IAOPA eNews May 2011
Aero Friedrichshafen | World Assembly Arrangements | Russian Airspace Changes | Airspace Infringement Penalties | IAOPA on Airspace Infringements | U.S. Registration of Aircraft in the Name of Owner Trustees | Greek Fly-In and Airshow | AOPA-South Africa Nominates Members for Safety Board
IAOPA joined AOPA-Germany and Switzerland as exhibitors at the major European general aviation exposition, Aero Friedrichshafen, 13-16 April 2011, to show more than 30,000 show visitors the good work the AOPA community performs for general aviation. The large AOPA exhibit space provided a natural meeting place for European AOPA members and gave show attendees from a variety of countries the opportunity to interact with AOPA representatives.
IAOPA European and IAOPA secretariat representatives conducted a number of meetings with European aviation associations, government organizations and manufacturers to form coalitions and discuss issues beneficial to European AOPA members. IAOPA European Senior Vice President Martin Robinson noted, “Aero provided a great opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest with the major general aviation players from around the world and to educate them regarding our positions and gain consensus regarding them. It was time well spent.”
World Assembly Arrangements
Arrangements for the 26th IAOPA World Assembly to be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 10-15 April 2012, are proceeding well. AOPA-South Africa is planning an excellent series of events to complement the three days of discussions and planning that form the centerpiece of the assembly.
AOPA-South Africa will provide details regarding the assembly via a dedicated website within the month. Optional pre- and post-assembly events and tours will be made available to those wishing to experience more of South Africa. AOPA-South Africa Chairman Koos Marais says, “We are planning a memorable assembly, worthy of the IAOPA 50th anniversary celebration.”
Russian Airspace Changes
After many years of working with the Russian government, AOPA-Russia and other organizations received news that significant changes would be made to the airspace structure that would benefit general aviation operations.
AOPA-Russia Chairman Vladimir Turin noted, “Perhaps the most important change introduced the concept of uncontrolled airspace, never officially recognized in the past. But the idea of class G seemed so foreign to the Russian CAA they introduced a special authorization for pilots desiring to fly in uncontrolled airspace. To get this authorization, pilots must receive special “differential” training and have this recorded on their pilot certificate. While additional training is never a bad idea, AOPA-Russia requested the Ministry of Transport to remove the rule. We feel that this new authorization intimates that our pilot certificates do not meet the basic ICAO standards. Additionally, the new rule was issued without following proper rulemaking procedures.
“Not only mere existence of such authorization hints that pilot certificates issued by Russia are not fully ICAO compliant – i.e. current certificate holders require additional training just to fly very basic VFR in uncontrolled airspace. Additionally, the rule was released without proper rulemaking procedure followed.
“In a related issue, a huge amount of airspace is reserved for military restricted and prohibited areas. Out of 17 million km2 of land in Russia, 1.6 million km2 is reserved for restricted areas. Most of these areas are located in a central region of Russia where a majority of Russia’s population is located. Out of 720,000 km2 of this region, 540,000 is reserved for restricted areas. Although a majority of these areas are NOTAM-activated, no reasonable pilot would plan a flight though restricted area, knowing that it can be activated at any moment; sometimes they are even activated before the NOTAM is transmitted! AOPA-Russia has requested that the Ministry of Transport reduce the number of restricted areas, especially the ones which have low altitude or surface lower limits.
“AOPA-Russia has developed an application which creates an additional data file for Google planet Earth application. Since we lack some VFR chart coverage, the application provides a good source of aeronautical information for preliminary planning of flight. The data file can be downloaded at http://aopa.ru/maps/aopa_russia_airspace.kmz. It is presented in English; however some names and terms are just transliterated – not translated. Some of this may not make sense to an English-speaker. The application uses NOTAMs which activate restricted areas to highlight active restricted areas.”
Airspace Infringement Penalties
AOPA-Russia Chairman Vladimir Turin recently asked several other AOPAs for information regarding airspace infringement penalties in their countries. This was done to gain perspective for a recent Russian government proposal to impose the following penalties: fines in the range of US $30,000 – 400,000 or up to 15 days in prison. Currently these fines do exist; they currently range up to US $200 per infringement.
The several affiliates that answered provided their State’s infringement policies and fines, noting that the proposed Russian penalties were drastic and far beyond their country’s sanctions.
IAOPA on Airspace Infringements
In April the Eurocontrol institution Skybrary published a number of articles regarding airspace infringement, targeting general aviation operators as one of the primary groups causing these violations. The IAOPA Secretariat responded to Eurocontrol, EASA and ICAO as follows:
“Presentation like this unfairly indicts airspace users operating VFR. According to this and similar articles, infringements are primarily the fault of the general aviation pilot. While there is some truth in this, more fundamental issues form the root cause of infringements:
- Over-classification of airspace segments; the imposition of closely-controlled airspace (Classes A, B, C) in areas where only a mandatory transponder area or listening-watch zone on an common ATC frequency would be sufficient slows the system and does little to achieve improved safety.
- Incredibly complex TMA configurations actually facilitate infringements; the Zurich TMA is a prime example. The complexity of this TMA was acknowledged by the State since they devised a special training CD to familiarize general aviation pilots with the area.
- Inadequate notification of airspace configuration changes, especially because of untimely, overly-complex and poorly distributed NOTAM.
- Most important, there is often little or no user consultation with general aviation groups during the ANSP/State design/re-design process. Or, the consultation is perfunctory and insubstantial.
aviation organizations educate their constituents regarding the need to be
aware of closely-controlled airspace, but the changing nature and amount
of this airspace is often difficult to stay ahead of.
“Airspace infringements will be measurably reduced when the above factors are addressed in a sincere and substantive manner. While the European Action Plan for Airspace Infringement Risk Reduction was introduced with significant publicity, little substantive action from States and ANSPs is apparent.”
U.S. Registration of Aircraft in the Name of Owner Trustees
The FAA will be holding a public meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, on the U.S. registration of aircraft in the name of owner trustees. The FAA is seeking the views from the public with respect to the use of owner trusts to register aircraft for the benefit of beneficiaries that are neither U.S. citizens nor resident aliens. Since a number of N-registered aircraft are registered to foreign trusts, IAOPA affiliates and their members may be interested in providing opinions for consideration. Please provide comments to [email protected] prior to 11 May 2011. For more information, see Registration of Aircraft.
Greek Fly-In and Airshow
AOPA-Hellas, working together with Egnatia Aviation, a highly successful aviation training establishment, and local authorities, announced they will organize a General Aviation Fly In and Airshow in Kavala, 3-5 June 2011.
More than 100 GA aircraft are expected to participate, coming from both Greece and nearby countries. A variety of aircraft are expected, from ultralights up through modern twin-engine airplanes. The Italian Pioneer Aerobatic Team, flying Extra 300s and others will perform in the airshow.
AOPA-Hellas founder Anton Koutsoudakis noted, “The most important news though, is that this is the first time general aviation providers and users are sitting together with local communities, and plan to use general aviation as an instrument to enhance the area’s economic situation. The spectacular Air Show will be advertised as a tourist attraction. The thousands of visitors will be good news for a big number of small businesses. AOPA-Hellas is very keen to underline the economic benefits which may come out from GA in a remote area of the country.” See http://www.kavalafly-in.com/.
AOPA-South Africa Nominates Members for Safety Board
AOPA-South Africa Chairman Koos Marais announced that their organization recently nominated three candidates to become members of the newly formed Aviation Safety Investigation Board (ASIB). The ASIB will replace the CAA as the body which investigates accidents.
Marais said, “This is a positive move. The requirements, published by the minister, for the persons to serve on the board are very strict and we reminded the minister of his own set of requirements in our submission. We nominated three persons for the ASIB. Having a person with general aviation experience on the board will have a positive effect; our candidates are high-quality, experienced individuals.”
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