IAOPA eNews June 2012

AOPA-UAE Becomes 70th Affiliate | AOPA-Italy Reverses Government Luxury Tax on Private Aircraft | COPA Works With Government on Wind Turbine Hazards | Friedrichshafen AERO 2012 Show | General Aviation Airports: A National Asset | AOPA-US Media Guide Available Online

World Assembly Information Available on IAOPA Website

The resolutions from the 26th World Assembly are now available on the IAOPA website.

AOPA-UAE Becomes 70th Affiliate

AOPA-United Arab Emirates became a fully approved affiliate of IAOPA effective April 22, 2012. IAOPA Secretary General Craig Spence said, “The headquarters staff is looking forward to a long and prosperous working relationship and we warmly welcome AOPA-UAE as IAOPA’s 70th affiliate member.”

In related news, AOPA-UAE president Yousif Hassan Al Hammadi has taken over as acting general manager of Al Bateen executive airport in Abu Dhabi where he previously served as the deputy general manager.

AOPA-Italy Reverses Government Luxury Tax on Private Aircraft

The Italian Senate and House have passed a measure that repealed a luxury tax on aircraft owners or operators of private aircraft who spend more than 48 hours in the country. Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, signed the measure, making it official.

The previous law allowed private aircraft to stay in Italy for no more than 45 consecutive days before charging the tax. But the Italian government, plagued by rising debt and austerity measures imposed by the European Union, decided to implement a number of new taxes on items including houses, gasoline, luxury cars, boats, and aviation, said AOPA-Italy Director Massimo Levi. “The government was trying to go after the private property of Italian citizens who they thought was registering aircraft abroad to avoid paying taxes.”

The tax was a problem for pilots worldwide, not just Italians, said Levi. “Just think: A Piper PA-28 Cherokee owner being charged with a new luxury tax of US $4,000, a Cessna 172 owner being charged US $3,700 or a Robinson 44 helicopter being charged US $8.000,” he observed. “It canceled in an instant all tourism and business. It also sent away all foreigners who were taking their aircraft, mostly helicopters, to Italy for maintenance operations.”

AOPA-Italy worked with a team to get this legislative change, including Italy’s president, the presidents of the country’s historical aircraft association and Aero Club, an Italian senator with contacts in the pilot community, and the National Business Aviation Association, said Levi.

“I am happy that by working with those who want to protect general aviation in Italy, we were able to get the government to change its mind about imposing taxes that would have been detrimental to an industry that brings so much to our country,” said Levi.

COPA Works With Government on Wind Turbine Hazards

COPA President Kevin Psutka recently wrote an instructive letter to government officials warning of the potential safety impact wind turbines will have on aviation. Psutka advised COPA members to, “Read COPA’s letter and then contact your MPP and MP to get them involved in raising the profile of the impact of Wind Farms on aviation. Use the information provided in the letter and the position paper included with it but put into your own words what you feel is necessary to turn around this significant issue.

“Collingwood airport is just one example of the issue. With 7000 more turbines to be erected across Ontario, there are and will be other airports impacted by the lack of protection for aviation.”

Friedrichshafen AERO 2012 Show

IAOPA ICAO Representative Frank Hofmann attended the 20th AERO Frederichshafen show and exhibit in April and filed this report:

IAOPA joined AOPA-Germany at its exhibit, which provided an excellent opportunity to hear European members' concerns first hand. The preoccupation of membership appears to be with over-regulation and unnecessary requirements imposed on pilots and builders of aircraft. It is felt that the regulations are in fact impeding the development of safer aircraft. Many were upset with the actions and attitude of EASA toward maintenance and licensing issues. Evidence of the difficulty with the regulator is the fact that Cessna has not been able to certify its LSA Skycatcher in Europe and consequently did not display its aircraft at the show. Current certification costs even in higher volume production amount to some $ 100,000 per aircraft, pointing to the need for a more appropriate certification process for smaller aircraft. LAMA-Europe is driving for the European Light Aircraft, ELA, to be recognized, with rules which will permit less expensive certification processes. Two classifications are envisioned – one for aircraft under 1200 kg and another for aircraft under 2000 kg. IAOPA has challenged EASA representatives to demonstrate the safety case for its stringent certification rules.

However, LSA style aircraft appeared at the show in full force, having a full hangar of types displayed. Czech, Slovenian, Italian and German designs were prolific. A surprising number of gyrocopter models were displayed – an application of the LSA category. Clearly the cost of storage is a driving force for the popularity of these aircraft. As well a tiny two-seat helicopter was featured, drawing much attention.

Seminars dealt with electric powered aircraft, a possible new Instrument Rating for Europe and the contribution GA makes to more advanced aviation, among others. GAMA made a presentation highlighting the low delivery numbers and drastic decline in deliveries since 2007, both in number of aircraft as well as in numbers of pilots. Deliveries are now only one-third of 2007 levels; deliveries of Cessna’s Skycatcher have only been 20% of the orders Cessna had in hand.

At a seminar dealing with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle aircraft and it was stated that the community must work cooperatively with the Remotely Piloted Aircraft group. Presenters were reminded that IAOPA, although willing to cooperate with the RPA industry, insists that there be no reduction of airspace currently used by GA in order to make way for RPA and that the detect and avoid responsibility be placed on the RPAS and that no additional equipage be demanded of GA as a consequence to RPA operations.

The AERO show this year was a trade show in that there was no air show associated. Many visiting aircraft made it to the show due to relatively good weather - it appeared that all the parking spaces were taken and a nearby reliever airport apparently handled some 500 aircraft. Some aircraft were turned away from the airports due to congestion. Many of the visiting aircraft appeared to be higher performance types rather than LSA types.

General Aviation Airports: A National Asset

A recent FAA study documents an 18-month review of the nearly 3,000 US general aviation (GA) airports, heliports, and seaplane bases identified in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). This in-depth analysis highlights for the traveling public the pivotal role GA airports play in our society, economy, and the aviation system. The study also aligns the GA airports into four categories---national, regional, local, and basic---based on their existing activity levels. The new categories better capture their diverse functions and the economic contributions GA airports make to their communities and the nation.

This strategic tool will help the FAA, state aeronautical agencies, and airport sponsors make planning decisions. The FAA worked with aviation-industry stakeholders including state aeronautical agencies, aviation associations, aviation user groups, airport directors, airport authorities, airport planners, academia, other federal agencies, and local councils of government.

GA airports can serve many different functions and advance the public interest, ensuring that Americans nationwide have access to medical flights, search and rescue, disaster relief, aerial firefighting, law enforcement, community access, commercial and industrial activity, flight instruction, and air cargo.

The FAA will incorporate findings of the study into existing GA airport guidance. The United States has the largest and most diverse network of airports in the world and general aviation is a critical component. GA airports do more than relieve congestion at other airports, and in 2009 contributed $38.8 billion to the economy.

AOPA-US Media Guide Available Online

With the explosion of online and cable outlets and a constant 24/7 news cycle, the media are desperately seeking good news stories to fill available space and air time. General aviation is always an attractive target, especially when it comes to local airports.

So it should come as no surprise when a reporter comes to do stories on topics including pilot training, airspace restrictions, airport security, and accidents or incidents. These are topics that are especially interesting to reporters, but most of them do not have experience covering aviation as a regular beat.

If reporters approach you, it is important to understand how the media works. AOPA's recently updated eight-minute online course, Guide to Talking to Reporters, is designed to offer tips to pilots in case you ever have to deal with reporters' questions. Without proper preparation and word choice, your comments could be edited into a meaning you did not intend and, as a result, portray GA in a negative light.

The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations represent the interests of more than 470,000 pilots and aircraft owners in 68 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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