to the monthly e-news of IAOPA-Europe, which goes out to
23,000 AOPA members across the continent of Europe.
e-news is made possible by our lead sponsor AERO
Friedrichshafen, Europe's most important general aviation
exhibition, to be held from April 19 to April 22. Get it
in your diary now! (See below)
Criminal checks opposed
The European Union looks set to reject demands for regular
background criminal checks on all pilots following an IAOPA
lobbying campaign spearheaded by a European MP who is an AOPA
Proposals originating in Germany and supported by
some other countries are to be put to a European Parliament
meeting on March 26th, calling for anti-terrorism checks to be
carried out on all pilots. The exact proposal states: "All
pilots and applicants for pilot licences for motorised aircraft
shall be subject to uniform background checks which shall be
repeated at regular intervals. Decisions of the appropriate
authorities regarding background checks shall be taken on the
basis of the same criteria."
IAOPA has been fighting
these proposals since last summer when AOPA-Germany's Managing
Director Dr Michael Erb identified the risk of this becoming a
European issue. Dr Erb has campaigned unsuccessfully against
this proposal in Germany, where authoritarian attitudes prevail
and pilots can have difficulty getting licences if they have tax
issues or motoring convictions. This attitude is beginning to
IAOPA objects on several grounds.
Criminalising GA pilots would be counter-productive. The 9/11
terrorists did not fly their training aircraft into the World
Trade Center, however much easier that would have been for them,
because they knew that minimal damage would have been done.
Especially in countries like Britain, GA pilots and their
associations have excellent contacts with anti-terrorist
authorities and act as the "eyes and ears" of the police at GA
airfields. A need for background checks would kill the
trial-lesson industry and would be slow, costly, bureaucratic,
expensive, authoritarian and pointless - no known Islamic
terrorist would have been picked out by background criminal
Since last year, AOPA-Lithuania's chairman Arunas
Degutis, a Member of the European Parliament and shadow
rapporteur on transport matters, has been working in Brussels to
educate legislators on this issue. AOPA-UK's President Lord
Stevens, a former Scotland Yard Commissioner who is an
acknowledged expert on international terrorism, has also been
involved. The European Commission's response to plans for
amendments to the law to mandate criminal checks shows that the
lobbying has had an effect.
counter-proposal says that safety and security are two different
things, and that EASA should stick to safety matters concerned
with the construction and use of aircraft. Its remit should not
be extended to cover acts of unlawful interference. Furthermore,
the European Community should not act in setting harmonised
rules on background checks.
On the face of it, this
should be enough to kill off the proposal, but its German
sponsors have been remarkably tenacious in keeping it alive and
may have another trick up their sleeves.
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Euro PPL may lose 'hobby' brand
The EU Parliament has taken on board IAOPA's concerns about
creating a "recreational" ghetto for general aviation and is
planning to change the name of the Europe-wide sub-ICAO PPL that
EASA intends to introduce.
Instead of being called a
"Recreational PPL" the Parliament wants it to be called a "Light
Aircraft PPL". It would allow pilots to fly non-complex aircraft
up to two tonnes. The EU has sent out a notice of proposal to
make the change.
AOPA-Denmark's Jacob Pedersen, who sits
on EASA's MDM032 committee, says: "This perfectly reflects the
text proposed by IAOPA at our last regional meeting in Warsaw,
and clearly it is once again thanks to our Lithuanian MEP Arunas
Degutis carrying our message."
concerned that creating a purely "recreational" licence - a
proposal which is supported by some GA groups in Europe - would
make GA a sitting target for greens and planning authorities who
want to put a stop to aviation. Unless it is clear that the PPL
covers professional flight training, and there are links to a
full ICAO licence built into the EASA version, GA will be open
to attack as an environmentally-destructive hobby for the rich.
Eurocontrol discounts and EC fuel tax
Lars Hjelmberg of AOPA-Sweden is campaigning to preserve the
annual discount card for Eurocontrol services, which is issued
by the Swedish aviation authorities. The card, on which the
break-even level is 50 hours, is under threat, with Eurocontrol
officials saying national authorities are not at liberty to
issue it. Research by Lars has established that this is not the
case. It has also proved that Eurocontrol itself accepts, in
writing, that its rate structure is unfair to light aircraft.
The arguments for the retention of the annual card are very
On the EC's demand for fuel tax changes, where
Lars is also taking the lead, he reports that the Commission has
not yet responded to Finland and Denmark, who applied for
derogations, and the last word has not been said on this topic.
Fuel taxes for 'private pleasure flying' was on the agenda for
the EU's next Econfin (Economic and Financial Affairs) council
meeting at the end of January, but the meeting has been
cancelled - it is not know by whom.
Eclipse sales jet ahead
The Eclipse 500 is set to become the biggest-selling of the new
generation of light jets in Europe. Lars Hjelmberg reports that
there are at least 13 on order from individuals in the UK, three
from Sweden and four from Germany. Despite the fact that only
one has been delivered - and that was a contrivance so the
company could say it met its own 2006 delivery deadline - the
second-hand market is already buzzing. At the end of January
there were 39 used Eclipses on offer on American websites, with
speculators who took early positions banking on other impatient
customers further along the delivery chain. Some are asking $1.8
million, compared to the current official delivery price of $1.4
million. Industry sources say Eclipse Aviation itself is active
on the second-hand market, selling early positions at premium
Egypt Air Rally
AOPA Egypt is organising the fifth annual Egypt Aero Rally in
April, offering all European pilots an opportunity to fly in
this magnificent country with minimum difficulty and maximum
safety and enjoyment.
The 'Pyramids 2007' rally will run
from April 14th to 24th and full details can be obtained from
AOPA-Egypt chairman Ahmed Maher through their website www.aerorallyes-egypt.com.
The website is written in English, French and German.
an opportunity not to be missed. Good luck!
Calling Fournier pilots...
The Fournier Club is 20 years old and is holding its anniversary
meeting at Gap in the French Alps. It is hoped that Fournier
aircraft from all over Europe will attend. Owners and pilots
will certainly be most welcome.
You will be welcomed by
Rene Fournier, who opened his first factory at Gap when his
company was called Alpavia. The hangar in which all FR3s were
manufactured is still there, and will be used during the
anniversary event. Mountains rise to 6,000 feet close by, but
access to Gap Tallard airfield is relatively easy. Each
afternoon there will be fly-outs into the Alps, and non-French
Fournier pilots who turn up without their aircraft will be
priority passengers in the two-seat Fournier motor-gliders.
of honour will include Rene Fournier himself, Gerard Moss, a
Brazilian who flew around the world in his RF10, Mira Slovak, an
American who flew the Atlantic in his 39 hp RF4 in 1968, and
Michel Tognini, the European Space Agency manager, who has flown
on the world's biggest motor glider, the Columbia shuttle.
International Meeting takes place on May 26th, 27th and 28th,
2007. For registration forms contact firstname.lastname@example.org
with your postal address, email address and phone number.
IAOPA-Europe's webmaster Jacob Pedersen has added a
'marketplace' to the site - www.iaopa.eu
- where all members may create classified adverts with
aviation-related items for sale. You can write the text and
upload images yourself, and the service is free to use. Just
click on 'Marketplace'.
2007 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN :Gateway
to the robust European general aviation market
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