IAOPA eNews November 2007

Joint Efforts Work to Save Finnish Airport | ICAO Language Proficiency Standard Clarification | AOPA-Iceland Rejuvenated | IAOPA-Kenya Holds Annual General Meeting | CAA UK Evaluates JAR FCL Revalidation Requirements for Safety Improvement | IAOPA Europe Responds to Eurocontrol Airspace Infringement Study | Plan to Attend the 24th IAOPA World Assembly in Athens, Greece, 9-14 June 2008

Joint Efforts Work to Save Finnish Airport

The story is the same the world over: a valuable, active general aviation airport close to the heart of a major city becomes a target for closure and conversion to a large housing project.  The current case is the Malmi Airport (EFHF) near central Helsinki, an airport so revered that it is listed as one of the 100 most endangered cultural sites in the world from 2004-2006.  More importantly, it is the only close-in general aviation airport available to the Helsinki metropolitan area.  The government’s alternative is to provide a new airport some 50 km distant from Helsinki.

AOPA-Finland has joined with the Friends of Malmi Airport (FoMA) in a protracted effort to keep this useful airport.  This effort has broad-based support from within Finland, as evidenced by an open petition to save the airport that has been signed by more than 45,000 people.  FoMA points out that the historically valuable aerodrome also provides a base for the Border Guard, Rescue Department, Air Force, and Police activities.  It is also a spacious nature and bird oasis in northeastern Helsinki.

 AOPA-Finland’s Klaus Bremer notes, “This airport is essential to general aviation in all of Finland and Northwestern Europe.  We must save this invaluable airport.”

View the FoMA web site and sign the petition to save this valuable general aviation asset.

ICAO Language Proficiency Standard Clarification

The recent 36th ICAO Assembly developed a resolution mitigating the impact of the ICAO Annex 1 standard which will require a high level of language proficiency for pilots flying internationally.  The significant portions of the resolution are: “The Assembly –

“...Urges Contracting States to waive the permission requirement under Article 40* of the Convention, in the airspace under their jurisdiction for pilots who do not yet meet the ICAO language proficiency requirements, for a period not exceeding three years after the applicability date of 5 March 2008, provided that the States which issued or rendered valid the licences have made their implementation plans available to all other Contracting States;

“Urges Contracting States not to restrict their operators, conducting commercial or general aviation operations, from entering the airspace under the jurisdiction or responsibility of other States where air traffic controllers or radio station operators do not yet meet the language proficiency requirements for a period not exceeding three years after the applicability date of 5 March 2008, provided that those States have made their implementation plans available to all other Contracting States...”

* ICAO Convention “Article 40 -- Validity of endorsed certificates and licenses --

No aircraft or personnel having certificates or licenses so endorsed shall participate in international navigation, except with the permission of the State or States whose territory is entered.   The registration or use of any such aircraft, or of any certificated aircraft part, in any State other than that in which it was originally certificated shall be at the discretion of the State into which the aircraft or part is imported.”

Therefore, while the applicability date of the standard remains as written, States will be able to waive the language proficiency requirements under the provisions noted.

AOPA-Iceland Rejuvenated

After a number of years of inactivity AOPA-Iceland reports that it has become more active.  Several well-attended membership meetings have been held in the recent past which featured guest speakers and a recent fly-in was held at the popular country airstrip in Mulakot.

AOPA-Iceland Chairman Valur Stefansson reports that membership is increasing and that they have good interaction and relations with their CAA.

A major project for AOPA-Iceland is to keep the Reykjavik Airport (BIRK) open for general aviation and other activities.  This is the location of AOPA-Iceland’s facilities and principal activities.  However, the new mayor of Reykavik is pressing for the closure of this airport.

The current organization grew out of a local flying club which was founded in October 1947.  On October 27th the flying club celebrated its 60th anniversary.

New contact information is: Valur Stefansson, Chairman, Fluggardar, P.O. Box: 1647, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland.

IAOPA-Kenya Holds Annual General Meeting

The Aero Club of East Africa, parent organization of AOPA-Kenya, held its AGM on 13 October 2007 at Wilson Airport in Nairobi with more than 60 members in attendance. The Chairman reported that the Club was financially solvent and their clubhouse and restaurant continued to be well-attended.

Chairman Harro Trempenau outlined the plans for 2008, including the construction of an Aero Club of East Africa branch club house at Orly Air Park.  In addition he promised that the plan for the coming year would continue as in the past few years: fiscal discipline, a good value for the money, physical improvements and expansion of membership services.  The organization’s simulator project, East African airfield manual, aviation seminars and air rallies would also be continued.  In addition, the digitization of the organization’s archives, as well as continued representation of private pilots and operators with Kenyan Airports Authority and Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority would also remain a top priority.

The Management Committee of the Aero Club for 2007-2008 was elected, as follows: Chairman, Harro Trempenau; Vice-Chairman and Treasurer, Adrian Luckhurst; Vice-Chairman, Kim McKenzie.

CAA UK Evaluates JAR FCL Revalidation Requirements for Safety Improvement

Since the Joint Aviation Authorities Flight Crew Licencing scheme was adopted by European States in 1999 questions have been raised regarding the safety value of its increased revalidation requirements.  A recent CAA UK Safety Regulation Group study reports that the more stringent FCL revalidation requirements have had no significant effect on the number of serious incidents and accidents involving general aviation aircraft in the UK.

Licence revalidation prior to 1999 required a PPL holder to have completed at least five hours of flying during the 13 month period for which the licence was valid, of which at least three hours was as pilot-in-command.  After 1999 a pilot must have completed at least 12 hours of flight (including 12 landings and take-offs) during the second half of the two year period for which the licence was valid, of which at least six hours as pilot-in command, and a one hour training flight.

Interestingly, while the number of serious incidents and accidents specifically involving an experience or training issue did not significantly change on single-engine piston aircraft, a substantial number of occurrences for both pre- and post-FCL groups were due to the pilot having little experience on a particular type of aircraft.

IAOPA Europe Responds to Eurocontrol Airspace Infringement Study

In December 2005, the Eurocontrol Safety Team launched the Airspace Infringement Safety Improvement Initiative in recognition of the severity of the threats to aircraft operations posed by airspace infringements.  The team collected a representative sample of airspace infringement occurrence data to aid with the analysis of the causal factors and support the establishment of safety improvement strategies and identification of relevant risk mitigation measures; the survey lists 473 airspace infringement occurrences.

The report found that, “The vast majority of the airspace infringements investigated in the present study is caused by general aviation (recreational) [sic] pilots that infringe controlled airspace.  This is mainly due to the poor radiotelephone and navigation skills of these pilots which are most likely caused by low proficiency and insufficient training. Compared to general aviation flights, commercial flights and military flights hardly infringe controlled airspace.  The main reason for this is that commercial and military pilots are better trained, more skilled, have a high proficiency and have a more professional attitude towards flying than general aviations pilots.  Also commercial and military flights are usually under the control of an air traffic unit throughout its flight making it easier to detect any deviations from the flight plan.”

IAOPA Europe has responded to these findings, commenting that, 1.) commercial pilots mostly fly under instrument flight rules (IFR) and are therefore seldom subject to infringement incidents, and 2.) a major factor in general aviation infringements is the complexity and/or poor design of airspace and cluttered/confusing airspace depiction on visual aeronautical charts.

Plan to attend the 24th IAOPA World Assembly

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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