IAOPA eNews 2007

ICAO Issues Proposed Changes to General Aviation Operating Standards | IAOPA Presence at Aero Friedrichshafen 2007 | ICAO Medical Panel Meets | Plan to attend the 24th IAOPA World Assembly in Athens, Greece, 9 - 14 June 2008

ICAO Issues Proposed Changes to General Aviation Operating Standards

ICAO Annex 6, Part II, International General Aviation Operations—Aeroplanes, was first drafted in 1968 when operational capabilities of general aviation aircraft were limited. Since that time aircraft and equipment have changed substantially, permitting a wider range of options for the GA community. In recognition of these changes, the International Business Aviation Council and IAOPA worked with ICAO over a three-year period to rewrite the operational standards and recommended practices for general aviation. The result, which has been vetted by the ICAO Air Navigation Commission, has just been released to States for comment.

Few substantive changes were imposed on light GA aeroplanes, with the major changes being made for aeroplanes exceeding 5,700 kgs MTOM or powered by a turbojet engine. These larger more capable aircraft will be required to operate under a locally developed flight operations manual, a safety management system, and be subject to flight crew training, fatigue management and maintenance programs. These latter standards and recommendations were made in recognition of existing industry safe operating practices.

The only change that IAOPA does not endorse is a previously approved standard requiring carriage of a 406 MHz ELT in all aircraft operating internationally after July 2008. IAOPA continues to attempt to modify this requirement to permit the carriage of personal locator beacons (PLB) in lieu of an ELT.

IAOPA affiliates are encouraged to communicate their approval of the proposed standards to their national aviation authorities. The applicable reference is ICAO State Letter AN 11/6.1.10-07/17, Proposal for the amendment concerning modernization of Annex 6, Part II. State comments to ICAO are due 15 July 2007.

IAOPA Presence at Aero Friedrichshafen 2007

An estimated 50,000 people attended the biennial general aviation industry exhibit and airshow in Friedrichshafen, Germany, 19-22 April 2007. IAOPA Secretary General John Sheehan noted, "Fair weather and a record number of exhibitors helped the success of what has become the premier general aviation show in Europe. This venue provided an excellent setting for IAOPA Europe to market its services and interact with its affiliates and members."

AOPA-Germany and Switzerland shared a large booth, which also featured a special section for IAOPA Europe. AOPA-Hellas used the venue to promote the 2008 IAOPA World Assembly. The booth served as a good gathering point for all European AOPAs.

IAOPA Europe was prominently featured in the opening ceremony and reception with speeches by AOPA-Germany's President Elmar Giemulla and IAOPA Europe's Senior Vice President Dr. Rudolf Gerber, respectively. IAOPA teamed with the European Commission, Eurocontrol, and Joint Aviation Authorities to provide informative presentations on European general aviation policy, communications frequency spacing, airspace and runway infringements, and flight crew licensing issues.

The semiannual IAOPA European Regional Meeting took place on the final day of the show, drawing representatives from 20 affiliate organizations. Discussions regarding Eurocontrol and EASA initiatives occupied most of the meeting since these organizations are putting forth issues that will significantly affect European general aviation interests for years to come. Airspace access, equipment requirements, aircraft certification and maintenance, and operating regulations for various classes of aircraft were actively discussed—seeking policy statements to provide to Eurocontrol and EASA in upcoming meetings. More information on these issues may be found at online.

ICAO Medical Panel Meets

The ICAO Medical Panel Study Group, composed of State Chief Medical Officers and user groups recently met in Montreal to discuss proposed changes to the ICAO medical requirements. Changes were proposed in keeping with the principles of evidence-based approaches to the practice of medicine and also in conformance to the principles of a Safety Management System. Virtually all issues discussed were aimed at commercial pilots operating in commercial air transport service, however IAOPA's Frank Hofmann participated in the meeting to provide a general aviation perspective to panel members.

Draft recommendations were drawn up regarding periodicity of exams, the content of such exams, Safety Management System principles in medicine, gynecology, HIV, diabetes, and anti-depressant drugs.

It was recognized that the type of examination candidates will receive should be refined depending on their age group. It was suggested that pilots under age 40 need only have a physical exam every two years (vs. the current annual requirement) and that in the alternate years they complete a questionnaire on life-styles in recognition that choices about alcohol and drug usage, and depression, likely have a bigger effect on flight safety than do physical changes among the younger group. States are to collect the evidence for determining the extent of the suggested changes.

Significant results of the meeting included:

  • Gynecology has been removed as a separate section of the medical standards.
  • HIV positive pilots will not automatically be declared unfit. They may be able to operate if stable and are under a doctor's close supervision.
  • Diabetes—there is no change to the standard but a recommendation is being made to declare the pilot fit is he is being treated and being constantly evaluated by a physician.
  • Anti-depressant drugs are also being rethought so that a pilot on these drugs is stable with the medication, and is being followed by a physician, he may be able to fly. It was recognized that pilots generally under-report their taking of medicines making it safer to permit them to fly with medication and at the same time encouraging them to be followed by a physician. This is in keeping with safety management system principles which attempt to establish a just culture. It was recognized that in many States the stigma attached to mental disorders is so strong that self-reporting will not be effective.

Proposals to change Annex 1 medical requirements as a consequence of these deliberations should be released to States before the end of the year.

Plan to attend the 24th IAOPA World Assembly in Athens, Greece, 9 - 14 June 2008

The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations represents the interests of more than 470,000 pilots and aircraft owners in 66 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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