IAOPA eNews January 2015

ICAO Celebrates 70th Anniversary | RFF - ICAO Flight Operations Panel Agrees with IAOPA | EASA involves IAOPA (Europe) In New Initiative | AOPA Australia Nominated to Serve on New Consultive Council | IAOPA Participates in NGAP Symposium | The Air Safety Institute's Rescue Gone Wrong Accident Case Study holds lessons for all pilots | Link to IAOPA Europe Newsletter | Pass on This Newsletter to Your Members

ICAO Celebrates 70th Anniversary

ICAO and the global aviation community commemorated the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Chicago Convention through a series of special events held in Montreal and Chicago.  To celebrate the anniversary high-level participation from the host governments of Canada and the United States of America, and representatives from ICAO’s Council and Member States, met in an extraordinary session of the ICAO Council on Monday, 8 December, in the exact same room where the Convention was signed in the Stevens Hotel (now the Chicago Hilton) 70 years ago.

On this occasion, ICAO Council Representatives adopted a Special Resolution paying tribute to the Chicago Convention’s significant contributions to global peace and prosperity through the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation.

In 1944, delegates from 54 nations gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Stevens Hotel in Chicago at the invitation of the United States of America. At this event, the participants concluded and signed the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known more popularly as the ‘Chicago Convention’, the defining international agreement which has since permitted the global civil aviation system to develop peacefully and in a manner benefitting all peoples and nations of the world.  Recognizing the importance of ICAO, IAOPA was formed as a means of providing a voice for general aviation and was granted observer status allowing general aviation a seat at the table and setting the stage for IAOPA working to improve general aviation worldwide.

IAOPA extends congratulations to ICAO and pledges our continued support and participation.

RFF - ICAO Flight Operations Panel Agrees with IAOPA

Five years ago European AOPAs identified the unnecessary insistence on rescue and firefighting (RFF) personnel to be on the aerodrome for being considered ‘open’ as a major contributor to high landing fees.  At the root of that requirement is the ICAO Standard in Annex 14 Part I which states that RFF must be present when international operations occur at an airport. Understandably some States applied this criterion to all of its airports, artificially increasing operating costs.

IAOPA presented several papers over the years to the Aerodromes Panel, asking that airports servicing primarily, or only, General Aviation be exempt from the requirement of RFF to be present on the field. For various reasons, that proposal was continually rejected.

Since the decision of landing or not landing at a particular airport is one left to pilots to make, IAOPA, through the General Aviation Study Group, approached the Flight Operations Panel (FLTOPS) to change wording in Annex 6 Part II to reflect that decision making privilege of pilots.  The Panel agreed and in November passed the following recommendation:

9.3.1 - RFF shall be provided at aerodromes when servicing commercial air transport operations commensurate to the nature of operations.  And

9.2.3 - Aerodromes not servicing commercial air transport operations shall have a means to provide RFF services commensurate to the size of the aircraft and the nature of the operations.

An important note follows which says; Information on determining the adequate means to provide RFF for aerodromes servicing GA is provided in the Airport Services Manual Part I - RFF - Doc. 9137.

IAOPA will participate early in 2015 to draft wording for the guidance material to appear in Doc. 9137. Paragraph 9.2.3 simply confirms that pilots are free to decide if an airport is usable regardless of RFF status

This FLTOPS Panel recommendation will be presented to the Air Navigation Commission in early in 2015 and if accepted will be sent to States for comment.  It may be possible for the Annex 6 Standard to be adopted by end 2015. If that comes about, that will be a partial success of a series of steps toward lowering operating costs for operators.

However, this is only step one.  The real change has to occur in Annex 14 Part I, which IAOPA has asked that airports handling non-commercial operations of small GA be exempted from having to provide RFF on the field. As it stands at this point, if the FLTOPS Panel report is adopted, an airport operator may still feel himself bound by the current wording in Annex 14, which demands RFF to be present on the field in order for the airport to be considered operational.

EASA INVOLVES IAOPA (EUROPE) IN NEW INITIATIVE

At their routine 'TAG/SSCC/FCL' meeting last year, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that it would be setting up advisory boards of flight crew licensing experts to help resolve any issues stemming from some of the new pilot licences and ratings now available under Europe's Aircrew Regulation.

One of these is the 'LAPL' board, which will consider problems arising from the 'sub-ICAO' Light Aircraft Pilot Licence.  This is a private VFR-only licence, available for aeroplanes, helicopters or sailplanes, which requires lower medical certification than the PPL and has reduced training requirements, but is valid only for aircraft which weigh no more than 2000 kg and have no more than 4 PoB.  The licence can be used throughout EASA 'member states', but may not be validated for use in other countries such as the USA.  The LAPL has already raised a number of issues, not least those caused by its unique structure and 'rolling validity' requirements.  Nick Wilcock, who already represents IAOPA (Europe) at joint EASA, industry and National Aviation Authority flight crew licensing committees, will be attending the first LAPL board, to be held in June 2015 as the third day of a normal 'TAG/SSCC/FCL' meeting in Köln.  During the coming months, he will be collating any 'LAPL' problems from IAOPA (Europe) members and will present them to the board.

The other board, temporarily termed the 'EIR' board, will focus on early experience of the En-Route Instrument Rating and the 'Competency-based Modular IR'.  These are two new aeroplane instrument qualifications; the C-bM IR is a simplified version of the existing IR, which was disproportionately demanding for the private pilot, whereas the EIR does not include any IFR departure or arrival privileges and merely adds en-route IFR qualifications to a VFR-only pilot licence. 

The first EIR board is to be held in Köln on 27 Jan 2015.  In addition to EIR and C-bM IR matters, it will also consider ideas for further simplification of European instrument flying qualifications, as this is now a hot topic with EASA's boss, Patrick Ky, who is keen to improve the European GA safety record.  One obvious way by which this might be achieved is for more European pilots to hold instrument flying qualifications, in order to improve their safety in marginal weather conditions.  The head of the French CAA, Patrick Gandil, who was a keynote speaker at EASA's recent GA Safety Conference in Rome, is a strong supporter of the UK's IMC Rating, now termed the 'Instrument Rating (Restricted)' and has said that it is 'a good solution'.  Unlike the EIR, the IR(R) does include IFR departure and arrival privileges, although it may only be used in UK airspace outside the airways system and to limits more restrictive than those of the C-bM IR.  Nick will also be representing IAOPA (Europe) at the EIR board and will be giving a presentation to other members, explaining that the UK has had this safety benefit for more than 40 years and will be describing the prerequisites, training, testing, privileges and restrictions of the rating.

IAOPA (Europe) warmly welcomes these opportunities to improve matters for Europe's rather long-suffering private pilots, who have been suffering for far too long under a somewhat disproportionate regulatory system.  Some 'robust debate' is inevitable, but Nick is most determined to further the interests of all IAOPA (Europe) members as far as he can.

AOPA Australia Nominated to Serve on New Consultive Council

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has established the Aviation Industry Consultative Council (AAIC)—providing the aviation sector with a direct voice to the Minister and the Australian Government.  AOPA Australia has been nominated to serve on the council representing the interests of general aviation and membership of AOPA Australia.

Chairing the first meeting in Canberra, Mr. Truss said the Council is dedicated to aviation matters and will be a valuable forum for discussion between the industry and Government.

“Aviation is central to the Australian economy—from domestic and international tourism, to business and work-related travel, family reunions and medical emergencies; so the Australian Government is committed to ensuring aviation's many voices are heard,” Mr. Truss said.

The Council will act as an advisory body tackling high level strategic issues, but it is not a decision-making entity.  The Council is made up of 18 members from across the aviation sector providing a broad range of perspectives, including representatives from airlines, airports, manufacturing, maintenance and flight training sectors.

IAOPA Participates in NGAP Symposium

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) welcomed students and aviation professionals, young and experienced, for the Second Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) Symposium held on 3 and 4 December, at its Headquarters in Montreal. 327 participants from 58 States and 10 Organizations attended, including hundreds of young potential next generation aviation professionals (NGAPs).  IAOPA Secretary General Craig Spence and ICAO Representative Frank Hofmann represented IAOPA at the symposium.

The ICAO NGAP initiative is aimed at ensuring that enough qualified and competent aviation professionals are available to operate, manage and maintain the future international air transport system. The issues it presents are key factors to the long-term success of ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety and Air Navigation Plans, providing invaluable inputs as the UN’s specialized aviation agency responds to recent projections that air transport passenger and flight totals will double by 2030.

With its theme of “Celebrating the Past, Preparing for the Future”, and on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Chicago Convention, ICAO’s Second NGAP Symposium provided participants with useful opportunities to share information relating to best practices and educational tools. 

The Symposium highlight was the panel conversation with Ms. Julie Payette, OC, CQ, former Astronaut CSA and Director of the Science Centre of Montréal. She shared her experience and vision on attracting and retaining the NGAPs of all ages, nationalities, gender, race and socio-economic backgrounds into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programmes. 

The work plan for Phase 2 of the ICAO NGAP Programme includes publication of the new provisions, regional workshops to support their implementation, creating tools to support sharing human capital best practices, an Implementation Kit, Internship Toolkit and an Aviation Education Institutions Directory, all to be available on the NGAP web site.

The Air Safety Institute's Rescue Gone Wrong Accident Case Study holds lessons for all pilots

Making good decisions, all the time, is a difficult process—but a critical one: It requires you to constantly evaluate the situation and avoid circumstances that lead to really tough choices. On the other hand, failure to make a good decision is at the root of many—if not most—aviation accidents.

You’ve probably heard of the term “mission mindset” within the context of aeronautical decision making. This debilitating thought process can be so hypnotizing, even seasoned professional pilots can fall prey to it. Once sound aeronautical decision making gets infected by this state of mind, it is difficult to cure, often presaging a dire outcome for those who allow its grip to take hold. Witness the Air Safety Institute’s ‘Rescue Gone Wrong’ accident case study, which recounts a pilot’s deadly decision that led to the 2009 crash of a New Mexico State Police helicopter in the mountains near Santa Fe—a mistake that holds lessons for all pilots.

As you follow the re-creation of the pilot’s final mission, ASI hopes you’ll seek to understand and avoid the circumstances that led the pilot down the wrong path.

Link to IAOPA Europe Newsletter

Read the latest information on what IAOPA affiliates are doing in Europe.  AOPA’s in every part of the globe are making a positive difference for general aviation and there is simply not enough room to publish all that is being done to keep you flying.  For the latest updates on what is going on at IAOPA Europe check their website at http://www.iaopa.eu/

Pass on This Newsletter to Your Members

Nothing can keep existing members, and attract new members like reminding them of the great work that IAOPA affiliates, and IAOPA, are doing on national, regional, and international levels to keep them flying. Great work is being done in all parts of the globe to advance the interests of general aviation and the best way to share the message is to make sure that this newsletter gets to as many members and non-members alike. So I encourage you to publish this on your website, send on via email to your members, and do what you can to help spread the word.


The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations represent the interests of more than 470,000 pilots and aircraft owners in 72 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.

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