IAOPA eNews December 2014

COPA's President & CEO, Kevin Psutka, announces his intention to retire in 2015 | COPA Fights Regulatory Proposal that Threatens Airports | US Loss-of-Control Working Group Issues Final Report | Pilot Upgrade seminars organised by AOPA Finland | EasyVFR as a member benefit with special price for AOPA Finland members | CAAC Delegates Visit IAOPA HQ | China AERO | RPAS Panel meets at ICAO | Air Safety Institute issues safety alert for holiday travel | Pass on This Newsletter to Your Members

COPA's President & CEO, Kevin Psutka, announces his intention to retire in 2015

Ottawa, Ontario—November 27, 2014 —COPA’s Board of Directors today announced that Kevin Psutka has declared his plans for retiring from his position as COPA's President & CEO in 2015. 

 “Kevin’s extraordinary vision and leadership guided COPA through times of tremendous change,” said Trekker Armstrong, Chairman of COPA’s Board of Directors.  Mr. Psutka, with 18 years tenure in his current position, has proven to be one of the most knowledgeable Executives on general aviation matters in Canada’s Personal Aviation sector. 

With over 5000 hours flying experience, including commercial fixed-wing and rotary licences, Mr. Psutka has firsthand experience with past and present challenges facing our sector and very knowledgeable of the future challenges our sector will face.  As President and CEO, Mr. Psutka’s duties and responsibilities are wide ranging.  In this capacity, he is liaison and primary contact person for: Transport Canada, Nav Canada, other Canadian Aviation Associations, AOPA and EAA plus US & Canadian Border Agencies.  This extended beyond North America to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), where he serves as Vice President for North America.

While the COPA Board understood and was planning for succession, Kevin Psutka’s announcement to the Board of Directors has triggered the succession plan.  He will remain in full capacity as President & CEO until such time as a replacement is found, with a succession transition to follow.  The COPA Board of Directors will immediately undertake to enact the succession plan and begin the recruitment process for a new President & CEO.

COPA Fights Regulatory Proposal that Threatens Airports

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) is mounting an all-out fight against a proposed change to the Canadian Aeronautics Act that threatens the viability of the national airport infrastructure in Canada.  The amendment which appeared buried deep in a separate budget bill would allow the Minister to “make an order prohibiting the development or expansion of a given aerodrome or any change to the operation of a given aerodrome, if, in the Minister’s opinion, the proposed development, expansion, or change is likely to adversely affect aviation safety or is not in the public interest.”

COPA is concerned about the manner in which the amendment was developed, without consultation, and how far the powers of the Minister would extend given the one-sided nature of imposing consultation requirements and prohibitions on aerodromes when no corresponding restrictions exist for local authorities.  According to COPA “if the amendment passes into law, the Minister will be able to avoid all consultation processes, such as would be the case when a regulatory change is made, and unilaterally issue an order to prohibit the establishment of any aerodrome, development of any aerodrome and any operational changes at any aerodrome whenever the Minister deems it to be necessary.”  “With no policy to protect and encourage most of aviation and with a flawed National Airports Policy that puts the future of smaller airports and aerodromes in the hands of local interests.”

Given the lack of transparency and the failure to consult with affected stakeholders, COPA is calling the proposed amendment to be withdrawn and the issue brought back to Transport Canada for further discussion and consultation with stakeholders.  For more information see COPA’s website at http://www.copanational.org/.

US Loss-of-Control Working Group Issues Final Report

Two FAA and industry working groups that utilized a data-driven process to study and learn from past fatal loss-of-control accidents issued their combined final report containing 29 safety enhancements that "have the potential to reduce the likelihood of similar loss-of-control accidents in the future."

The report to the U.S. General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) was submitted Oct. 29 by the Loss of Control Working Groups. The panels analyzed National Transportation Safety Board reports and dockets from accidents in the approach and landing phase, and the takeoff and departure phase of flight. The working groups were co-chaired by David Oord, AOPA U.S. Manager of Regulatory Affairs, and Kevin Clover, representing the FAA’s General Aviation and Commercial Division.

Oord urged pilots and members to study the safety recommendations and apply them in their personal flying to lower their risk of losing aircraft control—the cause of 40.2 percent of fatal accidents between 2000 and 2010.

The safety enhancements emerged from over three years of evaluation and analysis, and constitute a wide-ranging plan of action identifying needs from the increased use of angle of attack indicators in GA aircraft to transition training for pilots; reducing regulatory roadblocks to aircraft certification; and improved pilot medical education.

"Everyone involved focused their resources on the accepted data-driven process of analyzing the accidents, coming up with interventions to solve the identified risks, and implementing agreed upon safety enhancements to better manage those risks," Oord said, emphasizing the importance of devising and applying methods that assured "analytical credibility" for the project.

To make the final list of recommendations, safety enhancements were ranked for overall effectiveness, and evaluated for the likelihood of successful adoption.

"Only the interventions which scored the highest for each parameter were recommended, better utilizing and focusing the limited resources of both government and industry,” he said.

Two of the recommended safety enhancements addressed the limited use of angle of attack indicators in general aviation aircraft. The general aviation community should install and use angle of attack technology "for better awareness of stall margin," the report said.

A safety program focusing on improved aeronautical decision making should be developed for general aviation, and flight training should make pilots aware of a link between over-reliance on automation and loss of control, the report said in two other individual safety enhancements.

Improved transition training—which the report noted is "not uniformly applied"—and leveraging aircraft type clubs to disseminate critical safety information about specific makes and models of aircraft were also urged.

Other safety enhancements among the 29 published in the report covered topics ranging from the risks faced by inactive pilots returning to the cockpit to advances in the availability of real-time weather information. Additional safety enhancements addressed cockpit resource management, flight testing of experimental aircraft, airman certification standards, and a variety of aviation medical education topics.

For each safety enhancement, the report identifies an organization expected to take the lead in coordinating its enactment, and specifies a completion goal.

The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, first formed in the 1990s under a "Safe Skies" initiative, was reactivated in 2011 after several years of dormancy to refocus the joint government-industry effort to reduce fatal GA accidents. The committee is co-chaired by the AOPA Air Safety Institute and the FAA. (By Dan Namowitz, Courtesy of AOPA US)

Pilot Upgrade seminars organised by AOPA Finland

AOPA Finland organised three Pilot Upgrade seminars for Finnish pilots to introduce local air space change and SERA regulation. Seminars were held at Oulu, Seinäjoki and Vantaa which gathered the most active pilots to hear the latest updates for Finnish air space and introduction to SERA regulation. Following seminars around rest of the country will held beginning in January 2015 again in co-operation with Finavia and Trafi (CAA) lecturers as earlier seminars. All seminars are open for all aviation interested persons, there is no AOPA membership required for admission.

This new airspace structure and the new pan-European rules of air (SERA, EU regulation 923/2012) will be enforced simultaneously. The objectives for these major changes are the efficient use of airspace, the enforcement of the pan-European regulations, and the structural enhancement of the Finnish Air Force. These major changes will further highlight the importance of careful pre-flight planning, the use of up to date maps, and diligent navigation. Every aviator, whether a professional or GA pilot, should therefore carefully familiarize himself with the new regulations, new concepts, and the new airspace structure to fully understand how these changes will impact his or her operations.

EasyVFR as a member benefit with special price for AOPA Finland members

The recent airspace change was foreseen a year ago to be the major challenge to all airspace users and it was one of the reasons why AOPA Finland started sourcing process for flight preparation and air navigation application for member service purpose. Handheld mobile terminals were the desired platform and after careful consideration and testing the EasyVFR by PocketFMS Foundation was selected.

License distribution was started mid-May this year and so far the experiences have been positive from all users using the application on various operating systems, Android, iOS and WindowsPhone. EasyVFR is available for Windows 7 & 8, iOS and Android and can be purchased for these platforms by AOPA Finland members. Frequent Flyer Membership (FFM) subscription is included for AOPA Finland members providing smooth and flexible way to file as many fligth plans as needed to AFTN system without any paper work or confirmation calls to ANSP.

EasyVFR combines the power device's built-in GPS receiver and the PocketFMS AeroDatabase to continuously show AC's position and the airspaces in its vicinity - and warns you well ahead prior entering into next airspace class or area, or if you get too close active TSA or any other limited area.

One of the attendees of seminars said after the EasyVFR demonstration that "EasyVFR is the KING of mobile aviation applications". This person was not even member of AOPA Finland then but now he is.

CAAC Delegates Visit IAOPA HQ

On Friday, October 31st, IAOPA, in conjunction with AOPA US, hosted a visiting delegation from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) at the headquarters in Frederick, MD (USA).  Over 21 CAAC delegates participated in a series of briefings detailing the importance of a healthy and vibrant general aviation sector all designed to provide the delegates a first-hand look at what general aviation is.  All of the delegates were able to take flight, for most it was their first experience flying in GA, and everyone agreed that the experience was the highlight of their three week trip.

The delegation’s visit (all from the airport sector of the CAAC) was sponsored by the US/China Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP).

China AERO

The largest airshow in China , Zhuhai celebrated its 10th anniversary recently  (11-16 November 2014).

Similar to the Paris and Farnborough  airshows, the Zhuhai airshow takes place every two years and alsofocuses on Military  and Commercial  aviation. However, one of the main announcements  that was made during the event was a new venture between Aero Friedrichafen  and Zhuhai to establish a General Aviation  show every other year which will be know as Aero Asia. This new event is quite timely due to the expected expansion of GA in China is gathering pace. It is being reported that by the end of 2014,the Government  will announce the new rules for accessing the airspace  up to 3000 feet. AOPA China  has for at least 4 years been instrumental in developing the low altitude airspace summit which looks like it is going pay some dividends.Once this happens, the genie will be out of the bottle and I believe that the airspace changes will lead to the expansion  of  GA aerodromes around the country.

During the Zhuhai event, it was my pleasure to  meet up with the CEO of Superior Aviation, a US group which is investing about $3.2 billion in the establishment  of two new aerodromes(one which will be about 20 miles east of Beijing and another in Inner Mongolia). IAOPA sees that these important developments will lead to a system  of VFR  flying and through AOPA CHINA, IAOPA will continue to lend it support. The development of GA China will have a global impact and may offer worldwide opportunities.

In a meeting with Mark Zhou, the general manager of the Zhuhai  Airshow, we discussed how IAOPA may help in promoting the Aero Asia  event to our global membership through news reporting.
In an other meeting with Mr Wan Xiangdong,the Director General of the CAAC's  flight standards , we discussed flight training and what China requires from its nationals where they obtain  foreign  (ICAO) based licenses. It is fair to say that China is much more progressive  than perhaps  some people think. Aircraft weighing up to 116kgs  are deregulated as far as airworthiness and design is concerned!  China will continue up to develop its GA but it will do it in according to China.  AOPA China continues to grow it's business however there is more work needed and IAOPA is willing to help.

RPAS Panel meets at ICAO

IAOPA has been an active participant for 7 years in the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Study Group (RPASSG). With the view of helping to guide this developing aerial activity to ensure that the introduction of these aircraft (RPA) would not impact negatively traditional users of the airspace, IAOPA has actively participated in all meetings for the past six years.

Since the RPA industry advanced in many countries during that time frame, ICAO worked to create acceptable guidance for States so that States could begin to regulate the industry while ICAO developed standards for international operations. That guidance material is now ready and available in the form of ICAO Doc. 10019 and the work has now become one of creating the Standards and Recommended Practices.

In order for the Study Group to begin making the Standards (SARPs), the Study Group had to be transformed into a Panel – that is how ICAO works. The first meeting of the Panel occurred during the week of November 17. IAOPA is one of 25 named Panel members.

The 88 meeting attendees – composed of the Panel members and their advisors – separated into 6 Working Groups (WGs). The WGs formed were: Airworthiness, Communications and Control (C2), Detect and Avoid (DAA), Licensing, Operations(OPS) and Air Traffic management (ATM). Since IAOPA has only one representative in Montreal, he chose to join the Airworthiness group in the belief that the ultimate certification of the RPA will be through the standards that group sets for the aircraft itself, the ground station, and the C2 link. The Airworthiness group itself split into 3 sub-groups – Classification of the aircraft, the aircraft itself, and the control station. The IAOPA representative is on the aircraft group and is also the contact person and liaison for the Licensing group.

Identified as missing from the WG assignments is a WG on Legal Matters and one on Security, problem areas which the Panel is only slowly beginning to realize.

Of interest was a discussion on how the communication and control link would operate and how it would be certified, given that the ICAO requirement for international operations may only be carried out by aircraft holding a Type Certificate (TC) and a Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA). Since a C2 link is not attached to the aircraft and therefore not to its CofA, how and by whom that link will be fitted into the certification system is of great importance and is also highly problematic.

Considerations of Detect and Avoid performance requirements have been slow and are as yet not clarified.

Deliverables for the Panel are numerous. The Airworthiness group itself has 13 Working Papers to produce on what it considers are major issues. Due dates for work include certain papers in time for the March 2015 RPAS Symposium, other work to be completed for ICAO by 2016 so that SARPs for international IFR operations may be promulgated for 2018.

It may be that the deliverables deadlines set are too optimistic but the Panel has set itself at least two meetings for 2015.

Air Safety Institute issues safety alert for holiday travel

AOPA’s Air Safety Institute closely monitors general aviation accidents. Over the past several weeks, the institute has observed a cluster of GA accidents occurring in close succession. It is far too early to determine any change to historical trend data; however, ASI’s ‘Air Safety Alert: GA Safety Pause’ should raise awareness and offer mitigation strategies to help improve safety. The Air Safety Institute recommends that GA pilots conduct a pre-holiday safety pause and risk review. “Pause to learn” can be a powerful strategy to help you operate more safely. At AOPA, we know that the pressure of fulfilling holiday travel plans can make it difficult to pause and reflect on our decision to fly; we need to recognize that the reality of weather and other safety concerns can be at odds with our expectations, making it difficult to make the right decision. Let's have a safe holiday travel season—there is always another trip if this one doesn't go! Learn more about the specific actions ASI recommends you should take before your next flight.


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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