workshop

The next annual EGNOS Service Provision Workshop will be held on 27-28 September 2016 in Warsaw, Poland. Please lick HERE for the agenda and how to register (CLICK HERE). If you have any questions please e-mail

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UK Relaxes PPL Medical Requirements

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that medical requirements for some private pilots are to change, “in most cases, [removing] the need for General Practitioner (GP) or Authorised Medical Examiner involvement in the process.” The change follows a public consultation, in which 96 percent of those responding agreed with the proposal.

Next year the medical requirement for UK private pilot licence and national private pilot licence holders will be to meet the same standard as that required to hold an ordinary driving licence. Existing medical options (for example a UK declaration with GP counter signature) will remain available. The same options will also be available for private balloon pilots.

To take advantage of the change, pilots will need to complete a form on the CAA website to declare that they meet the DVLA medical standard. Pilots under 70 will need to do this once while pilots over 70 must confirm their declaration every three years.

The changes are planned to come into effect in late summer 2016 when a new version of the UK Air Navigation Order legislation will be published and which will contain these changes and other significant amendments for general aviation.

The announcement is in line with the CAA's top level principles for GA regulation: “Only regulate directly when necessary and do so proportionately; Deregulate where we can; Delegate where appropriate; Do not gold-plate, and quickly and efficiently remove gold-plating that already exists; Help create a vibrant and dynamic GA sector in the UK.

The consultation response document can be seen at

More detail on the CAA's GA activities and the work of the GA Unit are available at​

Pan‐Scandinavian Exemption From 8.33 Proposed

AOPA Finland reports that it supports other Scandinavian GA organization’s proposal to exempt 8.33 kHz channel spacing requirement in Scandinavia.

Finnish CAA, Trafi, has received the proposal positively and is planning to coordinate with other Scandinavian civil aviation authorities in a near future to have the exemption as wide as possible in Scandinavian countries.

According to proposal aircraft operators may operate in Scandinavian airspace where carriage of radio is required, even though the aircraft radio equipment does not have the 8.33 kHz channel spacing capability, provided that the aircraft does not operate above a pre-assigned maximum altitude, FL095, and that the radio transmitting power is 10 Watts or less. 

The pre-assigned maximum altitude may be reduced by the competent authorities in certain areas, whenever strictly required for frequency co‐ordination purposes.
 Assuming that 60 percent of the Scandinavian fleet is yet to be converted, the total cost of replacing radios within this segment adds up to 20 million euros.

An important aspect is that general aviation and air sports have no customer to forward the cost to. In other words, the private individuals will have to pay the cost entirely out of their own pockets. In turn, this will lead to less    activity within the segment, exactly the opposite of the objectives of the European Union’s “An agenda for sustainable future in general and business aviation” (2010/C67E/02).

The costs of implementation of 8,33 kHz channel spacing are unreasonable in the context of the benefits which may be achieved in Scandinavia. The trend of the demand for frequency assignment does not indicate any congestion in Scandinavia as there are in core area of Europe which is suffering from serious frequency congestion despite of 8.33 kHz channel spacing.

Please click HERE for the original paper thanks to other AOPA affiliates.

Georgia Rally Plan Announced

The Memorial Hans Gutmann Rally will take place in August. Please visit this LINK for details (poster) and for the full presentation showing the plan please click HERE. For further information please contact AOPA Luxembourg secretary general, Peter Sodermans (

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IAOPA Reveals New Worldwide Branding

In order to establish a common brand worldwide the IAOPA logo is been updated to reflect changes in AOPA USA’s branding, “changes and capture the importance of the organization and the role that it fulfills in generating interest and advocacy for general aviation globally.” The new branding was revealed at AERO in Friedrichshafen in Germany last month.

“This rebranding is more than just changing the logo; it represents a unique opportunity to establish a unified brand globally with a renewed focus on serving the interests of GA in both the international and local arenas...a special opportunity exists for all affiliates that are interested in updating their brand,” said Mark R. Baker, president, International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations.