Several states are making exemptions from the 8.33 radio mandate
Just three months away from the official deadline for equipping with an 8.33 kHz radio, several states are now officially confirming that they will exempt certain airspace users from the requirement.
According to Eurocontrol the following 18 states have notified exemptions: Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Malta, Estonia, Poland, UK, Norway, France, Spain and Denmark. Normally the content and the details of these exemptions are supposed to be published in the national AIPs.
The scale and scope of the national exemption varies and has not yet been officially published by all states. Here is what we know so far:
From Finland we received the news that the European Commission has approved a 10-year transitional period for the 8.33 kHz channel spacing conversion of frequencies used for aeronautical radio equipment in Finland. Therefore users of radio equipment with 25 kHz channel spacing were given a 10-year extension on implementing the change.
Finnish AOPA states that this derogation only applies to Finland. The 8.33 kHz channel spacing may be introduced in the neighbouring countries in the beginning of 2018. It is the aviators’ duty to check this. If a new radio device is installed or an existing device is updated during the transitional period, it must have 8.33 kHz channel spacing capability. A faulty 25 kHz device can be replaced with a similar device during the transitional period. [see details]
Denmark reports that there will be exemptions for VFR traffic below FL 195 outside Copenhagen TMA. [see details]
In Ireland IFR and VFR traffic in class G and VFR traffic in class C is exempted till 2024.[see details]
Exemptions are also foreseen in both Norway and Sweden but so far we have not been able to find any official announcements.
In Portugal any pilot or plane operator may request to ANAC before 1st december 2017 that its radio equipment should be exempt from 8.33khz spacing. This exemption will be valid only in Portuguese territory for uncontrolled air space and uncontrolled aerodromes, except if these have 8.33 equipment.
AOPA Switzerland applied for a one year exemption. No answer yet from the Swiss CAA, but the Swiss ANSP is against any exemption. That’s why Switzerland expects a negative answer. However, we keep you informed as soon as the Swiss CAA reacts.
Estonia applied to extend till 31.12.2019 and is waiting for approval. Latvia will keep one frequency: 125.00
Feedback shows that in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands the avionics shops will clearly not be able to do all the conversions in time.
In the end of September there will be a Regional Meeting of IAOPA Europe in Madrid and we will discuss the situation concerning 8.33 radio equipment. You’ll hear more from us of course. Stay tuned to this newsletter.
Call for attendance of 29th World Assembly in New Zealand. IAOPA Europe spring meeting will be held in conjunction.
From 25 to 29 March 2018 the bi-annual AOPA World Assembly will be held in New Zealand. Time is running fast and the date is getting closer, so please make sure that you book your hotel and flight before the 22nd of November if you wish to attend the WA. There will be no scheduled IAOPA Europe meeting in spring next year, but a day has been set aside for regional meetings by all affiliates to take place in New Zealand. So there is no need for the additional costs incurred in attending the normal regional meeting.
ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Liu is the latest to confirm her participation in the IAOPA World Assembly. She joins the distinguished panel of industry leaders that will kick off the program on Monday morning and examine the challenges and opportunities facing general aviation. New speakers are being added weekly so be sure and check the website for the latest revisions to the program.
Now is the time to secure your registration for the event and your hotel! Remember that the first cut-off for rooms is November 22, 2017, meaning that a percentage of unsold rooms will be turned back to the hotel for use by other guests. Our hosts have arranged a room price that is unbeatable (if rooms are even available) so don't miss out on this opportunity by delaying your decision to attend.
You’ll be glad to hear that AOPA New Zealand has arranged for a discount code for travel booked via Air New Zealand. These rates are exclusively for IAOPA registrants and cannot be booked until the registration form is completed. The discount is available when booked between 1st September and 30th November 2017 for travel between 12th March and 11th April 2018.
AOPA Netherlands afraid of more bans on flying over protected nature areas.
AOPA Netherlands has filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Economic Affairs which is in charge of GA in the Netherlands. GA has been banned of flying over the so called Delta Wateren, which is a protected area.
In response to the objection lodged previously by AOPA, the Ministry granted an exception to the flight ban (in case of operational necessity), but for AOPA this is not enough. AOPA argues that there is no reason for placing a ban on flying above these areas. The Netherlands is home to 166 so called ‘Natura 2000’-areas and AOPA fears that in the future many unnecessary flying bans will be implemented. We will see how this case will develop.
Europe Cross border flights continue to be an issue for IAOPA EU.
Of course this is what a Single European Sky should be all about: easy flying cross border from country to country within Europe. But in practice this often is not the case. Greece may be the worse example of a government that makes the life of the flying community difficult. An example of this is the fact that any GA pilot flying cross border has to 1) use an international airport, 2) face high costs (200 to 300 Euro for a C172, short landing) due to the fact that almost all suitable international airports are operated by a private company (Fraport), and 3) any GA pilot has to submit 4 different documents before any flight: a Flight Plan, a General Declaration, a statistical information document and Document 731, which is a Greek invention. The last form means the pilot has to fill in the full names of all passengers on board, including their passport or ID-card numbers. Greek pilots feel that the much promoted Single EU Sky actually consists of many small skies.
In Iceland the situation is much better. When entering Iceland you will have to land at an international airport, such as BIKF, BIRK, BIEG, BIAK or BIIS (BIHN is also an option, but you'd have to pay for customs to disembark the plane). No prior permission is required for private flights, but customs, immigration and health authorities need a GenDec, packing list and a cargo manifest (all of which the handler would take care of). When leaving, you will have to pass through one of those airports again and hand in the same documents, just to make sure you don‘t leave anyone behind unwanted.
It is clear that there is still a lot to be done to make sure that flying through Europe will be as easy as crossing the continent by car. Getting rid of restrictions on International, and especially Intra-European flights, has always been high on our priority list. We have even included a chapter on Facilitation in our IAOPA Policy Manual http://www.iaopa.org/doc/finalpol.pdf , but it doesn´t quite reflect the situation in Europe under the Schengen treaty.
Some 15 years ago IAOPA organized a protest flight with about 100 participating aircraft between Colmar in France and Lahr in Germany in order to have GA fully included in the Schengen System with its additional freedoms. With some success, as we were able to get rid of the requirement to use only international aerodromes between France and Germany and many other states. But the requirement to file VFR-cross-border flight plans remained, at least for most European Member States. Unfortunately the general security situation in Europe has developed in a way that many Member States nowadays want to have stronger control over their borders again, and it is already a challenge to maintain the status quo. The good news is that filing a VFR-flight plan is quite easily done via a smart-phone nowadays. It only takes five minutes and most ANSPs don´t charge for it. Nevertheless we should continue to promote the idea to fly without VFR-flight-plans within the Schengen region. Best success can be expected from bilateral negotiations. Today one can fly from Germany to Austria, Czech Republic and Poland without VFR-flight plans, based on such bilateral agreements, but with certain restrictions (outside of controlled airspace, radio-contact to ATC/FIS when crossing the border, etc).
Flying to and from Ukraine made easier
At the beginning of June 2017 citizens of Ukraine obtained the right to enter EU without visas. This makes it easier for our Ukrainian friends to visit aviation meetings in the rest of Europe. However, plane owners from Ukraine have one big complaint: the insurance rates for their aircrafts. Insurance for a private aircraft flight to Europe is much more expensive in Ukraine than in any European country. So if anyone knows of an insurance company in Europe that would agree to insure Ukrainian aircrafts according to the requirements REGULATION (EC) No 785/2004 exclusively for flights in the EU airspace, please don’t hesitate to contact AOPA Ukraine by email (see underneath). In addition, the landing fees and taxes of airports, airstrips and heliports have also been reduced substantially according to Gennadij Khazan, the chairman of AOPA Ukraine. If you plan to fly to Ukraine, don’t hesitate to ask Mr. Khazan for support. The best way is sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
EASA aims to improve GA’s safety record
In June 2017 EASA sent out a Preliminary Impact Assessment with the title “General Aviation Fixed Wing Leisure” on which AOPA could comment. Of course we welcome EASA’s efforts in addressing the issue of General Aviation Safety and to initiate a process of in-depth analysis of GA´s accident factors and to support activities with the objective to clearly improve GA´s safety record. Underneath we share some of the comments that our vice-president, Dr. Michael Erb, submitted.
We find that the title General Aviation Fixed Wing Leisure was an unfortunate choice. The term “leisure pilots” fits well for many General Aviation activities, but not for all. It is thought of as a degrading term by many pilots in General Aviation. They see themselves as serious participants in air traffic and they often fly for business purposes or under IFR-flight rules, which clearly has nothing to do with a “leisure” activity. The same applies to the term “recreational aviation”, which is also used and which we also consider to be degrading for a high number of GA pilots and operators.
In order to have an undisputed terminology, we strongly recommend to use only terms which were already established in previous EASA documents, General Aviation or Non-Commercial Operations. The term “leisure” can be deleted without any loss of information.
With regards to Mid Air Collisions, they are is not just a safety issue for fixed wing aircrafts, but also for rotorcraft which operate in the same critical airspace. Therefore, we recommend to include the rotorcraft community in this discussion. An airspace infringement is always a risk, but to our knowledge no midair-collision as a consequence of an airspace violation has occurred in recent years in Europe. The safety networks (TCAS, ATCos with Radar support, pilots looking out for traffic) have been able to prevent midairs in a controlled environment close to aerodromes up until now. When it comes to Terrain and Obstacle Awareness for Light Aircrafts, many GPS units have a terrain feature already, and many aviation APPs even include synthetic vision. Therefore, low cost solutions for Terrain and Obstacle Awareness are already available on the market. General Comment: We would like to highlight that the safety of a pilot directly correlates with the currency of a pilot. The combination of a good pilot qualification, a high safety-awareness and a high currency are likely to produce the best overall safety.
The currency of a pilot is directly influenced by the cost of flying. Most General Aviation pilots have a fixed budget that is spent on flying. Using the fixed budget per year and the cost of flying per flight-hour as variable factors the number of flight-hours per year can easily be calculated. Therefore, there is a direct link between the cost of flying, the currency of pilots and finally the safety level of a pilot.
AOPA AIR SAFETY INSTITUTE FOCUS ON STALL AND SPIN ACCIDENT CAUSES
ASI's new Stall and Spin Accidents: Keep the Wings Flying study analyzed 2,015 accidents involving stalls in GA aircrafts in the United States. In Europe we can of course learn something from this study too. The study covers a 15-year period ending in 2014. Nearly 95 percent of the accidents (1,901), including 911 of the 945 fatal accidents (96 percent), occurred during non-commercial flights. While a reduction in their frequency in recent years has contributed to an overall improvement in U.S. general aviation accident rates, those involving stalls still led to almost 200 fatal accidents between 2010 and 2014. The report offers suggestions to minimize risk of an unintended stall through improved equipment, training, and procedures. For example, stall training in the U.S. is practiced in a controlled, coordinated scenario at a high altitude. By design, the training teaches pilots how to stall the aircraft—most often at wing level—and then recover by reducing pitch (and adding power as needed). But when a stall occurs by accident, for example an unexpected power-on stall during take-off or a go-around, it will be a sudden, sharp, and frightening event. Under those circumstances, at a low altitude, even a brief loss of aircraft control may be unrecoverable. Therefore, the study recommends improvements in stall recognition training through a more realistic approach that emphasizes how quickly angle of attack increases with added bank and G-forces and that raises awareness of the dangers of distraction.
Please take a moment to read the report and watch ASI's Margins of Safety: Avoiding Power-On Stalls video, which shows how vastly different training and real-world scenarios can be (https://youtu.be/EnvtwqsnVKI). Consider sharing these tools with your pilot friends or, if you are still a student, your flight instructor.
GA-Desk on the job
A total of 14 complaints were submitted during the first two months of operation of the GA Desk, the new initiative of IAOPA EU. Most of them (5) had to do with the GA situation in Germany. Another 2 had to do with the situation in the Netherlands and 1 with the GA situation in Greece. As you already know, the purpose of the GA-Desk is to make sure that European Regulations are implemented in the same way throughout Europe. Some European National Aviation Authorities do not implement EU regulations, whilst others implement them incorrectly. Some National Aviation Authorities might even enforce outdated National regulations which neutralize the European ones.
GA Desk is now busy evaluating the received complaints before proceeding to phase two. During phase two IAOPA EU will file official complaints to the relevant authorities and to EASA. We are going to ask for clear cut actions. In case a National Authority is not cooperative, which of course may happen, IAOPA EU will make the details of the complaint available to the public, giving maximum publicity to the attitude of the concerned authority. EU Commission, EU Parliament and EASA could be asked to intervene. There is no guarantee that IAOPA EU may solve all problems. But we can make a lot of noise. And what is more important, our noise will be based on solid legal grounds.
You can still help IAOPA in getting an overview of implementation issues by reporting issues at the following link:
You can also download the questions as a pdf or Word file if you want more time to consider your reply. The completed Word document can be sent to email@example.com.
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Our focus with e-News is to let the world know what IAOPA Affiliates in Europe are doing to keep general aviation flying. Each affiliate of IAOPA is encouraged to submit stories that we can post in our e-News to share your successes so that others can benefit. Stories should be directed to our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact me if you have any news for our members. Best regards, Gerrit Brand