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September 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, September 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)

Brave new world for GA?

The advance notice of a proposed new system of regulation for general aviation has been published by EASA's MDM.032 working group and is on the IAOPA-Europe website. It represents an ambitious and far-reaching attempt to alleviate the burden of regulation under which GA suffers in most European countries, without detriment to safety.

The ANPA (Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment) is effectively a 'pre-consultation consultation' on a subject that has enormous implications for the entire industry. Covering design certification, airworthiness, operations and pilot licensing, it opens up every area of GA regulation for discussion.

Jacob Pedersen, IAOPA-Europe's representative on the MDM.032 working group that framed the document, is urging all members to take a look at the document and put their thoughts to EASA, with copies to IAOPA-Europe.

At 48 pages it's too weighty to discuss fully here, but it recognises that European GA is in trouble – we have just 25% as many GA aircraft as the United States despite having a similar area and a greater population – and blames the regulatory burden in part for the ill-health of the industry. In sectors of GA like microlights where regulation is less heavy-handed, business is booming and safety is not markedly affected.
None of its findings are unexpected, with Jacob Pedersen having kept members informed through this newsletter. It proposes that non-complex aircraft under 2,000 kg be taken out of a regulatory regime that is geared largely towards serving the interests of the public transport sector. It says there should be a new Europe-wide sub-ICAO licence with reduced medical requirements, for which additional ratings like Night – and a remodelled Instrument Rating – should be available. Licences would be issued by Assessment Bodies rather that national aviation authorities.

Some of the proposals will be opposed by the current regulatory authorities, and the full support of the GA industry is needed to make them happen. The ANPA warns: "The expectations of the group on the content and privileges of the new RPPL are very ambitious. It can however be questioned whether this is achievable. The Commission proposal for the extended Basic Regulation have indeed met with scepticism as regards the possibility to allow flying in any aircraft that is not a complex-motored powered aircraft with a licence that does not meet the conditions of the JAR-FCL PPL. Addition of instrument or instruction ratings may raise the same objections. Another aspect of the conditions that is raising strong concerns is the possibility that medical attestations of fitness could be issued by general practitioners."

As always with EASA, consultation times are short – feedback must be in their hands by October 16th, and it must be presented in a specific form or it won't be considered. You can download both the ANPA and the approved comment form from the IAOPA-Europe website Please send a copy of any comments you make to


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Blended fuel concession for avgas

AOPA-Germany has won an exemption for avgas from laws due to come into force in January which require all German manufacturers of fuel to add Ethanol to their products.
The exemption, however, does not cover mogas, and all GA aircraft using mogas will be affected.

Ethanol is a biofuel that is popular among environmentalists, and in some countries like Brazil it already forms 20 percent of car fuel. It has a lower energy content than pure gasoline, which makes it unsuitable for high-performance aircraft engines. It also has a more corrosive effect on certain engine components.

Dr Michael Erb, managing director of AOPA-Germany, says they managed to convince German authorities that adding ethanol to avgas would be a disastrous move, both economically and in terms of safety. However, exemptions are less likely for car fuel, and it is economically unfeasible to produce ethanol-free mogas purely for aviation use.

Dr Erb points out that the STCs for Lycoming engines designed to take mogas prescribe a maximum ethanol content of one per cent – any higher and the permit is invalid. Rotax engines in VLAs and ultralights will also not tolerate a higher concentration of ethanol.

AOPA-Germany is working with car manufacturers, who are lobbying for an exemption for 'Super-Plus' fuel used in high performance sports cars.


Swiss tackle Zürich infringements

AOPA Switzerland has successfully opposed new airspace restrictions for VFR flights in the vicinity of Zürich, where there has been a marked reduction in infringements because of new AOPA-inspired charts and information material.

Zürich airspace has become increasingly complicated because of restrictions imposed on traffic overflying nearby German territory. Because of this, Zürich was forced to introduce new arrival and departure patterns for IFR traffic which kept aircraft entirely within Swiss borders, but which swallowed up huge chunks of VFR territory and led to restrictions on flights under the TMA.

An elaborate training device called Turicum (the Roman name for Zürich) was introduced, comprising a Powerpoint presentation in four different versions explaining how to operate VFR near Zürich. In addition, AOPA has helped pay for a new 1:250,000 chart of the area because the 1:500,000 had become so cluttered with restrictions as to be unusable. Skyguide, the Swiss ATC provider, has been supportive and has made some 600 CDs explaining Zürich airspace, distributing them to all airfields in the vicinity, including in Germany, and to all flying schools and glider and hang-glider associations.

As a result, onerous VFR restrictions have been dropped. Philippe Hauser of AOPA-Switzerland says: "We have a very tight but flyable TMA/CTR, although some glider clubs are not happy as they have very little airspace to move in." The new quarter-mil has a 1:300,000 glider chart printed on the reverse.

Philippe adds: "The number of unauthorised airspace penetrations by VFR traffic has reduced tremendously. We had to defend every cubic metre of airspace for VFR use, and lot of opposition from our side was necessary in order to convince the Federal Office for Civil Aviation that these changes would improve safety."

The Turicum presentations are available in French and German on the AOPA-Switzerland website under 'Schulung Turicum'.



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Military gates open

AOPA's campaign to open Swiss military airfields for civilian use is slowly bearing fruit, and the Association remains determined to win landing privileges at every one.

AOPA-Switzerland has very good relations with the Swiss Air Force, most of whose pilots also hold civilian licences, but official access to airfields has proved difficult in recent years, especially with opposition from local communities on noise grounds. Two airfields in particular, Emmen and Dübendorf, are virtually impossible to use, but AOPA-Switzerland has announced its intention to land at all of them in the near future.


Yiouli for Eurocontrol

AOPA-Greece President Yiouli Kalafati is to take up a new position with Eurocontrol to work on improving the capacity of aerodromes to handle traffic.

Yiouli, an air traffic control manager in Athens, is joining the Airport Throughput Business Division to work on a project entitled 'Airport Airside Capacity Enhancement', (ACE) which aims to establish methods by which airports can maximise their ability to cope with traffic growth.

Yiouli, who joins the project as ATC expert, has been President of AOPA-Greece since 2004. IAOPA-Europe deputy vice president Martin Robinson said: "Yiouli has brought enormous energy to IAOPA-Europe and we are grateful for all the work she has done. She will be an enormous asset to Eurocontrol, and we are very pleased that she will continue her work with AOPA-Greece."

The stated objective of (ACE) is to help airports to release latent airside capacity by implementing guidelines for runway, taxiway and apron operations.


AOPA-CH visits Sweden

During a thundery week in August some 30 members and 15 airplanes from AOPA Switzerland visited Sweden, reports Lennart Persson, vice president of AOPA Sweden. Arrival was at Säve airport in Gothenburg. They flew Linköping the following morning to visit the Saab Aircraft factory. In the afternoon they continued to Eskilstuna and stayed there at the old castle of Sundbyholm. The intention was to make a short trip to Stockholm/Bromma on the third day, but thunder and rainstorms prevented the flight. Instead, the Swiss pilots took the train, and got the chance to see the City Hall and the Wasa museum. After four days they flew back to Switzerland with a lay-over in Malmö.


Regional Meeting

The 116th IAOPA-Europe Regional Meeting will be held in Warsaw, Poland on September 30th. Report in the next e-news.



The Elite Twister Team Fly Into the History Books

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