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November 2006 - 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, 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 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)

EASA licence under attack

EASA’s 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.

The 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.

Unfortunately 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.

Council 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.

In 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.

IAOPA-Europe is 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

Proposals 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 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.

In 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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Italy 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 Italy.

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 airports.”

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

And 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.

While 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 privatisation

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 Bank.

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.”

Those 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.”



UK forum launched

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 matched.”


Death of Per Holter-Sørensen

The 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.

“He started 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 airport, Fornebu.

“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 community.”


New AOPA-France website

AOPA France has launched its new website at
The site contains a huge amount of information in French; the English-language section is under construction.



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