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.
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.
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
More radical thinking needed.
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."
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.)
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."
READING: EU VAT and aircraft
Good news on charging and airfields
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."
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
If you have not
already filled in the IAOPA questionnaire at www.iaopa-eur.org
you can still make it, and participate in our competition for
Jeppesen products. You must fill in the questionnaire by May 15th
to win. By filling in the form you will help IAOPA greatly in
collating statistics so we can better serve our members.
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."
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 www.2006worldassembly.com
Udine reopens to GA
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.
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.
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 www.aopa.it.
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.
Get Åland in your log book
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
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.
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 email@example.com
Madrid beckons the helicopter industry
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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