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

Unique chance to explain GA to the European Parliament

At the invitation of the European Parliament, International AOPA is staging a unique seminar in Brussels on June 19th to place the issues facing general aviation before influential Members of the European Parliament and European Commission. All AOPA members are invited to attend, but places are limited and you must register.
The seminar, called 'General Aviation: Connecting Europe', will be chaired by Gesine Meissner MEP, co-ordinator of the ALDE group in the Parliament – that's the coalition of Liberal and Democrat representatives in Brussels – and Giommaria Uggias MEP, a prominent member of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Tourism. The seminar is expected to mark the beginning of a series of information and education events for MEPs and Commission officials. It opens at 3pm with a keynote speech by IAOPA President Craig Spence. There will be two panel discussions, one titled 'Better regulation for general aviation', the other on 'General aviation connecting Europe'. Among the panelists will be Filip Cornelis, Head of Aviation Safety for the European Commission, AOPA UK Chief Executive Martin Robinson, Jacques Callies, President of AOPA France, Dr Michael Erb, Managing Director of AOPA Germany, and Ian Seager, Publisher of Flyer magazine.
IAOPA and its supporters in the European Parliament have worked long and hard to get this series of seminars up and running, and invites any member to attend to ask questions, lobby their MEPs or make their views known. There will be an informal reception afterwards. Registration is vital for security reasons – if you do not register, you will not be allowed to enter the European Parliament. To register, click on go.alde.eu/events

IAOPA makes headway with EASA rulemakers

Dr Michael Erb, Managing Director of AOPA Germany, and IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson met with EASA's Rulemaking Director Jules Kneepkens for a constructive debate which IAOPA believes marks a change in EASA's attitude to general aviation. The meeting was also attended by EASA rulemakers Jean Marc Cluzeau, Matthias Borgmeier and Eric Sivel. Martin Robinson said afterwards: "The meeting was very friendly and there was a lot of listening, which is not something we've often had from EASA. I believe a new wind is blowing through the Agency, and the impression we get that consultation with industry is viewed by EASA as a necessary evil to which they must pay lip service could change."
The EASA Board of Management has stipulated that it must have updates on the GA project begun as a result of the French DGAC's intervention to try to introduce proportionality into GA regulation. This, and the road map for GA produced by the EC, has opened up the possibility of more genuine interaction between regulator and regulator. Mr Kneepkens has asked IAOPA to identify where improvements to regulations can be made. One of IAOPA's first targets is the Approved Training Organisation requirements, which it believes are grossly disproportionate for ab initio training schools.

Denmark leads the way on aviation fees

The Danish Parliament in May unanimously adopted a new law removing all annual aviation fees. From July 1st this year there will no longer be any annual pilot licence fee, no fee for owning an aircraft, no annual fee for running a flight school, maintenance organisation or airport, or having an AOC. Fees for having a new licence or rating issued will remain. According to some of the official calculations the fees that a private pilot owning his own aircraft will pay over a 20-year period will drop from around €4,000 to approximately €300. This is assuming that the pilot will get a new rating every fifth year.
Some remaining fees, for instance putting a new aircraft on Danish register, will be converted from a fixed fee to a charge based on the number of man hours used by the Danish CAA to process the application. This is incentivise the applicant to provide a well-prepared application that is easy to process.
The reform is financed by a safety charge of just under €1 paid by all passengers departing from a Danish airport on aircraft over 5700kg or with more than 10 passenger seats. The reform means that foreign airlines pay a fair share of the oversight cost of the Danish CAA, and the new rules are supported by the entire aviation industry in Denmark including the Danish airlines. AOPA Denmark has been pushing hard for this reform for over five years and is extremely satisfied that it has now passed with such broad support. It will definitely give a boost to both GA and the rest of the aviation sector in Denmark.

Spain also makes significant airport fee reductions for GA

After the latest meeting with the financial management of the Spanish government's airport-owning organisation Aena Airports, an agreement was closed with the general aviation sector on the level of fees charged at airports in the Aena network during 2014. During recent months, the directors of Aena have been meeting with representatives of the GA sector separately from the airlines, giving us the opportunity to comment on those aspects that most affect us, including minimum landing fees and parking charges, writes Rafael Molina of AOPA Spain.
Although the law allowed Aena increase their prices by up to +5% IPC, negotiations ended with an agreement covering five years during which increases will be progressive: 1% for 2014, 3% for 2015 and 4% for the subsequent three years. In the workshop on general aviation, an agreement was reached to freeze the minimum rate per operation at airports in groups 4 and 5, and a reduction of 10% in Group 3 airports that will established the fee at €22.50. This is the return to proportionality and progressive adjustment that AOPA Spain has always promoted. From €90, a level reached in 2011, the minimum in this category is expected to be reduced to €22.50 for the year 2014. This means a long labour or negotiation has finally paid off.
You can see the complete proposal at the Aopa Spain website: www.aopa-spain.org

EASA headquarters move could soak up surplus on fees and charges

IAOPA is concerned that EASA's proposed €12 million move from its current headquarters in Köln to a building closer to the centre of town may mean that fees already paid by general aviation will be badly spent. EASA has accrued a surplus of some €20 million through high fees and charges, and IAOPA believes this money should be used to reduce fees to the aviation industry, not spent on moving EASA into a better office. EASA doesn't like the building it's in, which is on the west side of the Rhine in what was once an industrial suburb. It wishes to move to the east side of the river, into an office building closer to Köln's main railway station. But IAOPA believes that the cost of any move should be paid out of efficiency savings at EASA, rather than reducing EASA's cash pile from fees and charges. Some €6 million would have to be paid to restore the current building to its original state. Martin Robinson says: "With the aviation industry beset by recession, any excess money should be left in the industry rather than used by EASA to improve its office accommodation."

CO detectors proposal may be shelved

A proposal to mandate the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all piston-engined aircraft may be finessed by EASA because of the clear difficulties in finding a solution that would be appropriate to the wide range of aircraft in the general aviation sector. A request to consider the mandate has come from the French accident investigation organisation, the BEA, but rulemakers at EASA have responded to concerns that a one-size-fits-all solution would be impractical. IAOPA has told EASA that specifying such a system would be difficult, certification costs would be onerous, and writing rules to cover all possible circumstances would be labyrinthine. Figures compiled in the United States show that of the 35,050 GA accidents which led to 12,817 fatalities in the last 20 years, eight were due to CO poisoning. IAOPA’s position is that every pilot should be encouraged to install a CO detector appropriate to the aircraft concerned, but that a mandate would be unworkable. EASA may be inclined to agree.

EASA opinion on new rules for the Instrument Rating

EASA has published its final opinion on 'Qualifications for flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC)' - the new rules intended to make the instrument rating more accessible for private pilots. The opinion does not solve the UK concerns over the IMC rating, but it does contain a number of significant proposals that will make it more realistic for a private pilot to obtain an IFR rating. This includes significant reductions in the theoretical knowledge requirements, a competency-based approach which will accommodate pilots holding an instrument rating issued outside Europe and an enroute instrument rating (EIR) with limited privileges, but which can serve as a stepping stone towards the full IR.
The theoretical knowledge requirements today involves a whole range of subjects not relevant for a PPL pilot who wants to fly IFR in Europe in a light piston-engine aircraft and have been an unnecessarily big obstacle. The proposal is now to remove the advanced and high-performance subjects from the curriculum and cut down the required ground-school hours from 200 to 80 hours, most of which can be done as distance learning, so that the number of classroom hours requiring physical presence is limited to eight hours. Remaining subjects can be taken later if the pilot wants to transition to a high-performance aircraft. This makes the theoretical knowledge much more accessible for the typical PPL who has a full-time job.
For holders of an instrument rating issued outside Europe there is also good news. Both the theoretical knowledge requirements and the practical skills will be assessed during the skill test, so for a pilot with 50 hours of IFR experience as PIC and for instance holding an FAA IR, the EASA IR requires only skill test. This is particularly important considering the new FCL requirements that a pilot based in Europe and flying for instance an N-registered aircraft must in the future have a full EASA FCL certificate and IR rating to fly IFR in Europe.
The last major new proposal is for en enroute instrument rating (EIR) which will be a sub-ICAO rating limited to the en-route phase of the flight, with no approach privileges. Jacob Pedersen of AOPA Denmark says: "The EIR will serve as a stepping stone towards the full IR and can also prove useful where airspace is not allowing VFR operations and in some weather conditions. The EIR will hopefully inspire more pilots to receive instrument training, but with the lack of approach privileges it should not be considered as anything close to a full instrument rating - something that is also reflected in the requirement for just 15 hours of IFR flight training."
Finally the EASA opinion proposes to remove the English language proficency requirement for the IR in general and also introduces a daylight-only variant so pilots not holding a night-qualification can still get an IR for day-only operations. The full EASA opinion can be found at
The proposal now lies with the European Commission and must go through the comitology process before it becomes law.
While the proposals represent an improvement for much of Europe, they are seen as a catastrophe in Britain, where the loss of the FAA IR for what are considered to be chauvinistic reasons, not related to safety, and the killing of the UK IMC rating, have made flying more difficult, more expensive and more dangerous.

Season card pricing in Finland

Finavia, the government-owned air navigation and airport operator in Finland, has published new price list of season cards, valid from July 1st. For private pilots and aircraft owners the season card price level is same as before, but they have created a new customer segment, 'commercial GA with aerial work operators'. The price level of season card is 25% higher for them than for private pilots, writes Esa Harju of AOPA Finland. Finavia's justification is simple – they say their operation costs are higher than the season card revenues. Another statement is that current commercial and aerial work operators produce 54% of Finavia's work, while income per operation is on a very low level. As a climax, the season card of EFHF (Helsinki-Malmi) is exactly to and a half times higher than other airports, except EFHK, (Helsinki Vantaa). EFHF's service level is lower than any provincial airport, but due to its location in the capital of Finland Finavia wants to cash in on flight trainging organisations and aerial work operators. The EFHF tower is closed for one third of the day, there is no instrument approach system, neither is there a radar service. How many European GA airfields within the limits of a capital city are lacking these services? I'm sure you all know what is said in EC directive 2009/12/EY paragraph 11: "Airport charges should be non-discriminatory."
Have you signed the petition for EFHF yet?

Summer flying under the midnight sun

Summer is (almost) upon the Icelandic pilot population, albeit with a slow
start, writes Diego Haraldur of AOPA Iceland. The summer schedule is a crowded one,  with many activities planned around the country, including the usual fly-ins and landing competitions, but also golf tournaments. These, like the flying, often take place under the midnight sun.
The most popular event by far is the Reykjavik Airshow, which attracts thousands
of people. The definite date is yet unknown, but it's likely to be either the second or first weekend in June. Iceland welcomes pilots of all kinds to visit, connect with the locals through AOPA and even experience flying around the beautiful island with them.

Charity support in the Channel Islands

AOPA in the Channel Islands – a self-governing dependency of the British Crown – reports that the Jersey-based charity Helping Wings, whose aims are to enable disadvantaged children and the disabled to enjoy the exhilaration and fulfilment of flying, has awarded its first flying scholarships for the disabled at a ceremony at Jersey Aero Club. 19 year old Claire Williamson was given 10 hours of flying instruction with Jersey Aero Club, with two others, Ben Wheaton and Matthew Perrée each getting 5 hour courses. The Ports of Jersey will be donating £2,000 per year for the next three years to Helping Wings in order to encourage young people into aviation. The charity is planning to provide on-going flying training in Jersey with specially adapted aircraft.

On Airsoc.com - Cessna's 182 JT-A Turbo Skylane takes to the skies

The first production example of the new Cessna 182 JT-A Turbo Skylane made its inaugural flight on 21 May from the airframer's facility in Independence, Kansas. The four-seat JT-A is touted by Cessna as the first modern single-engined aircraft powered by a piston engine designed to run on Jet-A fuel."The Turbo Skylane JT-A performed just as expected," says Cessna senior test pilot Dale Bleakney.  "We flew for 2.3h, achieved a flight level of 8,000ft [2,440m], and attained a true air speed of 158kt [292km/h] - everything went as expected."  Read more here