e-newsletter, November 2006
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
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EASA licence under attack
proposal for a Europe-wide licence seems to be suffering death
by a thousand cuts at the hands of national aviation
authorities who have their own ideas about what it should
allow the pilot to do, and how it should be run.
original plan for the sub-ICAO ‘recreational’ licence, a
flagship of EASA policy towards GA, was for a licence to fly
aircraft up to 5,700kg, with the option of adding ratings, and
with a ‘bridge’ to an ICAO licence so that hours flown for an
EASA licence would count towards a full ICAO-compliant ticket.
the Council of Europe, a group of representatives of transport
departments in each EU country, is busy dismembering the
proposal, and looks as if it wants to turn the licence into a
minority ticket which would suit very few pilots.
members, briefed by their national aviation authorities, are
particularly set against allowing the licence to be issued by
‘assessment bodies’ rather than the NAAs themselves – an idea
that was introduced to keep cost and complexity down. Member
states say they will refuse to accept licences issued by
assessment bodies in other states. Licences will have to be
issued by an NAA, or by an assessment body under its authority.
addition they want the licence restricted to 2,000kg aircraft,
and many states want to impose further restrictions, like
single-engine piston and VFR-only. They do not want it to be
possible to add ratings, and most damningly, they want to kill
the idea of bridges to ICAO licences – any EASA licence holder
who wanted a professional licence would have to start again
from scratch. This latter idea would of course be a killer
blow to the EASA licence, rendering it useless except for a
minority of fliers.
The Council is also opposed to
EASA’s proposal for a medical based on a declaration of
fitness signed by a GP and is specifying that a medical
examination must take place.
These matters are
currently under discussion in the Council, which refers to the
licence disparagingly as a ‘leisure’ licence, bearing out
IAOPA-Europe’s concerns that calling it a ‘recreational’
licence would make it an easy target for those who want to
restrict GA further. The Council is working on a final text to
be presented to the EU Parliament.
talking to Members of the European Parliament in an attempt to
shore up EASA’s original vision, and hopes the Parliament will
send back the Council’s text for renegotiation.
Massive response on ANPA
for the ‘recreational’ licence form part of the Advance Notice
of Proposed Amendment on which the EASA group known as MDM.032
has been working. The ANPA can be read on our website www.iaopa-eur.org
although the deadline for responding has passed.
AOPA-Denmark’s Jacob Pedersen, who represents IAOPA on
MDM.032, says the group has received more than 4,000 responses
to the ANPA, each with five or ten separate comments. The
volume of response means the progress of the working group
will be slowed down while all the submissions are taken into
account – a job that’s likely to take several months.
the meantime the group has formed a number of subgroups to
deal with more detailed issues. An RPPL licensing subgroup
will focus on operations for aircraft below two tonnes and
medical standards for the RPPL. A Light Sport Aircraft
subgroup will focus on all aspects of creating an LSA
environment for aircraft under 750 kg, like initial and
continuing airworthiness, maintenance, licensing and so forth.
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wins on avgas
The board of directors of the Italian
Civil Aviation Authority has decided that any company applying
for a mandate to manage an airport in Italy will be compelled
to guarantee the availability of all fuels required by
aviators, and not only JET A1.
The move has been
roundly welcomed by AOPA-Italy president Massimo Levy, who has
long sought such a requirement. Availability of avgas has been
an even bigger problem in Italy than most other European
countries and is one of the major concerns for GA pilots in
Massimo says: “This decision is very important
for us. It does not mean that all major airports will make
avgas available overnight, but it is likely that for the next
summer season the problem will be resolved at many large
Avgas will remain a problem on small
airfields managed by flying clubs as the fiscal regulations in
Italy are so complex that many clubs do not have the means to
provide the service. AOPA is working with the Italian tax
office to try to simplify the regulations.
More, better airspace
there’s more good news from Italy.
The Italian Civil Aviation Authority, recently
appointed the regulating authority for Air Traffic Control
activities, has published a text entitled: ‘Guidelines for the
review of the Airspace revision in Italy’. This text defines
the rules that the Italian air navigation service provider
ENAV will have to adhere to when re-structuring Italian
airspace. One basic rule described by Massimo as “music to our
ears” is that controlled airspace must be reduced to “the
minimum required for the safety of IFR traffic” and that it
also has to be available to suitably-equipped VFR traffic. It
also stipulates that uncontrolled airspace should be easily
available at many altitudes (not just 1,000 ft) and that the
duty of controllers is to serve the needs of pilots, and they
should advise them of possible problems along their route.
some of this is taken for granted in other European countries,
it is a great step forward for Italy – the country with the
largest Class C CTRs in the world, as well as the largest
Class A TMAs.
Massimo says: “Again, this does not mean that
Italian airspace will be modified in the next few weeks, but
we hope that in the not too distant future the situation will
improve. A commission for the review of Italian airspace has
been formed, and AOPA-Italy is part of it.”
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President blocks German
Positive news also from Germany,
where plans to privatise air traffic control have been blocked
by unexpected (and welcome) opposition from the Federal
President Dr Horst Koelher.
The airlines – which
in Germany means Lufthansa – have been pushing for
privatisation of DFS, the national ANSP. They are backed by
DFS management and the bigger airports like Frankfurt and
Munich. They have started an “air traffic initiative” to
promote the plan, and have been supported by the German
Department of Transport and by private studies from Deutsche
Dr Koelher, however, says he regards these plans
as a violation of the German Constitution, which describes air
traffic management as the responsibility of the state, just
like the function of the police. AOPA-Germany’s managing
director Dr Michael
Erb says: “We regard it as a major success that DFS is
not for sale in the foreseeable future.”
who stand to profit from the privatisation are unlikely to
give up, however. To overcome the President’s objection they
must change the section of the constitution – Grundgezetz
Article 87d – which declares that ATC is a function of
national authority and sovereignty. For this they need a
two-thirds majority in Parliament. Dr Erb says: “Obviously,
that may not be easy.”
Things are also looking up in the UK,
where a general aviation consultative group which brings
together regulators and the regulated has had its first
get-to-know-you meeting. AOPA-UK’s Martin
Robinson says: “This group is a result of the CAA’s
review of general aviation earlier this year and will
hopefully give us a forum to discuss vital matters with the
right people. It is chaired by industry people who are coming
together around common themes – access to airspace and
airports, security and so forth.
“If senior figures in
the Department for Transport and the CAA take it seriously, it
could do general aviation a great deal of good. If, however,
they treat it as a chore and delegate attendance to junior
staff, then it will fail. AOPA-UK will give it every
opportunity to succeed, and we hope our commitment will be
Death of Per Holter-Sørensen
president of AOPA-Norway for many years, Per Holter-Sørensen,
passed away on September 22nd after almost a year of fighting
leukaemia. Frode Berg, vice president of AOPA-Norway,
writes: “Per was a giant in the GA movement in Norway, and was
a board member almost from the start of our organisation. Not
only did he run AOPA-Norway with a steady hand for many years,
but he was also loved as a pilot, instructor, friend and
mentor to several generations of pilots.
his flying career in the Air Force after the Second World War
flying Spitfires and eventually jets. He later established his
company Ascor AS, serving business charter customers with twin
engine piston aircraft and a Citation jet, as well as creating
hundreds of pilots through his flying school at Oslo’s old
“Per’s main passion in life was
aviation, and especially general aviation. We all remember him
as being passionate, warm, knowledgeable and always very
helpful with issues relating to the GA community. He gave an
incredible amount of hours for our cause through the years.
Our thoughts go out to his family, and we will forever keep
our fond memories of Per. His passing is a great loss to our
New AOPA-France website
France has launched its new website at www.aopa.fr.
The site contains a huge amount of information in
French; the English-language section is under construction.
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