IAOPA eNews June 2011

26th IAOPA World Assembly, Stellenbosch,  

IAOPA Speaks at Global Runway Safety Symposium

IAOPA Secretary General John Sheehan made a presentation at the first ICAO Global Runway Safety Symposium which drew 420 participants from 75 ICAO member States and international aviation organizations in Montréal held 24 - 26 May, 2011.

Runway safety has become one of ICAO's principal safety initiatives. This is done because runway accidents, incursions and excursions in particular, constitute more than one-third of all reportable accidents worldwide. Of course, their primary area of interest is at large airports featuring an air traffic control tower and used primarily by airline aircraft.

Sheehan spoke on the subject of runway safety at non-towered airports. Since few of the attendees were familiar with the more than 100,000 non-towered airports in the world the presentation was used to educate the audience, linking the unique characteristics of small airports to potential hazards. Emphasis was placed on pilot continuing education and proficiency, linked to airport operators' and government oversight to enhance safety. Small aircraft operating at large towered airports was also addressed, featuring the Air Safety Institute's continuing education products.

See also, ICAO symposium website.

AOPA-Japan Provides Earthquake Relief Flights

AOPA-Japan pilots began to fly relief flights to Fukushima Airport shortly after the disastrous earthquake struck that region in March. Their aircraft carried medical and food supplies to the stricken AOPA-Japan-1area near the coast which was struggling to survive in the wake of both a tsunami and earthquake. Mr. Yamamura in a Malibu, Dr. Shioyasu in his Cessna 210, and Mr. Sakuma and his brother, Tetsuya, in a Mooney flew from several locations in Japan in support of the disaster relief efforts. This was not easy since much of the ramp space at the Fukushima airport was occupied by Japanese Self Defense, local authorities and US military aircraft. But, they persisted and delivered their precious supplies in a timely manner. However, after the initial flights they were prohibited from providing further operations into the area due to airport congestion. Instead, AOPA-Japan members donated money in support of further humanitarian efforts.

AOPA-Japan-2Sadly, Mr. Sakuma discovered that his other aircraft, a Malibu, had been lost at the nearby Sendai airport where it was undergoing an inspection when the tsunami swept it away. Six other AOPA-Japan members also lost aircraft at the Sendai airport.

H. Nishimura, AOPA-Japan, who provided the information for this article said, "Our general aviation community is relatively small in Japan, but our spirit of cooperation is very strong. Compared to the large number of relief flights already taking place by military aircraft, our efforts are very small, but we would like to continue our relief flights as long as possible."

AOPA-Australia Comments on Proposed General Flight Rules Changes

AOPA-Australia has lodged detailed comments with their Civil Aviation Safety Authority on proposed sweeping changes to the general operating and flight regulations, known as CASR Part 91. The broad-based changes include proposals regarding regulatory violations, radio equipment, aircraft ownership, electronic charts and the use of aerodromes, all that would cause significant impact to general aviation interests.
In the letter conveying AOPA's response, President Phillip Reiss said, "AOPA wants to contribute to the completion of the new regulations so that they are effective tools in the enhancement of aviation safety. AOPA notes that this may be the last opportunity to review the draft regulations before they are finalized. This would appear most ambitious given the degree of AOPA's concerns and the surprise inclusion of completely new requirements in a final draft. Given our concerns about the unsatisfactory state of so many of the proposed regulations, AOPA is unable to support their further progression without substantial revision."

See AOPA-Australia comments.

ICAO UAS Group Meets

The ICAO Unmanned Aerial System Study Group met in late May to continue its work of devising guidance for States and operators to safely operate remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). This is a major task that will create changes for a majority of the 18 ICAO Annexes which comprise the technical and operations standards and recommended practices (SARPS) for civil aviation worldwide. IAOPA Representative to ICAO Frank Hofmann participated in the discussions.

While basic guidance has been created in the form of an ICAO Circular (number 328) this will provide interim guidance only, rather than specific SARPS. The current work of the study group focuses on establishing definitions for the various annexes affected by the introduction of UAS.

Current discussions also included methods of permitting RPA operations in Class A – C airspace, separation standards, normal operations and failure modes. Additionally, the "detect and avoid" concept is still being discussed to determine acceptable methods for separating RPA from VFR operations in Class D – G airspace. Most of these discussions are quite detailed, requiring extensive discussions due to the unique nature of UAS operations. Final SARPS will likely require at least one year to complete.

First Chinese Citizen To Fly Around The World

Wei Chen, a Chinese citizen and an FAA licensed private pilot, is set to depart his home city of Memphis to circumnavigate the globe in his TBM 700 on May 22nd. His agenda is clear, to raise $250,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and to promote general aviation in China.

Like many who fly, Chen has aspired to take on the challenge and thrill of flying around the world one day. His two and half month journey will originate and end in Memphis, covering four continents, 21 countries and 25,000 miles in the northern hemisphere. If he succeeds he will be the first Chinese citizen to circumnavigate the globe in a single engine plane and the first person ever to do so through China.

The timing of Chen's trip is not coincidental. With the impending lift on low altitude restrictions and the Chinese government's recent strong push to develop general aviation, China is becoming the most promising market to help the hard-hit general aviation industry rebound and grow. "Before our country can become a prominent market," Chen says, "there needs to be a large number of people interested in general aviation. That's the foundation to spawn everything." His flight will raise attention and interest among countless people and help pave the way to building a strong and connected general aviation market in China.

Chen has received support from the Chinese government through the Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, which held a press conference for him in Beijing last month. AOPA-China partners with Chen as co-organizer of the entire event. A member of its board of directors and pilot, Yinjie J. Zhang, will fly with Chen on the U.S. to Europe leg as well as in China.

For more information on Wei Chen's around the world flight visit www.weiaroundtheworld.com.

The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations represent the interests of more than 470,000 pilots and aircraft owners in 69 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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