IAOPA eNews December 2010
IAOPA Europe Joins Others to Oppose EASA FCL Requirements | IAOPA Representatives Gather at AOPA-US Summit | Canadian Supreme Court Upholds Federal Primacy in Airports Issue | General Aviation and Rotorcraft Representatives Meet to Discuss SESAR | AOPA-Ireland Meets with the Irish Aviation Authority
IAOPA Europe has joined with the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the US-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in sending a joint letter to the EASA Comitology Committee considering significant changes to EASA third-country flight crew license requirements. The proposed rule will essentially eliminate the concept of foreign pilot license validation by EASA in favor of a complete re-take of the private pilot theory, skills and practical tests to attain an EASA private pilot license or instrument rating. The Comitology Committee comprises representatives of member States who must support EASA’s proposed regulations before they can go further.
The joint letter points out that thousands of European pilots obtained their original licenses and instrument ratings in the US and other countries; requiring them to essentially start from the beginning would be prohibitively expensive for most pilots, creating a great loss to the general aviation ranks in Europe. Further, the decrease in flying activity would have significant implications for small and medium enterprises providing services to general aviation interests.
Additionally, IAOPA European Region Deputy Vice President Michael Erb met with Jules Kneepkens, EASA Director of Rulemaking, in early November to discuss the third-country FCL issue, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation and the significant impacts on European general aviation. Mr. Kneepkens listened attentively and promised to continue the dialog on the issue.
Senior representatives from IAOPA affiliates in the UK, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, China, the Philippines, France and Australia, along with IAOPA ICAO representative Frank Hofmann, participated in the AOPA-US Summit exposition and conference in Long Beach, CA, 10-12 November. All helped IAOPA staff at their exhibit on the convention floor, explaining the IAOPA mission and recent activities. Martin Robinson, IAOPA Europe Senior Vice President, and Zhang Feng, Vice President of AOPA-China were featured on the AOPA Live® video presentations, streamed on the AOPA-US web site.
IAOPA President Craig Fuller met individually with AOPA-Australia President Philip Reiss and AOPA-China Vice President Zhang Feng at the Summit to discuss the unique challenges the two organizations faced with regard to general aviation activities within their respective countries.
Who has the final say as to where an aerodrome may be located: the federal government, the provinces, or both? The Canadian Supreme Court has answered this contentious issue. The Canadian Owner and Pilots Association (COPA) President reports:
“According to the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”), the unequivocal answer is the federal government alone. In the first of two decisions released October 15, 2010 which were sponsored by COPA’s Freedom to Fly Fund, the SCC ruled that a provincial law which prohibited non-agricultural land uses in provincially designated agricultural zones could not apply to aerodromes. In the second decision, the SCC ruled that a municipal by-law, which prohibited the use of a specific lake as a water aerodrome, was beyond the jurisdiction of (“ultra vires”) the municipality and thus, the by-law could not apply to the aerodrome. In the result, the owners/operators of the aerodromes in question remain free to carry on their aeronautical activities unhindered by provincial or municipal prohibitions to the contrary.
These two decisions are a reaffirmation and an expansion of decisions dating back 60 years. In 1951, the SCC decided that aeronautics was a matter of national concern and thus should be within the jurisdiction of the federal government. Since taking off and landing was an essential part of aeronautics, the location of aerodromes was necessarily part of that federal power.
While these decisions vindicate the rights of Canadians to establish aerodromes, they do not mean that we can let down our guard against continuing challenges. We have achieved this success with the member-supported Freedom to Fly Fund. Let’s all do our part to ensure that it remains in place for future challenges.”
A detailed article on the subject may be found at http://copanational.org/FPNov10-2En.cfm.
A working group with a wide representation of operational expertise from the general aviation and rotorcraft communities commenced the study to enhance the SESAR Concept of Operations (ConOps) from a specific general aviation and rotorcraft perspective.
The group will specify general aviation requirements to the SESAR ConOps and provide guidance material for the SESAR programme. The main members of the general aviation and rotorcraft group are Peter Norton (British Helicopter Association), Philippe Rollet (Eurocopter Group), Nigel Talbot (AgustaWestland), Michael Erb (IAOPA), Jo Konrad (Microlight Specialists), Julian Scarfe (PPL-IR), René Meier (Europe Airsports).
The group met for the first time from 23 to 25 November in Brussels and is expected to deliver its final report in April 2011. Once approved, the updated version of the ConOps including the general aviation and rotorcraft aspects will be integrated into the relevant SESAR Joint Undertaking programme work packages.
Michael Erb, IAOPA European Region Deputy Vice President, noted, “This is an important step in getting general aviation needs inserted into this massive project. While much of what the SESAR is focused on does not directly benefit general aviation we are attempting to protect and enhance general aviation’s freedom to operate in this new environment.”
One of the first official acts of the newly revived AOPA-Ireland was to meet with the IAA to discuss issues of mutual interest. AOPA-Ireland representatives and Martin Robinson, IAOPA Europe Regional Senior Vice President, met with IAA Chief Executive Eamonn Brennan and a group of his senior staff officials in early November to open a dialog about general aviation needs and governmental desires. The IAA has embarked on a survey of general aviation and AOPA-Ireland will be assisting with its work. This is the first meeting between general aviation representatives and the IAA in a number of years.
Robinson offered, “I was pleased to hear the many positive comments about GA in Ireland and to learn of some of the changes that the IAA is making to its business. I look forward to working with the IAA through AOPA-Ireland in the months ahead.”
The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations represents the interests of more than 470,000 pilots and aircraft owners in 68 countries. Formed in 1962, IAOPA is dedicated to promoting the peaceful uses of general aviation and aerial work worldwide.
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