IAOPA eNews February 2010

UK CAA Says IMC Rating to be Retained | AOPA at AERO Friedrichshafen | IAOPA Regional Meetings Scheduled | COPA for Kids Successful | US Loran C Stations Shutdown | AOPA-Belize Fly-In | Upcoming ICAO Conferences | Plan to attend the 25th IAOPA World Assembly

AOPA-Germany Continues to Fight for Furstenfeldbruck Airport

AOPA-Germany has been trying to keep the historic and strategically important Furstenfeldbruck airport open as a general aviation facility for more than 15 years. When this former military air base was closed the intent was to preserve it as a general aviation airport. This was a welcome move since the only two other suitable close-in Munich area general aviation airports have been closed.

“Fursti” has been used as a general aviation airport for many years but needed final approval to become a permanent facility. However, politics and commercial interests have prevented the full conversion of the facility to a civil airport. Moreover, recent political maneuvering has threatened to close the airport permanently, despite the best effort of AOPA-Germany to prevent this.

The end of the airport existence appeared assured until AOPA-Germany made a last-minute legal challenge to the government’s action. The appeal is currently pending. AOPA-Germany Managing Director Michael Erb noted, “We have fought to save this important airport for more than 15 years; we will not give it up easily.”

UK CAA Says IMC Rating to be Retained

At a meeting held at the UK CAA on 26 January CAA Chief Executive Andrew Haines confirmed to AOPA-UK CEO Martin Robinson that it is CAA policy to retain the UK Instrument Meteorological Conditions Rating (IMCR). The CAA is to begin dialogue on how this could be achieved once the EASA licensing system is implemented.

This is important news for UK general aviation pilots since this partial instrument rating has served their community for more than 40 years. The rating was developed as an alternative to the UK instrument rating which mandates very stringent knowledge and experience requirements. The transition to uniform European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations has threatened to delete the IMC rating entirely, even if used only in the UK. Robinson notes, “The abolition of the rating is an unintended consequence of an administrative change. It is not a matter of standards or safety – quite the opposite. It is a matter of bureaucratic tidiness, and it calls for a political solution.”

IAOPA at AERO Friedrichshafen

This year’s AERO Friedrichshafen trade show and aircraft exhibit will feature an increased level of participation by IAOPA. Held 8–11 April 2010 in Frederichshafen, Germany, AERO Friedrichshafen continues to grow in popularity as Europe’s largest general aviation event. On display will be a range of aircraft—from very light jets to light sport aircraft to sailplanes and motorgliders, plus everything in between. A special emphasis is placed on alternative powerplants and fuels.

This year IAOPA, in conjunction with its affiliates AOPA-Germany and Switzerland, will provide presentations on current and future European aviation issues affecting the general aviation pilot and owner. IAOPA President Craig Fuller is scheduled to participate in and speak at the AERO Friedrichshafen conference. All IAOPA affiliates are invited to visit the IAOPA exhibit and discuss areas of mutual interest with their colleagues. AOPA members will receive an entry fee discount.

IAOPA Regional Meetings Scheduled

IAOPA Asia Regional Vice President Geronimo Amurao will preside at the region’s summit meeting to be held in conjunction with the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival at the Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines, 11-14 February 2010. For information about the festival see Philippine Balloon Fest.

IAOPA Europe Regional Senior Vice President Martin Robinson will preside at the region’s semi-annual meeting on 10 April 2010 at the Aero Friederichshafen Air Show and Conference, 8-11 April.

COPA for Kids Successful

The mission of the COPA For Kids Aviation Program is to provide a motivational aviation experience, focusing on a demonstration flight in an airplane. These flights are provided free of charge by pilots to any youth ages 7-17 wishing to participate.

COPA President Kevin Psutka reports that during the first year of the program’s existence 208 COPA members helped introduce 1,365 children to aviation by providing them their first flight in member’s aircraft.

Psutka notes, “For many COPA Flights flying young people has become a highlight of the summer season. One measure of the success of young-person flying programs is that many young people who had an introduction to flying at an early age have gone on to get their pilot licenses and are now flying young people themselves!” For more information see COPA for Kids.

US Loran C Stations Shutdown

Effective 8 February 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard said it will begin a permanent shutdown of U.S. Loran-C stations and at that time U.S. Loran C chains should be considered unusable, but 24 U.S. stations that participate in Russian-American and Canadian Loran-C chains under international agreements will temporarily continue to operate. U.S. Department of Homeland Security budget legislation mandates the end of U.S. Loran-C unless the Coast Guard and TSA had certified it as an essential navigation service.

The Canadian Coast Guard announced that that nation will also decommission its Loran-C system in 2010. Although an official termination date for Canada has not yet been set, it is expected that all Canadian and cooperating U.S. stations will go dark on or before Oct. 1, 2010.

AOPA-US disagreed with the Coast Guard's decision to decommission the U.S. Loran-C signal next month. The Coast Guard plans to rely on global positioning system satellites, but AOPA recommended keeping the Loran-C system as a backup. "Recent reports have shown that the constellation of satellites is vulnerable to outages and service disruptions," said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of operations and international affairs.

IAOPA has opposed the deletion of Loran-C for a decade, contending that this proven and improving system had many uses beyond aviation and should be retained. While other Loran-C chains exist throughout the world their future is now in doubt.

AOPA-Belize Fly-In

AOPA-Belize will hold its third annual Fly-In 28 February 2010. The fly-in is located at the Matthew Spain Airstrip, Central Farm, Belize. For further information contact [email protected].

Upcoming ICAO Conferences

March will be a busy month for IAOPA at ICAO due to a number of important conferences in which either or both John Sheehan and Frank Hofmann will participate. Please provide input to John Sheehan if you have comments:

Next Generation of Aviation Professionals Symposium, ICAO Headquarters, Montr̩al, Canada, 1 Р4 March 2010

Aviation Security Panel, ICAO Headquarters, Montreal 22-26 March 2010 (restricted)

High–level Safety Conference 2010, ICAO Headquarters, Montréal, Canada, 29 March – 1 April 2010

Plan to attend the 25th IAOPA World Assembly

Tel Aviv, Israel

June 6 to 11, 2010



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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