IAOPA eNews March 2008

IAOPA Makes Needs Known at ICAO Economics Meeting | AOPA-Chile Reports Progress with Projects | Plan to Attend the Eurocontrol General & Business Aviation Forum | Joint FAI – IAOPA Meeting Yields Cooperative Pledges | Language Proficiency Information | AOPA-Germany Opposes Templehof Closing | U.S. Finally Embraces eLoran as GPS Backup | Plan to Attend the 24th IAOPA World Assembly in Athens, Greece, 9-14 June 2008

IAOPA Makes Needs Known at ICAO Economics Meeting

IAOPA Secretary General John Sheehan and ICAO Representative Frank Hofmann participated in the ICAO Airport and Air Navigation Services Economics Panel Meeting held in Montreal 10-14 February 2008.  The meeting was charged with preparing working papers for the Conference on the Economics of Airports and Air Navigation Services (CEANS), a major worldwide meeting to be held this September in Montreal.  CEANS will  update ICAO guidance to service providers, regulators and users concerning the economics of these services, currently contained in several ICAO guidance documents.

Subjects covered included: economic oversight and performance, consultation with users, ownership, governance and control, non-discrimination, and cost basis, charging and allocation systems.  This last category contained an area of great interest to general aviation, that of whether weight-based charges should/could be eliminated from the airport/air navigation service providers (ANSP) fee structure.  Due to the controversial nature of this issue and IBAC’s and IAOPA’s interventions the panel was unable to develop a common position on the subject.  While the issue will likely resurface, the panel’s indecision on this issue was a positive outcome for general aviation.

Significant outcomes:

  1. Airports and ANSPs will be encouraged to provide measurements of their safety, quality of service, productivity and cost-effectiveness.  While these are not new metrics, providers will be asked to concentrate on these core performance issues.  Moreover, providers will be asked to consult with users to “achieve mutual understanding and consensus” on performance issues.

  2. Consultation between providers and users is to be emphasized, seeking to achieve mutual understanding and agreement on service policies and charges, when possible.

  3. Performance incentives for both user and provider should be explored to increase productivity and performance.

  4. The point was made by IAOPA and others that as we shift from ground-based surveillance and control systems the user will be paying a greater portion of equipment costs and this should be reflected in user charges.

IAOPA will now work with the ICAO Transport Bureau Secretariat to revise the working papers and prepare for the major CEANS meeting in September.

AOPA-Chile Reports Progress with Projects

AOPA-Chile President Gonzalo Pico-Dominguez reports progress on a number of fronts: “At our inception five years ago, we established a goal of promoting general aviation and aerial work by simplifying rules and looking for ways of lowering costs of flying.  As a consequence of these efforts we have been attracting a growing number of members.   “We have initiated multiple programs focused on those objectives.  Negotiating with DGAC to reduce maintenance requirements, reducing special requirements for pilots, medical exams, written exams and a long list of similar projects keep our days busy.  In other fields, we have asked for improved access to the airspace, reduced restrictions, better provisions for flight plans.  But our star project is a new IFR structure for smaller airplanes based on GPS (ADS-B, RNAV), to allow small aircraft to operate under IFR conditions at smaller airports.

“For member benefits we have established a number of  agreements with commercial providers: special insurance rates for member aircraft, banking agreements and special accounts, and hotels, rental car, and pilot shop discounts.  Consequently, we are attracting private pilots and owners, as well as small commercial and aerial work pilots and operators.  Our efforts have yielded a membership of approximately 10 percent of the total number of Chilean private and commercial pilots.   “As dealings with the DGAC have become more difficult, their representatives have become increasingly reluctant to accept our broad representation and try to reduce the scope of dealings to sport and  recreational aviation.  We are attempting to demonstrate that AOPA represents a lot more than just sport and recreation, but the full span of general aviation activities.”

Plan to Attend the Eurocontrol General & Business Aviation Forum

This annual forum brings Eurocontrol, EC and EASA personnel together with general aviation airspace users to discuss current status and plans for European air traffic management.  The 4 April 2008 event to be held at Eurocontrol headquarters in Brussels will be co-chaired by IAOPA President Phil Boyer and senior executives from Eurocontrol and EBAA and will feature a wide-ranging look at airspace access, future equipment requirements, and safety programs.  Attendance at the day-long event is free but participants must pre-register at http://www.eurocontrol.int/ or +32 2 729 3283.

Joint FAI – IAOPA Meeting Yields Cooperative Pledges

At a meeting held at IAOPA Headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, USA, Pierre Portmann, president of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), and Phil Boyer, IAOPA president, discussed a range of high-level issues affecting general aviation worldwide and agreed on the need for cooperation on safeguarding access to airspace and aerodromes and reducing the costs of flying. This meeting stemmed from the success of a joint statement presented by the two organizations at the recent ICAO 36th Assembly that was instrumental in delaying implementation of the new language proficiency standards.

Dr. Rudolf Gerber, IAOPA Europe Senior Vice President, was also present for discussion of specific issues affecting European general aviation issues, including airspace functionality, aerodrome preservation and equipment requirements as they apply to the AOPA core member and to the full range of air sports activities governed by FAI.

“More and more we have to bundle our forces because the kind of flying that we like is in danger,” said FAI President Pierre Portmann.  He said that increasing demands for more airspace for airline operations meant increasing regulatory pressures in Europe to “get us out of airspace in certain places or making general aviation access to airspace more complicated or even more expensive.”

“We in U.S. aviation are not insulated from the rest of the world,” said Boyer. “What happens on the international stage can ultimately affect us, which is why GA organizations worldwide must work together.”

The two organizations resolved to collaborate regularly on major issues affecting world general aviation and, when possible, to harmonize policy positions.   FAI is the world air sports federation, founded in 1905.  It is a non-governmental and non-profit making international organisation with the basic aim of furthering aeronautical and astronautical activities worldwide.  For more information see fai.org.

Language Proficiency Information

Some States will require compliance with ICAO language proficiency standards on 5 March 2008.  Information regarding which States are requiring compliance and other background information may be found at http://www.icao.int/fsixn/lp.cfm. While the list of States requiring compliance on this web site is not necessarily complete or up-to-date it provides a starting point from which to research the subject. 

AOPA-Germany Opposes Templehof Closing

The city of Berlin, Germany continues to move forward with plans to close Tempelhof, the city’s historic downtown airport.  The airport could close as early as 31 October 2008. Tempelhof serves as a major business aviation airport, and is minutes from the city center.  The city also plans to close Tegel airport, leaving only the relatively distant Shönenfeld Airport to serve the city.

AOPA-Germany and a coalition of Tempelhof supporters have mobilized to help reverse the court decision and save the airport.  A referendum was conducted to petition for a reversal; 170,000 votes were needed, and 177,952 were recorded.  Some of the most enthusiastic support comes from those living near the airport.  In June 2007, AOPA Germany organized a 180-airplane fly-in to Tempelhof to draw attention to the battle. Another such fly-in is scheduled for April 2008.

Built in 1923 and enlarged during the 1930s under the Hitler regime, Tempelhof is best known as the terminal that saved West Berlin from a Soviet blockade during the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949.  After the blockade, Tempelhof continued to serve as a U. S. Air Force base until 1993.  The first flights of the airlift began on June 26, 1948, making this year its 60th anniversary.

Those wishing to express their opinions can contact the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, Regierender Bürgermeister, Berliner Rathaus, 10871 Berlin Germany.

U.S. Finally Embraces eLoran as GPS Backup

Loran will continue, and be modernized, according to the recently released U.S. Fiscal Year 2009 budget.  Furthermore, system responsibility will be placed with the National Protection and Programs Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security, which has chosen it as the backup for national infrastructure elements that currently depend on GPS. Today, high-accuracy GPS timing is essential to such critical elements as communications, utilities, banking and transportation, and a severe GPS outage today could be crippling nationwide.  But the low-powered GPS signals can be jammed easily by hackers or adversaries, whereas the updated eLoran (for enhanced loran) offers near-GPS timing accuracy, high-powered jam-resistant signals and totally different failure modes.  Industry sources state that eLoran receivers would track every ground-based loran station within reception range, which could provide 25 or more position and timing sources “all in view” simultaneously across the U.S.  But standalone eLoran aviation units appear unlikely–manufacturers currently envision small eLoran chips buried as backups inside future GPS units.

“This is good because we have pushed for the continued availability of loran as the federal government has evaluated the future,” said AOPA Government Affairs Chief of Staff Randy Kenagy.  “But it is still unclear how or when eLoran could be used for aviation because new standards need to be developed before avionics can be produced and certified.”

The system may eventually join paper charts and VORs as another option for pilots to use as a backup positioning system during GPS outages.  In recent years, federal agencies debated decommissioning loran, but AOPA urged caution because loran has been identified as one of the few potential backup systems available to general aviation.

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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