Welcome to the inaugural
e-newsletter of IAOPA-Europe, which will be published
monthly for the 23,000 members of European AOPAs. This
newsletter is made possible by sponsorship from ExxonMobil
Aviation Lubricants, whose Elite 20W-50 is the first
aviation oil formulation for piston-engine aircraft to
appear on the market in more than a decade. (See below).
SESAR - IAOPA gets to work
SESAR, the European air traffic management project formerly
known as SESAME, is beginning its definition phase with IAOPA on
board the consortium that will develop and implement the
SESAR aims to design a new air traffic control system from the
ground up - one that owes nothing to past practice, that takes
into account all known technologies, and that will be robust
enough to handle air traffic far beyond the year 2020.
IAOPA has had to buy into the Airbus-led syndicate - called the
Air Traffic Alliance - that is running the programme, although
some funds may be available from Europe if the various phases of
the project are completed to schedule. IAOPA has also had to
commit to a minimum of 28 man-months of work to the consortium.
IAOPA's involvement is vital because GA risks being cut out of
airspace planning by airlines, service providers and national
authorities unless it is fighting its corner at the
Because of the way it is legally incorporated, AOPA-Germany is
leading IAOPA's effort on SESAR, and its Managing Director Dr
Michael Erb will run the show.
At an informal meeting of IAOPA-Europe in Copenhagen in
December, IAOPA signed a contract with aviation consultancy
ScanAvia to shoulder some of the workload on SESAR. ScanAvia is
run by the former Danish CAA chairman Val Eggers, who was also
chairman of the European Civil Aviation Conference and of
ATM2000+, the air traffic management programme from which SESAR
ScanAvia is seeking help with part of its brief, which is to
establish the value of GA to Europe. Unlike our partner
airlines, we have little documentation on what contribution GA
makes to European. ScanAvia needs any studies, statistics,
outcomes of hearings, articles or any documents that address
this point. The contribution is not just economic, but social
and political. Send your contributions to email@example.com,
for the attention of Val K.H. Eggers. Time is short.
Dr Erb describes the SESAR project as being at "milestone zero",
with the first definition meeting being scheduled for March 6th.
The EC, acting through Eurocontrol, has tasked the syndicate to
define what the future ATM system will look like, and to steer
its implementation. The syndicate will first establish a phased
implementation and deployment plan, then produce the detailed
research and technology work programme, and finally propose the
legislative, financial and regulatory framework.
AOPA-Spain works to save endangered
An unfortunate light aircraft accident occurring near Sabadell,
the principal general aviation airport serving Barcelona
prompted officials to summarily close the airport for safety
reasons. The closure put some 400 people out of work and led to
demonstrations by employees and GA pilots, including the closure
of the main road to Sabadell by protesters.
One accident involved a C172 which hit a crane erected without
CAA permission on the airport perimeter, where building is going
on right up to the airport boundary. There are several more
illegal cranes on the airport approaches. Real estate
speculators have coloured the airport area green on their sales
plans and are telling buyers it won't be there in a few years
The mayor of the town in which the crane had been erected
complained that it took too long to get permission for cranes
from the CAA. Local mayors are petitioning to have GA activity
moved to Igualada, 40 miles from Barcelona, or Manresa, which is
an abandoned dirt strip.
AOPA-Spain's Marlies Campi says: "I must confess I am rather
pessimistic right now after seeing how politicians lacking
aeronautical knowledge have treated GA, paying no attention at
all to our needs, being so short-sighted that the only thing
that counts is votes and not the economic benefit of the
"We have found out that other Spanish GA airports have similar
problems with buildings and cranes threatening approach areas.
The worst case is Cuatro Vientos, the main GA airport of Spain
and the only one in Madrid. It is a deeply worrying situation."
IAOPA has joined with AOPA-Spain to inform local and national
officials and politicians of the true value of GA airports and
the need for their protection.
IAOPA seeks helicopter instrument changes
IAOPA is concerned that instrument familiarisation training for
PPL(H) students is causing accidents and is petitioning EASA to
review the requirements.
At present students must undergo five hours of instrument
appreciation, but accident investigators in Britain believe this
is encouraging low-time pilots to believe they can get away with
actual instrument flying. Helicopters are impossible to fly on
instruments except when highly experienced and current pilots
are flying well-equipped machines. Since instrument training was
introduced by the JAA five years ago, accidents caused by
continued VFR flight into IMC have almost tripled.
In a letter to Claude Probst, EASA's head of rulemaking,
AOPA-UK's Martin Robinson says: "We teach instrument flying, we
examine pilots on it, we tell them they have passed a test of
their ability to fly on instruments and give them a licence. But
all we have done is plant in their minds a kernel of belief that
instrument flying might get them out of trouble. It won't. It
will definitely kill them. "AOPA requests that instrument
familiarisation training be replaced by practical teaching of
how to recognise deteriorating meteorological conditions, and
how to land safely off-airfield. The mantra for helicopter
pilots should be - lose sight of the ground, lose your life."
Court win on background checks
AOPA-Germany has successfully opposed pilot background checks in
the German Federal Court. The administrative courts in
Braunschweig and Minden independently supported AOPA-Germany's
members who refused to undergo the mandatory security background
screenings introduced under the new Luftsicherheitsgesetz/Air
Security Law. The security authorities sought to revoke the
pilots' licenses, forcing an appeal to the Federal Court.
AOPA-Germany's Vice-President and attorney Sibylle
Gl�ssing-Deiss accompanied the two members and gave legal
advice. The courts acknowledged the rights of obviously innocent
pilots to have their personal data and privacy protected while
acknowledging the state's effort to make aviation secure, but
came down on the side of the pilots. German security authorities
intend to appeal the decision at a higher court.
AOPA-Germany Managing Director Michael Erb says: "The
Luftsicherheitsgesetz obviously doesn't respect German data
protection laws. Obvious and serious mistakes were made in the
law-making procedure, a position AOPA-Germany has taken since
the publication of the new regulation.
"The courts consequently respected the pilots' rights to
continue flying over the state's right to investigate with its
intelligence services in an uncontrolled and obviously illegal
manner. AOPA-Germany supports a secure general aviation, and
good co-operation between security agencies and pilots, but it
will continue to oppose any unnecessary overreaction of security
agencies that conflict with pilots' individual rights."
Changes at Linate
New procedures have been introduced at Milan's Linate Airport as
a result of recent ground conflicts between aircraft, says
Massimo Levy of AOPA (Italy).
The changes are the result of a study by a special Milano Linate
Runway Safety Team and affect taxiways and holding points. Some
taxiways have been renamed - R1 becomes Taxiway G, R2 becomes
Taxiway H, R3 is now Taxiway J, R4 is Taxiway T and R6 is
Taxiway K. Several runway and intermediate holding positions
have been renamed. Full details are available on AIP Italia
The Runway Safety Team emphasise that pilots must maintain
situational awareness, and if in doubt, contact ATC. It adds:
"Be familiar with AIP Italia aerodrome charts, aprons chart and
Notams and listen to other aircraft communications. The
low-visibility chart is published on AIP Italia, and Minimum
Runway Occupancy Times are always in force. In particular, never
cross a red stop bar!"
ExxonMobil increases support of general
aviation in Europe through agreement with IAOPA-Europe
To further demonstrate its strong commitment to general aviation
in Europe, ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants today announced an
agreement to support various IAOPA activities in Europe and to
provide lubrication-related information useful to private pilots
who are AOPA members. The agreement was effective as of January
"We welcome ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants' keen interest in
supporting our efforts and for offering to provide expertise on
the critical issues of piston aircraft maintenance and
lubrication," says Martin Robinson, vice chairman of IAOPA
(Europe). "Our members will often find advice from ExxonMobil in
our monthly e-newsletter and will have an opportunity to meet
and ask questions of the company's aviation lubrication experts
at selected IAOPA seminars and meetings."
ExxonMobil, which is best known in Europe for its Esso brand of
petroleum products, introduced Exxon Aviation Oil Elite 20W-50
to the European market in 2003, after successfully launching it
in the U.S. in 2000. Exxon Elite is the first aviation oil
formulation for piston-engine aircraft to appear on the market
in more than a decade. It was formulated with a proprietary
additive package to control wear and is especially suitable for
recreational aircraft that typically sit on the ground for days
between uses and are thus susceptible to build-up of rust and
ExxonMobil's products for general aviation aircraft are
available from key distributors throughout Europe. A complete
list of distributors is online at
www.ExxonElite.com (click on "Where to Buy").
If you have any comments on this
newsletter or would like to have information from your country
included in it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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