IAOPA eNews March 2011

World Assembly Dates Set | ICAO AEP-ANSP Economics Panel Meeting | ICAO NGAP Group Meeting | What Makes a Good Flight Training Experience? | Namibia Becomes a Provisional IAOPA Affiliate | IAOPA Europe Provides EASA with Performance Based Navigation Comments | IAOPA Addresses Norwegian CAA Conference | FAA Creates Committee on Unleaded Avgas


World Assembly Dates Set

The 26th IAOPA World Assembly will be held in the Cape Town region of South Africa 10-15 April 2012. This puts the assembly within the pleasant fall season of the country. Details, including the availability of a web site devoted to the assembly, will be announced in the near future. Save the dates!

ICAO AEP-ANSP Economics Panel Meeting

IAOPA participated in the annual ICAO Airport and Air Navigation Services Economics Panel Meeting in Montreal, 7-11 Feb 2011.

The issues considered in this meeting are important because they provide guidance to States regarding how charges should be levied on aircraft operators in the stated environments. While the content is strictly guidance, most States adhere to the majority of precepts to harmonize with other State's systems. The major users of the airports and air navigation services are represented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and IAOPA and while we have some differences we have similar concerns regarding charges and present similar concerns to the State representatives who vote on changes to existing guidance documents.

Significant items covered:

  • IAOPA has advocated strong guidance for service providers regarding consultation with users. Draft standards previously published which reflected these concerns in large part were upheld by the panel.
  • As the world transitions from Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) to Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) IAOPA previously protested charging for these services, citing safety concerns associated with this critical information. Since those who generate, control and disseminate AIS are the States who hold voting power within ICAO, we were only partly successful in eliminating charges for these services. However, it appears that many of the fees for this information will be bundled with normal ANSP charges.
  • The concept of who pays for what types global navigation satellite services (GNSS), especially augmented services, has been a hot topic for some time and was to have been addressed by this panel. We joined a surprisingly significant bloc of States and organizations in declaring the evolving technology and services were not sufficiently mature to provide guidance on the subject. This will bear watching carefully in the future.

Overall, the meeting was a success for general aviation, holding additional and/or unreasonable charges at bay for another year. IAOPA remains a member of several of the sub-groups that work throughout the year to prepare for the next meeting.

ICAO NGAP Group Meeting

IAOPA participated in the third meeting of the Next Generation Aviation Professionals (NGAP) Task Force, held over a four-day period in early February. This group was instituted in 2010 to find ways of ensuring a ready supply of well-trained pilots and mechanics in future years. Since the total supply of people within these occupations is important to the future well-being of general aviation, IAOPA is a regular member of this

A major task of the group is to define competency-based standards for all types of aviation occupational specialties. In doing so, adequately prepared personnel may be supplied to worldwide aviation activities.

While training and performance standards are of importance to the airlines, air navigation service providers and maintenance and repair organizations, the principal concern for IAOPA is the total supply of both pilots and mechanics. The future strength and viability of general aviation is dependent on attaining a steady flow of entrants into the various occupational fields; to achieve this goal an outreach effort is required to attract potential candidates to aviation.

IAOPA's representative to ICAO, Frank Hofmann, reminded the group that general aviation is the major source of aviation professionals, making its strength essential to the success of a ready supply of professionals. Hofmann noted that small aviation schools and shops at small airports were vital points of access for newcomers into aviation; if for any reason their ability to continue to exist was undermined, recruitment efforts would be made more difficult for everyone. He urged the major aviation employers to provide and support outreach opportunities to attract the best and brightest to the basic entry points for the professionals they seek.

What Makes a Good Flight Training Experience?

There are many opinions about the state of flight training and how to improve it, but AOPA-US decided a deeper, more objective understanding of the flight training experience was critical to the success of any efforts to improve student retention. As part of the AOPA Flight Training Student Retention Initiative, AOPA commissioned an independent opinion research firm to model the optimal primary flight training experience and determine where the actual experience fails to live up to students' expectations.

The study revealed that the top three positive factors for making the experience enjoyable for students were:

  • Their flight instructor was a very effective teacher
  • The flight instructor was organized and professional
  • They received good value for their money

Read more about the study and its potential impact on flight training at AOPA Flight Training Retention Initiative. The AOPA Flight Training Student Retention Initiative is a long-term, industry-wide effort dedicated to increasing the percentage of students who earn a pilot certificate. Facilitating a positive flight training experience will help student pilots achieve their goals while growing the pilot population and strengthening general aviation.

Namibia Becomes a Provisional IAOPA Affiliate

A notice was recently sent to all affiliates announcing that IAOPA president Craig Fuller has accepted AOPA-Namibia as a provisional affiliate. The IAOPA constitution calls for a 60-day comment period following this announcement for IAOPA board members to comment on the new entrant’s

Reinhard Gartner, AOPA-Namibia President, provides the following information:

"With a size slightly more than half the size of Alaska (world ranking: 34) and a population of 2.1 million people, Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. The sheer size of the country and popularity as a destination for international tourism makes flying an indispensable mode of transport in Namibia. Apart from the national carrier flying to local, regional and European destinations, General Aviation in Namibia has more than 400 registered aircraft making use of 21 paved and 108 unpaved runways. By comparison, this seems to be a rather small industry, but certainly an important one considering the rest of the country's infrastructure. For more information see:

"Representing almost every discipline of General Aviation in Namibia and with a wide spectrum of qualifications and backgrounds, our organization is well placed to truly represent the interests of general aviation in Namibia. We look forward to joining other IAOPA affiliate organizations in pursuit of better conditions for general aviation."

IAOPA Europe Provides EASA with Performance Based Navigation Comments

IAOPA Europe has provided comments to a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) notice of proposed amendment (NPA 2009-02b) regarding approvals that would permit both pilots and their aircraft to engage in precision navigation and approaches using global navigation satellite services (GNSS). The proposal would require specific authorizations for both pilots and aircraft to utilize these services under IFR. The IAOPA comments

"The specific approval (SPA) of individual operators is an ineffective method for ensuring standards of flight safety for Performance Based Navigation (PBN) in non-commercial operations. It is disproportionate, with a negative cost-benefit, and as a consequence it will have a negative net impact on the overall safety of all airspace users.

"The requirement for a specific approval for RNAV 1, RNAV 2 and RNP APCH must be replaced by a generic approval for operators of other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft (NCO) to conduct PBN ... Controlled flight into terrain and "VFR into IMC" accidents continue to be some of the most significant hazards for NCO, and safety standards can only be improved by making IFR operations (in particular RNP APCH, RNAV1 and BASIC-RNP 1) accessible to such operators. Any unnecessary obstacle thrown in the way of the adoption of new technologies in support of such operations is regressive in its net effect on safety, and the indirect cost of disproportionate regulation will be measured in the lives of pilots and their passengers whose access to the safety afforded by modern technology has been obstructed."

IAOPA Addresses Norwegian CAA Conference

IAOPA's representative to ICAO, Frank Hofmann, was invited by the Norwegian CAA to participate in the February air transport conference held in Bodo, Norway. The aim of the conference was to examine the aviation standards applicable to Safety and Security concerns and IAOPA's contribution to the discussions was to explain how general aviation is a positive

Some 300 attendees, composed of industry representatives and Scandinavian aviation regulators, heard some 18 speakers and took part in some of the 19 workshops. Topics included safety management culture, volcanic ash initiatives, off-shore helicopter safety and Single European Sky perspectives. The IAOPA presentation focused on why and how general aviation is crucial to all levels of flying activity as well as the role it plays in supporting the infrastructure of airports, shops and training opportunities. Workshops included such topics as UAS, unruly passengers, continuing airworthiness monitoring, satellite-based navigation and SESAR.

Conference attendees noted that the IAOPA presentation was helpful because it provided better insight into general aviation operations in the five Nordic countries and the problems that this segment of aviation faces.

FAA Creates Committee on Unleaded Avgas

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the creation of a joint government/industry committee tasked with helping define the process by which the industry will move to an unleaded fuel. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt signed a charter establishing an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to advise the agency on the move toward an unleaded fuel specification.

"This is a much needed step in the process that will ultimately determine how the aviation industry reaches an unleaded fuel solution," said Rob Hackman, AOPA-US's vice president of regulatory affairs and liaison to the GA Avgas Coalition. "While the move toward an unleaded aviation fuel has been spurred by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action, it is the FAA that must approve new fuels, ensuring they provide adequate safety.

The committee is tasked to:

  • investigate, prioritize, and summarize the current issues relating to the transition to an unleaded avgas;
  • consider numerous factors relating to unleaded avgas when performing this activity;
  • identify the key issues and recommend the tasks necessary to investigate and resolve these issues;
  • upon completion of this study, provide recommendations for collaborative industry-government initiatives to facilitate the development and deployment of an unleaded avgas with the least impact on the existing piston-engine aircraft fleet;
  • provide reports with written recommendations to the Director of the Aircraft Certification Service, as appropriate.

"The Avgas Transition rulemaking committee is a vital early step in the journey toward an unleaded future," concluded Hackman.  "Its work will provide the information needed for an orderly transition."


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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