IAOPA-Europe is mounting
an international campaign to kill off proposed European Parliament
legislation that would force all pilots to undergo regular
criminal background checks before they could fly.
is being pushed by Germany, which has already attempted to
introduce such legislation at home, although it is being resisted
on the grounds that non-German pilots would be exempt. Now, the
idea is that all European pilots should undergo security and
The EU move was uncovered by
AOPA-Germany's Dr Michael Erb, who is leading the campaign to
defeat his nation's original proposal. The Europe-wide campaign
against the new law involves AOPA-UK President Lord Stevens, a
worldwide authority on counter-terrorism, and AOPA-Lithuania
Chairman Arunas Degutis, a Member of the European Parliament.
proposal is misconceived and betrays a total ignorance of the
realities of aviation. The 9/11 terrorists did not fly training or
business aircraft into the World Trade Center, even though it
would have been easier for them to do so. They knew they needed
high-energy aircraft carrying significant fuel loads – something
that is clearly lost on legislators who now intend to cast
suspicion on all pilots.
In the UK, pilots work hand in
hand with the authorities to counter the threat of terrorism, and
AOPA-UK meets regularly with the security agencies. GA pilots can
and do keep the security forces informed of suspicious activity,
and as a result there is little pressure for curbs on pilots.
AOPA-UK's Martin Robinson says Europe should follow the UK example.
EU political posturing might look sensible to the disinterested
bystander, but they risk criminalising the very people who are the
eyes and ears of the security forces in the GA world," he said.
"The objections to this legislation are legion – not only would it
be counter-productive, not only would it not work, not only would
it be an unwarranted intrusion by the state, but it would lead to
endless expense, bureaucracy and delay. The trial lesson industry
would be killed off overnight."
The proposal, which
had its first reading on June 15th, calls for verifiable checks on
the identity, criminal background and "suitability of pilots and
applicants for flight training to be granted unescorted access to
security restricted areas". It specifies that anyone refused
security clearance by any state would not be able to apply for
pilot training in any other state.
Changing the landscape
EASA Working Group that is mapping out the future of general
aviation in Europe is making solid progress and expects to
complete its work on time, despite the tight schedule that has
been imposed upon it.
The MDM032 group will meet again
later this month (July), after which an Advanced Notice of
Proposed Amendment will go out for consultation.
Pedersen of AOPA-Denmark, who is IAOPA-Europe's representative on
the group, reports that for airworthiness, we will most likely end
up with three different categories. One will be for aircraft below
750 kg, where the type certificate will be issued by the
manufacturer who declares that he is following recognised industry
standards. For aircraft below 2000 kg, the type certificate may be
issued by approved assessment bodies based on industry standards.
For aircraft between 2000 kg and 5700 kg the type certificate will
still be issued by EASA but through a simplified procedure based
on the manufacturers recommendation.
For licensing, the
most likely outcome is that we will have one common sub-ICAO EASA
licence for all non-commercial airspace users below 5700 kg. The
licence will have classes such as glider, ultralight, single
engine piston, balloon etc. Also it can be combined with ratings
such as a night qualification, a simplified instrument rating etc.
The training will be competency based, so that a glider or
ultralight pilot may use his or her already acquired competencies
to step up to a single engine piston or to get a conventional ICAO
At the higher end of the scale the biggest difference
between the new EASA PPL and the conventional PPL will be the
medical, where the EASA license may be issued by a General
Practitioner. The other major difference will be that the licence
is issued by an approved assessment body instead of a national
Jacob says: "Based on the feedback I have
received so far, this appears to be one of the more controversial
issues for our members, so comments and feedback is welcome."
World pilots stand together
increasingly international character of general aviation
legislation was reflected at the IAOPA World Assembly in Toronto
in June, when delegates from most European countries travelled to
Canada to talk through the challenges we share.
members from Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Greece,
Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and
Switzerland joined delegates from dozens of countries worldwide to
discuss the issues – some of them national problems that could
benefit from international pressure, others involving
multi-national bodies like ICAO, EASA and Eurocontrol.
ranged from common standards for UAV operations and environmental
issues to availability of avgas, en-route charges and introduction
of ELTs. It was noted that ICAO may revisit its insistence on ELTs
– they were to have been mandated by 2009 – following
representations by IAOPA.
France leads the way
comparative study of the costs of flying in European countries
shows France to be the cheapest, and Britain to be the most
expensive by far.
While a JAR PPL can be had for between
4,700 and 5,500 euros in France, an identical qualification will
cost up to 9,000 Euros across the Channel.
expensive after Britain is Switzerland, followed by Germany and
The survey was carried out by Emmanuel Davidson of
AOPA-France for his excellent magazine Aviation & Pilote.
It shows that the 210 euros per hour the average Briton pays for
dual flying in a Cessna 150 will buy an hour on a complex,
IFR-equipped aircraft in France.
Self-fly hire of a C172
ranged in price from 110 euros an hour in France to 210 euros in
the UK. The next most expensive countries for aircraft hire after
the UK were Italy and Germany, where C172 rates went up to 150
euros per hour.
The survey also looked at different
approaches to training in what is supposedly a harmonised system
under JAR. The French are most lax about ground tuition and do
little continuation training on the theory side; the Swiss on the
other hand provide students with organised ground training, while
the Germans test pilots regularly on theoretical knowledge and
apply sanctions to those who fall short. The British are said to
be sticklers for proper radio procedure.
While all students
in JAA countries must do a minimum of 45 hours' training for their
PPLs, costs are governed by a host of national and local factors,
from taxation regimes to profit conventions and oversight costs –
some aviation authorities charge little or nothing for services,
while others, notably Britain' CAA, recover all their costs from
the industry and make a six percent profit.
survey concludes that while there are a number of areas in which
French pilots need to improve, such as theoretical knowledge and
use of aeronautical English, France enjoys huge advantages in
being able to issue a PPL at half the cost of some of its
neighbours, and if it takes care to preserve its unique systems,
it will remain the foremost aeronautical country in Europe.
is offering a fantastic opportunity to fly in the Bavarian Alps
and beyond with its annual Flight Training Event, which runs from
August 6th to August 11th.
GA pilots from any country are
welcome to come to Eggenfelden Airfield (EDME), about 50 nm east
of Munich, where they will be able to take part in a whole host of
events including flights into the mountains and to the
Mediterranean Sea, basic and advanced refresher courses, VFR and
IR refreshers, emergency procedure training in aerobatic aircraft
and demo flights in brand new Cirrus, Cessna, Columbia, Diamond
and Piper aircraft.
You can bring your own plane or hire an
aircraft at Eggenfelden. Experienced English-speaking flight
instructors will accompany you through the flight programmes and
ground school. You'll have to fill out an application form in
advance to allow AOPA-Germany to cater for the right number of
aircraft and instructors. And don't forget to bring your licence.
is an exceptional opportunity to fly somewhere fresh and exotic,
where whatever help you need is available from professionals, and
where you're sure to learn a great deal that will make you a
better pilot. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call +49 6103 42081.
How the professionals do it
airline pilots whose Boeing 777 flew across Europe for 65 minutes
without radio communication have been suspended by their airline.
The Vietnam Airlines aircraft, carrying 200 passengers, was en
route from Hanoi to Frankfurt when it flew across Ukraine, Poland
and the Czech Republic without making radio contact and with its
transponder apparently switched off. Vietnamese authorities said
the pilots were to undergo &lsquoretraining&rsquo.
Czech air force fighters were sent to flank the airliner at which
point the pilots 'realised their mistake' and contacted ATC,
according to the People' Army Newspaper in Vietnam.
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