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March 2007 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

IAOPA-Europe e-newsletter, March 2007

Welcome to the monthly e-news of IAOPA-Europe, which goes out to 23,000 AOPA members across the continent of Europe.

This 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)

AOPA Hellas to stage 24th IAOPA World Assembly

Athens is to host representatives of general aviation from 66 countries around the world at the IAOPA World Assembly in June 2008.

The International Council of AOPA has decided to assign the organisation of the next World Assembly to AOPA Hellas following a lobbying campaign that began at the 115th European Regional Meeting in Warsaw in September 2006. AOPA Hellas submitted its candidacy to that meeting in a proposal that was backed by influential sponsors like Air BP, Aegean Airlines and SETE, the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises. It was also supported by the Greek government, with the Transport Ministry helping officially with the organisation and the Minister for Greek Tourism Development Fani Petralia submitting a letter of support. AOPA Hellas also received the unanimous support of all European AOPAs at that meeting.

The choice of Greece was confirmed by IAOPA president Phil Boyer in a letter to AOPA Hellas president Yiouli Kalafati. In it, he wrote: "I am pleased to inform you that AOPA Hellas has submitted the winning bid to host the 2008 IAOPA World Assembly in Athens, Greece. Our choice was made more difficult this time because of the three high quality proposals submitted, all from Mediterranean states. However, the decision was based on your proposal's comprehensiveness, extensive government and sponsor support, cost controls and overall quality. Plus, I must also say that your personal enthusiasm, drive and commitment to general aviation in your country has always impressed me greatly."

Yiouli said after hearing of the decision: "This event should be recognised as one of significant importance that will result in great benefits to general aviation in Greece.

"There were four basic reasons that the Board of Directors of AOPA Hellas decided to seek the 2008 World Assembly:

• To induce the Greek authorities to recognise the value and contributions of general aviation to transport.
• To utilise the time period between now and June 2008 as a unique opportunity to introduce general aviation to the Greek public.
• To work with the Greek authorities for legislative changes that promote general aviation and provide the necessary financial support.
• To promote the image of Greek airports to other European countries by making them a friendlier and more affordable destination for private aviators, which will result in significant benefits to air tourism and the general economy."

AOPA Hellas wins on handling charges

As of 23rd February 2007, following pressure by AOPA Hellas and individual pilots in Greece, Olympic Airways Services S.A. (OA), the main handling services provider in the country, has decided to change policy and charges for airport ground handling services specifically for general aviation in Greece.

OA are the sole handling services provider at all regional airports in Greece since they serve their parent company Olympic Airlines. The country's five largest airports also have other handling companies who are even more expensive than OA.

The situation before the change was as follows. Handling was compulsory by order of the Greek CAA (HCAA) even at smaller remote island airports. The charges were O105 for LGAV, O90 for LGTS and LGIR, O65 for other airports and O53, O45 and O33 with AOPA Hellas discount. An 18% VAT surcharge was added to that, and there was a further surcharge for weekends and night stops.

These charges have been replaced with a universal charge by OA of O15 +VAT at ALL Greek airports for ALL GA aircraft, national or international. The only service that must be provided is marshalling, the minimum requirement by HCAA. Furthermore, HCAA specifies that OA services are to be provided only when a) requested by the pilot or b) where local airport authorities dictate it is obligatory for the safety of ground operations. This essentially means that only four or five big airports will still require acceptance of handling, but yet again this will be at a much lower charge than before.

Additionally OA have committed to provide handling services FREE to all GA flights related to the IAOPA World Assembly 2008 in Greece. AOPA Hellas is grateful to OA for the WA2008 support.

AOPA Hellas welcomes the big change in handling operations and charges and is grateful to OA for finally understanding the needs of GA in Greece. For years, AOPA Hellas has been opposing unreasonable requirements and charges for GA which served only to discourage private and training flight activities, including international GA tourism in the country. AOPA Hellas will still fight for a total abolition of handling charges for light aircraft on private and training flights.



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Where is the EC going wrong?

The European Commission is holding a one-day conference in relation to its recently produced paper on GA in the Community on March 8th, writes Martin Robinson. Comments need to be sent to the commission by no later than 1st April 2007. See IAOPA has a number of concerns over the emerging European regulatory environment and will be making these concerns known to the Commission.

In Europe, there are two parts to the rule making process:

1) High Level Essential Requirements (ERs); followed by
2) The Implementing Rules (IRs).

Once the ERs have effectively become law, the IR is then developed in order to enact the ERs. At the time of developing the IR, there is a requirement for a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) to ensure that the IRs meet the intent of the ERs, and that there is a good appreciation of the impact on the community affected by the change. IAOPA Europe questions whether it is possible to produce a meaningful impact assessment across 25 member states, given the variation in GA activities and national economies. Not all of the states have joined the Euro (the UK being one). In a Commission document on RIAs its says that RIAs are not a replacement for political judgement - unfortunately it seems that it's the civil servants who are making the political judgement in some cases.

The EASA Rules on Maintenance for sub-5700kg aircraft are a case in point. All member states are required to be in compliance with the new rules by September 2008, which means that by September this year industry has to begin transitioning. At a recent conference it was stated that NPA 14 will go out for consultation soon for completion by this summer. This consultation is looking at a 'light' maintenance regime for sub-2000kg aircraft; however, the work is has barely begun! Another group which is looking at maintenance organisations for aircraft that include business jets is being chaired by an individual from the European gliding community! What thought goes into structuring these committees? As the IAOPA-nominated persons on that Group, Mr Bill Taylor of UK engineers de Havilland Support Ltd found himself taking part in the Pilot/Owners maintenance committee! There is a great deal at stake here, and it is important that we get it right. It is also disturbing that while officials from national aviation authorities have their expenses refunded by EASA, industry representatives cannot - we have to fund our own attendance.

In order to make good rules at the European level there needs to be a greater use of a combination of good data and better regulation principles when deciding on new legislation that directly or indirectly affects European general aviation. But first of all you need the data, a fact that comes through loud and clear in the Commission document.

Therefore there is a need for segmented Impact Assessments so the decision makers can fully understand the impact on the different aviation communities. To achieve this there must be a policy that directs this to happen. Political judgement will be improved as a result of better information.
IAOPA asks that the following principles be applied:

• Proportionate: Regulators should only intervene when necessary. Remedies should be appropriate to the risk posed, and costs identified and minimised
• Accountable: Regulators must be able to justify decisions, and be subject to public scrutiny.
• Consistent: Government rules and standards must be joined up and implemented fairly.
• Transparent: Regulators should be open, and keep regulations simple and user friendly.
• Targeted: Regulation should be focused on the problem, and minimise side effects.
European officials need to see GA as an opportunity, and tools such as RIAs if applied properly will help to deliver a more dynamic GA community in Europe.


Update on 8.33 MHz.

While some people seem to think that 8.33 MHz radio spacing is a fait accompli and that general aviation has accepted vertical extension down to lower levels, IAOPA-Europe does not accept any extension below FL195 as the case has not been proven.

IAOPA-Europe's deputy vice president Martin Robinson attended a meeting of the 8.33 MHz steering committee at Eurocontrol headquarters in Brussels, where it was seen that Eurocontrol and ICAO-Europe's idea of how to solve the problem was to invite GA to join its frequency management groups "until they understand the real problem".

Martin says: "They are fully focussed on the arguments that are presented in the business case, but we believe those arguments are weak.

"For now, I would draw you attention to the letter from NATO on 8.33VEX, where they offer cooperation, but not before 2020, which would make 8.33 below FL195 obsolete. Eurocontrol's reaction to that letter was to request confirmation by the member states, or rather to request a commitment for more money from other sources for the conversion of military aircraft in favour of commercial aviation. This is exactly the way we want to pursue for GA too, if there is no better technical and/or organisational solution."



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Check out these aerodromes!

AOPA Italy's website has added a new feature that will be of great interest to all IAOPA Europe members, writes AOPA-Italy president Massimo Levy. Under the 'utilities' menu we have uprated the 'Google maps' page that allows pilots to visualise satellite images of more than 10.000 aerodromes around the world.

The satellite images are obtained thanks to an integration of Google with the airport geographical coordinates taken from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency ( Using the scaling tools on the left of the picture you can change the size of the image and study the smallest details. It is possible to search for airports by country or to make direct searches by inserting the ICAO identifier or FAA host ID, the IATA ID or the city or airfield name.


Avoid rip-off Sardinia

The administration of the Italian Region of Sardinia has decided to renew the "luxury tax" on aircraft and boats in transit on the island between June 1st 2007 and Aug. 30th 2007.
As we did last summer, AOPA-Italy invites all IAOPA pilots not to go to Sardinia, but to choose another Italian destination. Opposition to the taxes, and lack of organisation, meant that last summer those who used Sardinian airports were not asked to pay the tax as no-one was mandated to take the cash. Airport handling companies did not do it because a public authority cannot oblige a private company to do something without paying a fee for the job, and the Civil Aviation Authority did not do it because the national government was against the regional tax.

This does not mean that the region will forfeit the unpaid taxes, because those who did not pay last year will be chased by the fiscal authorities for the money. Massimo Levi says: "Be careful, because history will repeat itself next summer. Neither the handlers nor the Civil Aviation Authority will ask for payment, but the name of the aircraft owner will end up in a file and sooner or later someone will claim the money with all the 'extras' for late payment - double the due amount plus the legal interest level.


Now for the good news

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority has decreed that the supply of all kinds of aviation fuels is a must for airport handling companies.
This does not mean that avgas will appear on Italian airports, overnight, by miracle, but certainly we are on the right track and handling companies will have to do something if they want to keep their concessions.

There has also been progress on the problem of airports which have a PPR requirement and have rejected GA flights on the grounds of 'lack of parking space'. The Italian CAA has issued a circular letter to all airports informing them that "no flight, including GA, can be rejected for disembarking/embarking and refuelling operations up to a couple of hours."

Many Italian handling companies do whatever they possible can to get rid of small aircraft at larger airports. Massimo says: "Please do not forget this right of yours."


Spain plans to help GA

AOPA-Spain is heavily involved in a government plan to promote general aviation, in a country which has hitherto had a negative attitude to the industry.
After much prompting, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce has ordered the Aeronautical Department of the CDTI (Center for the Development Tecnologico and Industrial) to come up with a plan for the promotion of GA. The plan, currently at the drawing-board stage, will suggest ways of improving the landscape for aviation in Spain. The CDTI has asked for AOPA-Spain data on the present situation of the general aviation sector in Spain, as well as the Association's opinions on what measures need to be adopted to improve matters.


AFIS system for Spain?

The Spanish DGAC is evaluating the possibility of introducing Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) information to Spanish airfields and has asked AOPA-Spain for its input on the criteria to follow for its implementation. AOPA-Spain believes that for aerodromes with fewer than 50,000 movements per annum, AFIS systems are especially beneficial. Introduction of AFIS must be accompanied by an education programme for GA pilots on the disciplines involved.


AOPA France changes

Please note that AOPA France has moved from Le Bourget to: 6 rue Galilee 75116 Paris.
Phone (33) 1 47 20 09 11 and Fax (33) 1 47 20 09 22.

They also have a new website, Webmail is, or if you want to join, email the technical manager direct on

Alain Curoy is the new technical director of AOPA France. A pilot for 30 years, he is a vintage aircraft enthusiast.


Fly-in to France

Every AOPA member is welcome to join AOPA France for their annual general assembly on April 28th and 29th.
They will be visiting vineyards in Bordeaux and the Dassault aviation factory, an en route control centre and more. Their assemblies are renowned for good food, wine and hospitality. If you'd like to go along, contact the organisational staff on (33) 1 47 20 09 11, or by fax on 1 47 20 09 22.


Egypt Air Rally

Pilots are reminded that 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 The website is written in English, French and German.

It's an opportunity not to be missed. Good luck!




AERO 2007 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN : Gateway to the robust European general aviation market

The world is coming to Friedrichshafen...

The number of global exhibitors at Aero 2007 is already up by 17 percent as worldwide interest in the European GA market reaches new heights.

Aero Friedrichshafen project manager Thomas Grunewald says the number of companies who have signed up for the German show this year already stands at 319, compared to 286 in 2005. The final number of exhibitors is expected to exceed 500. Exhibition space sold has increased from 23,693 square metres in 2005 to 27,285 square metres, with more than three months still to go. More than 50,000 visitors are expected.

In 2007, Aero will be highlighting the VLJ market, with companies such as Cessna, Diamond and Eclipse presenting their new fleets. Other participating companies include Adams Aviation, Beechcraft, Bose, Cirrus, Columbia, Socata, Czech Aircraft, David Clark, Evektor, Gippsland, Jeppesen, JetPROP, Kelly Aerospace, Lycoming, Mooney, Pilatus, Piper, Roland Aircraft, Shell, Vulcanair, and xtremeAir.

Friedrichshafen's position bordering Austria and Switzerland, and its close proximity to France, Italy and Eastern Europe make it the most convenient location for an aviation expo in Europe, and more than 50,000 visitors are expected this year. The show will run from April 19 to April 22, 2007.

Aero covers every aspect of the general aviation industry and provides an important business platform for companies involved with business aircraft, gliders and ultra-light aircraft, avionics, maintenance products and services as well as accessories. Aero's business aircraft sector in particular has grown significantly over the past few years.

For more information please see


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