IAOPA eNews August 2012
In this issue:
AOPA-SA President Dr. Koos Marais recently visited with Mr. Zhakele Thwala the newly appointed Director and Commissioner of Civil Aviation (DCA). They discussed a number of important issues openly and frankly and agreed to work together to protect and grow aviation in South Africa. Mr. Thwala repeatedly assured AOPA that he and his organisation remain committed to serving the civil aviation community in South Africa.
First on the agenda was the issue of the recently scheduled flight restrictions and its subsequent cancellation due to AOPA’s opposition. AOPA stressed the need for compliance within the law and the 2010 court order. The DCA assured AOPA that in the future all such exercises would be discussed with AOPA beforehand.
AOPA-SA expressed its grave concern on the status of the aircraft modification approval process, especially the large number of aircraft that currently do not comply with standards because they had been fitted with radios and other modifications for which no paper trail exists. Last year a grace period for these aircraft was created, during this period owners and their aircraft maintainers were allowed to come clean with equipment lists and to submit new equipment lists and to gain approval without penalties. However a number of owners failed to make use of this courtesy and their aircraft are now grounded until such time as they comply with very severe and sometimes impossible requirements such as detailed wiring diagrams and engineering plans, created by approved design organizations. In certain theoretical cases, these can cost more than the value of the aircraft. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) then graciously offered to take another look at the problem in order to assist the industry in getting their house in order. They asked that AOPA-SA investigate and report the scale of the problem to them. AOPA-SA now asks that all owners and AMO’s who have problems with unapproved modifications come forward and please contact them and describe the nature of their problem. The CAA really wants to help but they want to know how big the problem really is. This is the last and final opportunity to solve the problem. Once this opportunity has passed, no exceptions will be made. All aircraft owners must now ensure that all equipment and modifications in their aircraft had been installed legally, with the necessary paper work and fees paid. Failure to do so may result in your beautiful aircraft becoming worthless. It is also prudent to consider this problem before you buy any aircraft. AOPA-SA is asking all members who are aware of shortcomings in their equipment lists and documentation of modification, to immediately contact them.
AOPA-SA also criticized the CAA website. The DCA agreed that it was unsatisfactory and that a rebuild is under way. CAA is aware that the image of the country is at stake and that even minor spelling mistakes should not be tolerated.
The DCA then reported that ICAO has recently changed its policy of audits every five years to a risk based approach. ICAO can now do audits whenever they perceive any risk to safety. Mr. Thwala then freely admitted that CAA currently falls short in respect of skills pertaining to Part 121 operations and airworthiness. To rectify this shortcoming CAA is on a recruitment drive to canvass the services of senior, perhaps retired, experts.
Finally, AOPA-SA and CAA confirmed their commitment to their joint safety program. “CRM for the Single Pilot Crew” and Mr. Thwala announced that he would personally attend the next meeting which is scheduled for 16 August 2012 at Ermelo Flying Club.
APPA/AOPA-Brazil is strongly advocating and trying to protect the Brazilian general aviation interests by establishing a permanent communication before ANAC (Brazilian General Aviation Agency) in order to address some recent matters that are directly impacting general aviation. "Brazil is booming and with it after decades of declining, so is general aviation. At the same time, the pressure coming from the regulatory agency is also being watched under our strict attention and action", said George Sucupira, APPA´s President. By the end of June, 2012, ANAC published the new RBAC 61, the specific rule for personnel licenses and ratings, reviewing a +30 years rule. In this revision, ANAC introduced some favorable matters and procedures that may produce good results depending on how it will work in the practical world, but added extra and innocuous regulation for Private Pilots, especially asking for First Class Medical Certificates for those who decide to keep their IFR rating. APPA/AOPA-Brazil’s top concern is with the overregulation coming from ICAO. In order to organize the formal argumentation before ANAC, APPA/AOPA-Brazil is working in a very positive and collaborative environment with IAOPA, AOPA-USA and Air Safety Institute."
IAOPA-Europe and AOPA-US have made a joint presentation to an EASA-FAA conference on harmonization of licenses between America and Europe which it is hoped will lead to a simple, low-cost route to recognition of qualifications at the PPL level across the Atlantic. Craig Spence of AOPA-US and Martin Robinson of AOPA-UK outlined IAOPA's position on licensing to European and American delegates at a conference in Cleveland, Ohio, which is part of the process of establishing bilateral agreements on aviation between the continents. Both sides have agreed to make action on recognition of private pilot’s licenses a priority.
IAOPA is asking that recognition processes be kept simple, and that unless there are serious safety issues to address, the regulations of one authority should hold well in the territory of the other once they have been validated. Validation is important because it allows a national authority in Europe to 'take ownership' of an individual's qualifications, and to amend or suspend them as necessary – something national authorities complain they cannot currently do.
In an ideal world, the holder of an American PPL would be able to take a European Air Law exam, have it certificated by a local examiner and pay a small fee to a national authority before it can be used in Europe. In the case of holders of FAA Instrument Ratings, they could be validated for use in Europe on the condition that the holders undergo an annual check ride with an instructor. European authorities look on the rolling renewal system used by the Americans as a game-stopper and an annual renewal may be the price that has to be paid for recognition.
From the American standpoint, there is a problem with validation because under their law, licences are only valid in the State in which they are issued. If, say, an FAA license was validated in France, the holder would only be able to fly within the boundaries of France; America does not recognise Europe as a political entity. But the FAA representatives in Cleveland are willing to look at solutions to this problem and Craig Spence will be pursuing the issue. The presentation was positively received by both sides; IAOPA has been asked to write to the FAA and EASA setting out our proposals, and Craig Spence and Martin Robinson are working on that document, which will pertain solely to private licenses and ratings – professional tickets will be dealt with separately.
IAOPA is also talking to the FAA about the position of holders of FAA 61.75 licenses, issued on the basis of their European qualifications. These will lapse because they are issued on the basis of the number of your European license, and this will change when you get an EASA license. IAOPA is working on ways to get 61.75 licenses reissued without the holder having to go through the security clearances and other hassles now involved.
IAOPA's new Lobbyist in
IAOPA Europe's new lobbyist in Brussels, Lutz Dommel, embarks today on a project to increase awareness and understanding of general aviation among European lawmakers. Modeled on the successful GA Caucus established by AOPA-US in Washington, the project is allied to a program called 'GA Connecting Europe' which aims to capitalize on the Parliament's strong interest in freedom of movement between States as a basis for understanding and trade. The appointment of a full-time lobbyist comes at a time when EASA is showing encouraging signs of flexibility in its approach to general aviation and is giving positive support to the French-led group which will propose new ground rules for the regulation of the non-commercial end of the industry. Lutz Dommel is a former employee of several members of the European Parliament who set up a consultancy in Brussels and is well acquainted with MEPs and their staffs. He is also a private pilot who keeps his own aircraft just outside Brussels. Lutz is armed with IAOPA statistics which show that across Europe, some 155,000 people depend for their livelihoods, directly and indirectly, on general aviation. (Courtesy of IAOPA Europe e-News, July 2012).
Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero, left, flew a Diamond DA40 with AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg in the right seat during a recent visit.AOPA recently welcomed a diplomatic visit to association headquarters in Frederick, Md., celebrating a move by Italy’s government to reverse a luxury tax imposed on aircraft making short visits. The cash-strapped government had imposed a variety of new taxes, including one that hit aircraft after just 48 hours in country. Extending that timeframe back to 45 days made sense for aviation, and for a country eager to attract visitors, the government agreed, reversing the tax policy in May. The legislation was enacted with strong support from AOPA-Italy, which made a case that the cost of lost air travel would outweigh any benefit from the tax.
Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero is not only Italy’s senior diplomat stationed in America, he is also a pilot – typically taking the left seat in a Cessna 172. AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg was happy to take to the skies with the Ambassador in a Diamond DA40, introducing Bisogniero to a G1000 glass cockpit and autopilot with a little instruction on a flight from Frederick Municipal to Eastern West Virginia Regional/Shepherd Field on a sweltering day. The pair logged 1.1 hours, with several touch and goes. Landsberg introduced the glass cockpit with a little instruction, but “he didn’t need much,” and the flight was smooth, if on the warm side.
“The Ambassador is a great fan of GA and we hope that the relationship will grow as AOPA Global works with other AOPA’s around the world,” Landsberg said. AOPA headquarters is also home to the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, with an ongoing mission to build the community of pilots and support GA around the world.
The European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) held its 33rd Conference in Strasbourg which is the city in which ECAC was born. The Conference delegates include the Director Generals from the 44 ECAC Member States (including those from the 27 EU Member States).
The Conference covered the following subjects:
- The Economics of Aviation
- Aviation and the Environment
- Aviation Security
- Aviation Safety and Air Traffic Management
- Next Generation of Aviation Professionals
The major focus was on air transport, however, General and Business Aviation did get mentioned during the course of several different panels.
In 2013 ICAO will host the 38th Session of its main Assembly, and this ECAC Conference laid the foundations for positions that Europe will adopt in 2013 at ICAO. As part of the process, Raymond Benjamin the Secretary General of ICAO was on hand to listen to the debates as well as offer some guidance.
In the middle of a difficult economic situation with General Aviation in the country fighting hard to stay alive, the first ever Athens Flying Week (AFW) is planned to take place. It is scheduled from September 24 - 30, 2012.
It is the first aviation event to be organized in the country by a private company, on pure commercial grounds.
Podimatas AudioVisual S.A. is one of the leading companies in Greece specializing in event production. Its owner, Panagiotis Podimatas a PPL holder and member of AOPA-Hellas watched closely the two aviation events held at Kavala during the last two years.
AOPA-Hellas is offering its organizational experience and in return gets a free ride in the promotional campaign. “It is a win – win situation, said Anton Koutsoudakis, from AOPA-Hellas, both parties have something to offer, both have something to win”. Further details will be released soon.
For some years now IAOPA has been seeking a change in Annex 14, Vol. 1 which would permit States to treat the rescue and firefighting (RFF) requirements for General Aviation airports differently from the requirements meant for commercial operations. IAOPA representative on the ground at ICAO, Mr. Frank Hofmann has been successful in getting the attention of the RFF working group and they have agreed to examine ways to ease the impact of this costly requirement on general aviation and those airports that only serve GA. Everyone agrees that safety needs to be the bedrock of all national general aviation programs and serves as a foundation for its development and ability to continue to thrive. However, many of the safety programs put into place for the commercial carriers can in fact choke GA and add significantly to the cost without any improvement in safety. RFF at general aviation fields is one such example.
ICAO Annex 14, Volume 1, Aerodromes, has provided international civil aviation with standards and recommended practices for nearly 60 years, yet during that time it has provided just a single standard designed to accommodate all types of civil aviation operations. This means that aerodrome standards for a small single-engine personal-use airplane are quite similar to those used for large turbojet commercial airliners. While some distinctions are made regarding airplane size and weight, the standards and recommended practices (SARPS) essentially remain the same for all types of aircraft and operations.
While much of ICAO’s work concentrates on the scheduled airlines, general aviation comprises more than 350,000 aircraft operating in excess of 25 million flight hours annually worldwide. And, while airline-served aerodromes number in the thousands worldwide, general aviation aerodromes number in the tens of thousands. Yet, general aviation requires very few specialized aerodrome features and operates at the periphery of the main aviation system. The term, “GA uses the back roads” accurately describes many of our operations. Lack of aerodrome facilities are not a problem for general aviation since they often operate at thousands of aerodromes that are essentially unimproved grass strips.
RFF requirements create a significant burden for general aviation pilots and operators because of the aerodrome landing, parking and handling fees levied on these operations to fund the aerodrome fire brigades. Additionally, the expense required to maintain a fire brigade at a small general aviation aerodrome frequently restricts the operating schedule for these facilities in an effort to avoid the associated RFF expenses. Annual expenses for maintaining a sunrise-to-sunset, partial-week RFF capability at small general aviation aerodromes easily may exceed $150,000 (two firemen, equipment depreciation, training, supplies, et cetera) annually.
As a result of IAOPA’s efforts the RFF working group will be sending member States a survey in order to gain additional insight into the problem. Many local AOPA affiliates have been working to educate regional and state regulatory bodies of the differences between general and commercial aviation. Additionally, the working group has proposed the following change to the annex at the urging of IAOPA.
Change Annex 14, paragraph 9.2.1 to read, “Rescue and firefighting equipment and services shall be provided at aerodromes certified for commercial air transport operations.” The following note should be added: Note: At aerodromes with fewer than ten commercial air transport operations per day rescue and firefighting services should be provided on-demand rather than maintaining a full-time capability.
Stay tuned for developments on this and other initiatives that IAOPA is undertaking to keep GA flying.
You may be familiar with the Air Safety Institute’s (ASI) safety education programs (http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org/). But, did you know ASI recently launched a new way to stream safety-related content straight to your computer (www.airsafetyinstitute.org/webcasts)? It’s like attending one of ASI’s well-known engaging safety seminars, except you’ll be traveling through cyberspace to participate. All you need is a computer, about one hour of free time, and a comfortable chair. Then sit back, relax, and interact with experts in the aviation community. Ever wondered how aerodynamics principals affect real-world flying? Or, maybe you’d like to learn more about collision avoidance techniques or the art and science of takeoffs and landings? These are just some of the topics that are being considered for upcoming safety webcasts. There’s no need to register, just visit www.airsafetyinstute.org/webcasts for the dates and times.
During live events make sure to use the webcast’s “chat” feature to pose questions to the panel of experts, hear their response, and engage in a lively debate with other attendees. Can't make the live show? Each webcast is recorded and posted at www.airsafetyinstitute.org/webcasts so you can watch the entire session. Explore http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org/ for additional safety products such as ASI’s popular interactive online courses, Real Pilot Stories series, and Accident Case Studies, to name a few.
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The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations represent the interests of more than 450,000 pilots and aircraft owners in 70 countries. Formed in 1962, IAOPA is dedicated to promoting the peaceful uses of general aviation and aerial work worldwide.
IAOPA eNews is published monthly by the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations for the use of its affiliate members in representing and advocating general aviation and aerial work interests worldwide.