The European Commission has adopted the U-space package.
The European Commission adopted the U-space package - three regulations that together create the conditions necessary for both drones and manned aircraft to operate safely in section of our airspace known as the U-space.
You can find all the information and documents on the EC website: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/news/2021-04-22-drones_en
Here are the actual regulations, published officially with reference numbers. The third paragraph is of specific interest:
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/665 of 22 April 2021 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/373 as regards requirements for providers of air traffic management/air navigation services and other air traffic management network functions in the U-space airspace designated in controlled airspace. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32021R0665
Interim solution not acceptable. Read IAOPA’s reaction!
As you probably know we have been discussing the U-Space solutions for a while already. We have already achieved some success in the new U-Space regulation, but the battle is not over yet now we fear that the “interim solutions” are the biggest threat for us.
Before the long-term-technical enablers for e-conspicuity as we want to have them (ADS-B, FLARM, smartphones …) will finally be defined and installed, the European Commission and drone-operators propose airspace segregation as the interim solution. This is just not acceptable for us! We can´t afford to be locked out of airspace whenever a drone flies!
So our political demand is to turn the situation around, and to put the burden on the drone-operators whenever they want to fly in the interim-phase: The drone-operators need to be able to identify conventional transponders on board of manned aircraft and/or work with human airspace observers (like in the USA). As these two solutions are definitely very costly, this creates a clear incentive to achieve the long-term-solution quickly.
The European Commission, member-states and drone-operators propose airspace segregation as the interim solution.
Help IAOPA improve GA by giving your answers in the annual survey
Despite challenges presented by the pandemic, the 2020 survey (link to results) was successful in gathering responses for over 2500 general aviation aircraft from 32 European countries. Its results are used by EASA in their Annual Safety Review to calculate accident rates for Non-Commercial Aeroplanes as well as supporting regulatory impact assessments and promoting the benefits general aviation brings to the European economy.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), with the support of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) launchedthe 2021 European General Aviation survey. The annual survey will contribute to a better understanding of the trends in general aviation flight activity and aircraft equipment, and fleet composition trends to support safety analysis in Europe.
The survey will close on 16th of May. To access the survey please visit: Link to 2021 Survey.“Every GA pilot knows that it is not possible to navigate precisely and safely without reliable navigational data. The GA Associations and Aviation Authorities are in a very similar situation: One can't provide targeted support for the industry without fundamental data about its situation, in terms of the number of flight hours, annual revenues, equipage of the aircraft and without knowledge about where the pilots and aircraft owners see problems. Therefore, especially in the challenging times of the COVID pandemic, it is important to participate again in this year´s survey”, said Michael Erb, Senior Vice President of IAOPA.
AERO Friedrichshafen once again postponed – to 27 to 30 April 2022
When AERO 2020 was cancelled last year due to the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic, it was a shock for the entire General Aviation industry. This year the organization in Friedrichshafen was firmly convinced that everything would be back on track in 2021. But early in the year they had to move the targeted April date towards the summer. Now, at the time that AERO 2021 would originally have started, it is clear that also the Summer Edition of AERO will not be held either.
The current pandemic situation within and outside Europe, as well as the ban on events defined in the Corona Ordinance of the state of Baden-Württemberg, mean that AERO Friedrichshafen will once again not be able to take place. The organization though is looking to the future with optimism and therefore looking forward to finally bringing the GA community together again from 27 to 30 April 2022.
Despite and especially because of the current pandemic that is gripping the entire world, a direct exchange within the aviation industry is essential. Therefore, AERO Friedrichshafen is now focusing on the next show with optimism and vigour.
AERO Division Manager Roland Bosch and Project Manager Tobias Bretzel explain: "It is with a heavy heart that we have made this decision to cancel the leading trade fair for general aviation for the second time. However, we are looking ahead to the EUROPEAN ROTORS trade fair, which will take place in Cologne from 16 to 18 November, and also to AERO 2022, to which we will once again welcome exhibitors and visitors in Friedrichshafen."
AERO 2022 will be all about the industry's relaunch after the pandemic and will offer a complete range of products for all areas of general aviation. Aircraft ranging from civil drones to gliders, microlights and gyrocopters, helicopters, touring and training aircraft with piston engines or propeller turbines, and business jets will be on show. Sustainable aviation, new propulsion systems, state-of-the-art avionics, services and accessories for pilots are further focal points of the show. These topics will also be covered in the AERO Conferences, making Europe's largest general aviation event an important platform for knowledge exchange and training.
In the coming months, AERO Friedrichshafen will also present itself with digital content on a regular basis outside of the classic trade fair period. At the last AERO in 2019 the organization welcomed around 700 exhibitors from 38 countries. More info you find here.
IAOPA’s position on In-flight collision avoidance
Since aviation began its expansion, one of the greatest risks has always been an in-flight collision. Larger machines are required to have advanced anti-collision systems on board. This obligation does not apply to smaller GA traffic. The cost of advanced systems cannot be met by a private pilot.
The responsibility for collision avoidance lies partly with ATC and partly with the pilot who, without technical support, still relies on "see and avoid" techniques to avoid collisions.
There is a clear danger for all categories of aircraft flying in the same parts of restricted airspace, especially around regional and national airports and aerodromes. The number of accidents and near misses on an annual basis, were sufficient for the European Commission to give EASA a mandate to take mitigating action. This led to the EPAS (European Plan for Aviation Safety) in which new technologies were described to reduce collision risks.
Large, expensive, complex and heavy systems cannot be applied in the GA fleet, however, the technology needed to avoid these risks already exists and follows an international technical aviation standard already used by all aircraft in the US and other parts of the world, to the satisfaction of ATC and the pilots. This technology is fully compatible with the systems used in larger aircraft and fully compliant with current regulations.
Weather and anti-collision data available to all airspace users is not part of a futuristic Sci-Fi scenario. The technology is just sitting on the shelf. Recent studies show that the number of airproxes in the US has been reduced by 53% through the use of these techniques. The risk of a collision with fatal consequences has even been reduced by 89%!
For the GA fleet, the investment per aircraft is relatively small. If the pilots realise that they will benefit from the purchase of this kind of equipment, they will be more willing to invest, especially if the government (like in the United Kingdom) is prepared to lend a hand and sets up a subsidy scheme that will improve air safety by leaps and bounds.
In order to reduce the risk of collision once and for all, IAOPA urges the European Commission and EASA to implement the already existing standard using two different frequencies so that the number of collisions and especially the number of fatalities resulting from these collisions can be seriously reduced. By increasing situational awareness among pilots, controllers and AFISOs, Dual Band ADS-B becomes one of the most important tools to increase flight safety at a very acceptable investment. By installing ground stations at GA airports, among others, AFISOs will have additional tools to safely handle traffic in the vicinity of the airport. At the same time, a European network is being set up to improve flight safety.
IAOPA together with the companies that started the US ADS-B infrastructure and the companies within Europe that are working to make the airspace safer, recommend Europe to build a network of ground stations that, using the ADS-B protocol and dual frequencies (1090 and 978 MHz), will bring tangible and immediate benefits to all airspace users. This should make use of existing, "off the shelf" solutions. IAOPA believes that the use of a unique system across Europe is the only way to increase safety for all airspace users.
SkyDemon adds Russia
SkyDemon has implemented a Russia Western (experimental) chart that covers the east of Europe up to the Ural Mountains. Coverage further east is also added although very basic so far. Who knows in the future it will be possible to fly from Europe across Russia to the USA.
The beautifully crafted chart shows all airspace elements (excluding domestic routes that are not open for foreign aircraft in Russia), airports, smaller private airfields, VFR routes, CTRs, frequencies, FIR boundaries etc.
The underlying scenery map is still very basic, a higher resolution map will be added later on. The weather information includes TAF, METAR for major international airports, winds aloft, rain up to 50°E (not enough) and new flyable conditions layer up to 40°E.
There is still an ongoing fight with the extreme amount of NOTAMs published by Russia, but the SkyDemon team is confident they will cope with the flood of often information. Information for the charts is supplied by the official air navigation providers and AOPA-Russia (airports and airfields that are not published in AIP).
If you are planning a flight across Russia and nearby countries, check out this Fuel page with a list of 280 airports serving Jet A-1 and 220 airports with Avgas 100LL
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone or whatsapp + 31 6 50831893.