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May 2006 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent
May 2006

IAOPA-Europe e-newsletter, May 2006

Welcome to the fourth 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 sponsors 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)

Radical thinking

IAOPA is deeply involved in a new EASA group called MDM032, which aims to find a better way of regulating general aviation in Europe. EASA is encouraging the GA industry to put forward radical new ideas, and according to EASA's airworthiness manager Eric Sivel, this may be the best chance in 60 years to build a regulation system fit for its purpose.

Speaking at IAOPA-Europe's March regional meeting in Brussels Sivel said EASA did not believe that more regulation meant more safety. "We look at those who are most regulated and we do not see that they are safer," he said. "Now is the time to starts from scratch and create a regulatory structure that addresses the needs of general aviation – not an adaptation of what has gone before, but a new approach for GA tomorrow."

Some in EASA believe all aircraft below 5,700kg should be self-regulated. An indication of how radically the Agency is thinking came when Eric Sivel said: "I see no reason why fractional ownership should be regulated differently from group ownership. It's not clear to me that it is commercial."

Sivel said he was determined to undo some JAA requirements, which had been arrived at by a consensus of national aviation authorities, but had proved unworkable.

EASA is committed to introduce the Recreational Pilots Licence and will stick to the name despite the fact that it is a godsend to those who want to shut out, close down or restrict general aviation. Delegates from 22 European AOPAs were unanimous in seeking change, but Mr Sivel said the name would stay, although he conceded that MDM032 could suggest different levels of licence with names that would cover more than simply hobby aviation and air sports.

IAOPA's representative on the group is Jacob Pedersen of AOPA Denmark. After the first two meetings of the group Pedersen reports that a framework is taking shape, with wide consensus among the group members. The group is determined to do away with the term 'recreational' and will approach the EC directly, since the matter is now out of the hands of EASA. IAOPA's other main concerns are that the conventional PPL is not deprived on meaning, that there must be a bridge from the new licence to the conventional PPL, and that the new licence does not impose restrictions on access to airspace or airports if the pilot otherwise has the necessary qualifications.

MDM032 must produce a Notice of Proposed Amendment by July – EASA programmes never leave much time for consultation.

EASA is also weighing changes to maintenance rules which have been heavily criticised. Sivel said: "We believe that the way we approve modifications to GA aircraft is too heavily bureaucratic. We believe the rules have forced people to circumvent them, and if there are problems like this, we need to fix them. There is a survey going on, and we will make changes on the basis of the feedback."

More radical thinking needed.

IAOPA's president Phil Boyer attended the European regional conference and acted as co-chairman of Eurocontrol's Aviation Day, held the day before. He seemed both encouraged and perturbed by what he saw and heard, speaking positively of the calibre of some of the people in charge of aviation in the European Union, but questioning many of the plans they were proposing.

"Eurocontrol still seems to be wedded to VHF, and huge antennae throwing a radar signal at an aircraft with a transponder, which is all pretty antiquated technology," he said. "They said ADS-B was unproven, but it's been working in Alaska for ten years, and I'm hoping it would allow you to avoid your Mode-S transition, and your 8.33 kHz problems."

Eurocontrol wants all aircraft to be equipped with new radios with 8.33 kHz spacing in order to provide more frequencies, but IAOPA maintains that setting up a single radio allocation unit for all of Europe (there are currently 27) would cut out duplication and waste and free up all the frequencies necessary. In addition, if believes the authorities are not exploiting technology to the full. AOPA-Sweden's Lars Hjelmberg pointed out that his son's mobile phone had more sophisticated data transfer capability than the most modern GA aircraft.

(ADS-B is a data transfer system that allows aircraft to 'talk' to each other, as well as uplifting information on air traffic, weather and much more. Despite the pressure for global harmonisation, the United States, Russia and Asia are leaning towards ADS-B, with the USA moving to the voluntary adoption of ADS-B for GA aircraft.)

Daniel Calleja, director of the EC's Air Transport Directorate, has agreed to Boyer's suggestion for an economic impact study of European GA. "That's never been done before, and they don't have a true picture of the number of pilots, airplanes, and airports on the continent, and no calculation as to the number of jobs and the amount of money generated by general aviation. Once they have that data, I think they'll see GA in a new light."



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Good news on charging and airfields

Intense IAOPA lobbying over airspace charges has paid off, with the EC agreeing to maintain the sub-two-tonne exemption despite pressure from airlines and national authorities. The charging regulation now says that such aircraft "shall be exempt' from charges, despite a last-minute attempt to have the "shall' changed to "may'. IAOPA's Martin Robinson said: "This is a huge victory for GA, and one that was hard-fought. Like many IAOPA victories, it means no change – so our members rarely realise just how much effort, time and money has been expended."

There is also good news on the Common Requirements for Air Navigation Service Providers, which come into force in the next year. IAOPA has won concessions from the EC which will save general aviation a lot of money. The original plan had been to require any airfield with more than 20,000 movements to conform to the new rules, some of which will cost significant amounts of money. IAOPA has successfully lobbied for the wording to be changed to "20,000 commercial air transport movements', which absolves a large number of mid-sized GA airfields from conforming to the most costly requirements.


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World Assembly

Canada is hosting the 23rd IAOPA World Assembly, which runs from June 18th to June 22nd and welcomes any AOPA member from anywhere in the world.

Apart from the business programme, there are a host of compelling reasons to visit Toronto for the convention, according to Canadian Owners and Pilots Association President Kevin Psutka. "Our freedom to fly is one of our great treasures and the greater Toronto area is home to over 3,000 aircraft and eight airports," he said. "All you need is a current pilot license and a valid medical issued in any ICAO state and Transport Canada will validate your licence so you can rent a Canadian aircraft. Or you can take advantage of our demonstration flight program with Cirrus Aircraft."

Toronto, he adds, is clean, safe, friendly and famous for outstanding restaurants, theatre, golf and shopping. Nearby attractions include everything from Niagara Falls to dinner in warbird museum or a float plane excursion. Check out

Udine reopens to GA

AOPA-Italy invites all AOPA members to its General Assembly, which will be held on May 27th at the recently re-opened GA airfield of Udine Campoformido. Udine is located on the simplest VFR route through the Alps near the Austrian and Slovenian borders and is a very good entry point for people wishing to fly towards the Adriatic sea resorts of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece.

Control of Udine was handed to the Italian Civil Aviation Authority by the Air Force on March 24th, and it was opened to GA, domestic, Schengen and EU traffic the following day.

AOPA-Italy's Massimo Levi says that although the Assembly will be held in Italian, there are many ancillary attractions including the newly-opened 'Flight Park' near the airport, a sort of museum which tells of 100 years of Italian aviation. For information call the AOPA-Italy office at +39 02 66501485 or see the website

*AOPA Italy has elected a new Board of Directors, which now includes Carlo Golda, a specialist in aviation law, former AOPA Italia president Massimo Levi, Ezio Marinoni, Massimo Montanari, a retired Italian Air Force general and former Commander of the Frecce Tricolore, Eugenio Pozzo, Luca Salvadori, Giulio Valdonio and Maurizio Viola. At its first meeting the Board elected Massimo Levi and Giulio Valdonio as President and Vice President, and Luca Salvadori as secretary-general.

AOPA-Italy delegate Roberto Manzaroli has been elected to the Board of ENAV, the company mandated to regulate Air Traffic Control in Italy – a move hailed as a positive step towards improving the situation of GA in Italy.


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Get Åland in your log book

AOPA Norway is repeating its invitation to all pilots to 'Årets flytur 2006' in Mariehavn, on the island of Åland, between May 26th and May 28th. Apart from offering the chance to fly somewhere totally different, there is a programme of flying and banqueting, and Norway is hoping to welcome pilots from all over northern Europe.

AOPA UK's chief executive Martin Robinson will be a keynote speaker on Saturday evening, as will the director of GA for the Norwegian CAA. There will be round-table discussions in which any visitor can participate.

EFMA is the ICAO callsign for Åland, and it is located approx 65 nm north east of Stockholm. For more details and for registrations, please send an email to Frode Berg at

Madrid beckons the helicopter industry

The UK helicopter expo Helitech is to stage a similar event in Spain this year – its first major foray into continental Europe. Helitech, held every second year at Duxford airfield near London, has established itself over 20 years as one of the world's foremost helicopter events, and the organisers have been looking at expansion opportunities. The Spanish event will be at Cuatro Vientos, five miles from Madrid, between October 3rd and 5th. Exhibition director Sue Bradshaw says: "The time is right for Helitech to grow into an annual event. We have found the perfect venue, a mixed police and GA traffic field with no scheduled services to restrict exhibitor or visitor flying requirements. October is a good time on the continent: many summer contracts in southern Europe will have ended and there will be lessons to learn and equipment to be procured for the 2007 season." Contact



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