IAOPA and climate politics
Belgian Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) is working on a total ban on domestic flights. Noting that 7 out of 10 of these flights are operated by private jets, the minister calls them an aberration, both ecologically and economically. ‘They are also a bad example for citizens who make efforts every day to emit less CO2.’
The potential impact of this proposed policy on general aviation is uncertain at this time. Regardless of the details, it is clear that we need to be more defensive as political pressure will increase.
Unfortunately, in the recent past, we have seen political parties and even ministries in European countries attempt to ban or severely restrict private or domestic aviation. Fortunately, the European Commission has recently stated that it wants to solve the environmental problem for all aviation and that it makes no sense to ban individual sectors such as private aviation. EU employees would also fly private jets and that should remain the case.
It seems a comprehensive strategy is needed to address this issue. Coordination with affiliates and other aviation groups of all shapes and sizes, enthusiasts, manufacturers and others outside aviation who benefit from GA. IAOPA EU obviously has the issue high on its agenda.
Danish Piper Aztec smeared with paint at Berlin airport
Insurance first refused but finally paid
The radicalization of climate activists from the "Last Generation (LG)" organization continues to increase. It's a development like out of a psychology book: to attract more attention, the LG's actions are becoming more and more radical. Instead of blockades, activists invaded the grounds of BER Airport and smeared an old piston engine with paint.
A Danish aircraft, a Piper PA-23-250 Aztec was sprayed with paint and rendered unusable by so-called Last Generation terrorists in Berlin. The repair cost about €70,000. The insurance company first refused to pay but after a while - now - decided to cover the damage but insisted that they were not obliged to pay out. The argument for not paying was that this action would qualify as a "war / civil war" or "acts of malicious intent", which was excluded from coverage unless war coverage had been added to the policy.
The current situation makes it necessary to consider the need for "war coverage" on your insurance policy. We recommend everyone to get a confirmation from their insurance company how they are covered in such cases and to consider if "war coverage" should be added to policy. What happened to the Danish aircraft in Berlin can happen to any of us. We are at the beginning and we have to watch the development of this situation very closely, said Dr Michael Erb, Vice President IAOPA EU.
Very few pilots or aircraft owners will be aware of the relevance of war cover in such cases. Here is a link for more info.
AOPA Germany had started a crowdfunding campaign to help the Danish owner to cover the cost. It already brought in 7000 euro. As the insurance has now paid out, the crowdfunding campaign has been stopped.
IAOPA represented at EASA
Clearly, IAOPA EU needs to work as well and closely as possible with EASA, the regulatory aviation body in the EU. The GA is also "driven" by EASA. IAOPA has several representatives within EASA's advisory bodies.
Dr Michael Erb (Vice President IAOPA) and Jacob Pedersen (AOPA Danmark) continue their representation on behalf of IAOPA at EASA. New is Simon Paul (AOPA Netherlands) who is originally an air traffic controller, and even trained air traffic controllers. The German Jürgen Mies has agreed to remain active as his deputy to ensure the continuity of our contributions. As both an air traffic controller and a pilot, Simon Paul knows the needs of GA pilots very well.
AOPA Belgium active again
Fortunately AOPA Belgium is active again. When AOPA Belgium was created a year ago from FBA-BFL (the Fédération Belge d'Avitation - Belgian Federation of Aviation, which represents the interests of the GA in Belgium), the board hoped for 100 members in the first year. Meanwhile, the counter stands at more than 80 members. AOPA Belgium has of course also joined IAOPA Europe.
Chairman of the board is Marc Ghys, honorary chairman at VVMV, member at RAAC. Marc has a deep love of flying and a strong commitment to improving the aviation landscape in Belgium.
Peter Keutgens, owner of a gyrocopter, is secretary, responsible for contacts with AOPA USA and IAOPA Europe. Peter brings a wealth of administrative experience to the association. He skillfully manages various operational aspects and facilitates effective communication between members and represents AOPA Belgium abroad.
The members of AOPA Belgium share a common goal: to promote and protect the interests of general aviation in Belgium. They actively participate in initiatives to improve safety, advocate for fair regulations and promote the joy of flying to a wider public.
Membership in AOPA Belgium costs only 55 euros. A tangible benefit is digital access to AOPA's (digital) Flight Training Magazine.
TMZ mandatory zone in the Netherlands
A TMZ with mandatory listening watch below the Schiphol TMA-1 in the Netherlands is in force since July 13. Many foreign pilots use Dutch airspace, an information pamphlet has been designed in English which you find here.
Airspace violations are (for good reasons) at the top of the list of concerns of the Dutch ANSP. Ones foresees further restrictions being imposed if the number of airspace violations does not decrease. It is a temporary measure though. The aim is not so much to prevent an airspace violation, but to mitigate as much as possible the risks that may arise as a result of an airspace violation. Important in this respect is that a pilot is on call for LVNL. In principle, the pilot will not be alerted if he or she threatens to enter a controlled area without permission. The pilot will be called as soon as an airspace violation occurs. The commitment is then to guide the pilot back out of controlled airspace as quickly as possible to prevent a dangerous situation.
If you fly in relevant TMZ then you must therefore call out on 124.300 (Amsterdam Information) and 'key in' the transponder code 7020.Calling in is better than listening out, however, because you will also get flight information service. AOPA recommends pilots to call in and not just listen out.
Flying to Danmark with a Microlight Aircraft
Microlight pilots who wish to enter Danish airspace has to be aware of the fact that Danish Civil Aviation Authority insists on a permit to fly, for foreign registered microlight aircrafts to enter. The responsibility for issuing permits to fly is delegated to DULFU and is issued unbureacratically, with short processing time and at no cost for aircraft up to 475kg.
Despite the fact that EASA in 2018 opened the door to 600 kilo class microlight aircrafts and despite DULFU's several years of lobbying, the Danish Civil Aviation Authority continues to insist on maintaining the MTOM limit at 475 kg. A microlight pilot, with a foreign registered microlight aircraft above MTOM 475 kg. is therefore obliged to submit the application for permission to enter Danish Airspace directly to the Danish Civil Aviation Authority, based on an hourly rate close to 150 euro and an unknown processing time.
More information about how to apply is available on DULFU’s website: https://dulfu.dk/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/permission-to-fly-220623.pdf
Carbon tax in Portugal, also for GA
In Portugal, the government has introduced a carbon tax since February this year. This means that even on non-commercial flights with a GA aircraft, some kind of environmental or climate tax has to be paid. Incidentally, this tax also applies to maritime shipping.
Following complaints from the aviation community, the carbon tax has been slightly adjusted. Documents sent to us from Portugal at the end of July show that the tax is applied to aircraft with a maximum of 19 seats. Local flights (departure and arrival at the same airport) are not covered by the tax. Also exempted are test flights, examination flights, training flights, sports competition flights, ultralight flights authorised only for sports and recreational purposes, flights to maintain crew performance, positioning flights or ferry maintenance flights.
The application of the CO2 tax does remain for owner-operated flights between different airports not covered by the above exemptions. Very annoying for people flying from airport to airport or from abroad to Portugal.
Recently, a petition was also launched to initiate legal proceedings against the imposition of this tax. What the chances of this succeeding are not yet clear. It could well be a lengthy undertaking. IAOPA Europe is keeping its finger on the pulse.
AOPA Türkiye re-established
In April 2023, AOPA Türkiye was re-established by Turgut Kulaçoğlu and seven colleagues. They are all active pilots and aircraft owners with international flying experience. General Aviation is on the rise in Türkiye with the introduction of UL aircraft that keep operating costs low.
Turgut Kulaçoğlu reports that people still need more private airports to avoid using international airports. 'AOPA is now trying to reduce handling and landing costs and cooperate with CAA to make the formalities for permits and other formalities easier.'
AOPA Türkiye can currently be found on Facebook. The website is currently: http://burakhavacilik.org.tr.
Contact person: Turgut Kulaçoğlu, chairman. Telephone: +90 532 2970950
On the picture taken at the AERO Friedrichshafen this year, second from left: Turgut Kulaçoğlu. Second from right IAOPA vice-president dr Michael Erb.
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