IAOPA eNews December 2011
AOPA-Chile Launches Initiative to Improve General Aviation | New ICAO Flight Plan Format for 2012 | AOPA-Japan Participates in Safety Conference | News from Fürsti | Transportation Research Board Airport Advocacy Guides | German Umbrella Aviation Organization Formed | Have You Read the Policy Manual Lately? | EASA Releases Pilot Licencing Rules | Single European Sky Warsaw Conference | SAFE Publishes Progress Report on Flight Training Reform | Attracting and Retaining Members
Plan to attend the 26th IAOPA World Assembly Stellenbosch, South Africa, 10-15 April 2012
Beset with increasing regulations, disappearing airports, rising costs and a declining pilot population AOPA-Chile gathered with all Chilean general aviation associations, aero clubs, AOPA, FAI sports, gliders, helicopters, to generate common solutions to these and other challenges.
The aviation groups sponsored the Congress for the Defense and Protection of General Aviation in Chile. The all-day meeting was held at the Tobalaba Airport on 12 November 2011. More than 250 GA pilots, aviation service organizations and members of the DGAC attended; eight presentations were made, including one by IAOPA Secretary General John Sheehan.
In the days prior to the Congress Sheehan met with CAA, Ministry of State and military officials to discuss the situation faced by general aviation in Chile and to provide the general aviation perspective and describe the value and utility that form of aviation brings to the country. Additionally, Sheehan met individually with the officers of the general aviation associations to discuss possible approaches to the problems facing them.
The heads of all the general aviation associations were pleased with the result of the Congress and pledged to work together for the common benefit of all their organizations. AOPA-Chile President Guillermo Carey said, “I am pleased that we all now have a common focus on our problems and will be able to work together. The Congress was a success.”
The ICAO Air Navigation Commission has sanctioned the adoption of the New International Flight Plan format. A transition period exists in the interim but full implementation is to take effect in November 2012. One of the principal thrusts for the new plan came from the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) capabilities offered by the new technologies such as GPS and its enhancements. The new flight plan form is designed to meet the needs of aircraft with advanced capabilities and the evolving requirements of automated Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. The new form will provide the means whereby a pilot may indicate the level to which the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) may expect the aircraft to navigate. ATC will assign routes on the type of equipment indicated for PBN on the flight plan, so pilots must be sure they are proficient in the use of equipment listed in the flight plan. For most of the General Aviation fleet the changes in the new Flight Plan will have no impact since the changes will affect those operating in complex navigational environments and on international flights.
Among the changes are new alphanumeric qualifiers which indicate enhanced operational capabilities in ground-based and satellite-based surveillance equipment such as ADS-B, ADS-C. The ‘Other Information’ section (Item 18) has new qualifiers for RNAV and Required Navigation Performance (RNP). The new flight plans may be filed up to 120 hours prior to departure.
It appears that although ICAO has agreed on the use of the new format as of November 2012, many ANSPs will not be ready in time to implement the new Plan. The cost of converting to the new system is one of the constraints. In the meantime pilots operating on international routes or into complex environments where they will be expected to navigate to the extent permitted by higher levels of PBN need to familiarize themselves with the changes presented by the new 2012 Flight Plan form.
On 24 September 2011 the US Air Force and AOPA-Japan co-sponsored the Second Mid-Air Collision Avoidance (MACA) Conference and Fly-In at the US Air Base in Yakota, Japan. AOPA members flew 28 aircraft to Yakota and provided more than 125 general aiviation pilots to meet with Air Force personnel and discuss flight operations and air traffc control procedures, flight patterns, training routes and aircraft idendification procedures.
Ari Yamagata, AOPA-Japan Vice President noted, “After the presentations there were many eager questions, which means all the attendees took the issues seriously and with common awareness. The Conference was completed successfully, in which we learned how seriously USAF Yokota AB took the issue of aviation safety.” Chief of Safety at the Yakota Air Base Lieutenant Colonel James Hackbarth responded by stating, “I would like to thank AOPA-Japan for being our partner in flight safety and making the 2011 MACA Fly-In a success. Whether we are flying to support our friends in their times of need or conducting local training missions, the Airmen of Yokota Air Base strive to safely share the airspace with you.”
The battle to save Furstenfeldbruck (Fürsti), a key general aviation airport in the Munich, Germany area, rages on after years of political and commercial action to eliminate it. AOPA-Germany and other supporters have had the Bavarian government’s support for 13 years to keep the former German Air Force base open as an airfield for Munich, as there are no other general aviation airfields in the area open for public use. Everything developed positively for GA until BMW appeared on the scene, when the car manufacturer claimed the facility for their use as a driver training track three years ago and won the support of Bavarian politicians for their project. Joint use as an airport and a driving track was always possible, but never accepted by BMW. An expensive series of court and legislative battles have closed the airport, and BMW has come close to purchasing the airport property.
Environmental organizations and local citizens have finally been told that the driver training facility will operate up to 17 hours a day for 140 drivers per day, creating near-continuous high levels of noise for the surrounding area. The irony is that the local citizens were originally concerned over the noise levels generated by less than 100 light aircraft movements per day that only create momentary notable noise footprints. Further, noise was never a major issue in the original discussions to convert the facility to a general aviation airport. Now, the potential automobile and motorcycle noise will create a permanent nuisance for local residents.
AOPA-Germany Managing Director Michael Erb notes, “Fuersti isn’t lost yet. We still have a chance if BMW cannot get environmental clearance to build and operate their facility. They have failed several times with their attempts to destroy the flora-fauna habitat, whereas the GA airport never had any problems to peacefully coexist with the protected wildlife. In the event BMW has to abandon their plans, a general aviation airfield with its estimated 200 employees will have a chance to be considered as an economically important option once again. We must all keep up the pressure on BMW to abandon their desire to eliminate the airfield.” Comments to BMW in defense of the airport will help: email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 44: A Guidebook for the Preservation of Public-Use Airports describes why public-use airports close and identifies measures and strategies that can be undertaken to potentially help preserve and prevent an airport closure.
The guidebook presents step-by-step procedures on how to identify risk factors that can increase the potential of a future airport closure and how to formulate an effective airport preservation program. The guidebook also identifies potential groups interested in preserving public-use airports and offers practical checklists for identifying and addressing issues as part of a comprehensive strategic airport planning program in support of preservation efforts. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/acrp/acrp_rpt_044.pdf
TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 28: Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports explores development of a marketing program for general aviation or commercial service airports on a small or minimal budget. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/acrp/acrp_rpt_028.pdf
German general and business aviation, aviation service providers and regional airport associations joined together in September to address regulatory issues of common interest, particularly the bias of air navigation service providers and major airports in favor of the airlines. AOPA-Germany’s Michael Erb commented, “Globalisation and the enlargement of the European Union should have provided the associations mentioned with a boost in activity. Yet new regulations imposed over the past few years have led to an explosion of costs for infrastructure, maintenance and flight operations.
“Therefore, the AOPA-Germany, Federation of General Aviation Enterprises (BBAL), German Business Aviation Association (GBAA) and Community and Regional Airports (IDRF) formed their association in September 2011. The new organization represents over 90% of the German air fleet and regional airports. The group will provide a coordinated response to regulations affecting its members, working with regulators, politicians and local authorities where necessary.”
In the recent past the IAOPA secretariat has received a number of requests from affiliates for positions on a variety of subjects affecting their organizations. The secretariat is pleased to provide those positions on an individual basis but a more comprehensive document is available containing all of IAOPA’s existing positions. While the IAOPA Policy Manual may not be the most exciting reading it does contain the joint declaration of IAOPA affiliates on a variety of subjects, including airspace, equipment requirements, airports, pilot licencing and many more issues of interest to all AOPAs. These positions were developed by the affiliate delegates to the IAOPA World Assemblies and therefore contain the collective wisdom of all participating organizations. Please review the IAOPA Policy Manual, for both ideas and answers.
The first four annexes of the Aircrew Regulation (containing Part-FCL, Part-MED, conditions for the conversion of national licences and for the acceptance of third country licences) have been published in the Official Journal. European Commission Regulation (EC) No 1178/2011 lays down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to civil aviation aircrew, thereby harmonizing these issues throughout the European Union. The Agency intends to publish the corresponding Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) in the near future. Of particular note are the regulations regarding conditions for the acceptance of licences issued by or on behalf of third countries and implementation of light aircraft pilot licences.
Also, comments for the existing EASA proposal to introduce new instrument flying ratings – NPA 2011-16.pdf -- are due 23 December 2011. The proposal includes:
- an Enroute Instrument Rating (EIR) for aeroplane licence holders;
- a more accessible aeroplane Instrument Rating (IR); and
- a cloud flying rating for sailplane pilots.
The SES project aims to link all aspects of aviation air traffic management into a seamless whole for all of Europe. Doing so will ensure the future ability of aviation operations to fit into the limited amount of space and time available while working within the environmental restrictions already set for aviation.
Kim Sallas, head of the European Commssion, said at a recent conference in Warsaw that SES was so important to Europe that it could not be permitted to fail. But, the EU member States had exhibited a marked lack of progress in achieving Europe-wide SES goals and not just State objectives. He called on the States to provide a more concerted effort in bringing the SES to fruition.
Yet, some of the objectives of SES may not be beneficial to the continued well-being and potential growth of general aviation. IAOPA Europe Senior Vice President Martin Robinson, who participated in the conference, noted that too little thought had been given to the economic benefits accruing to Europe from a more positive regulatory structure for general aviation. This would permit increased general aviation activity which would provide economic benefits to all of Europe.
The US Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) has published a progress report based on comments received from key industry and FAA stakeholders to the six proposed projects distilled from the Pilot Training Reform Symposium held earlier this year. The ten-page update summarizes the responses received from stakeholders and SAFE’s analysis of those responses, and identifies additional concerns and recommendations.
The report warns that the long-term success of training reform depends on defined benchmarks, greater collaboration, and grassroots implementation. Engaged stakeholders are encouraged to press on with their initiatives. Stakeholders who have thus far chosen not to participate in the reform process are urged to commit to this effort in a meaningful way. http://www.pilottrainingreform.org/documents/SAFE_Training_Reform_Progress_Report_31Oct11.pdf
Over the past few years the quarterly IAOPA Bulletin has featured a number of articles providing information and guidance regarding attracting and retaining members. These articles have been combined into a single document designed to link the various methods and techniques of helping affiliates reach out to potential members and keeping them once registered. See http://www.iaopa.org/worldwide-affiliates/attract-retain-members.html
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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.