IAOPA eNews September 2007

IAOPA Secretariat Continues to Press for Modification of ICAO ELT Requirement | AOPA-Spain Initiates Agreement with their Government to Investigage Ultralight Accidents | IAOPA and FAI Join in Requesting Modification of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements | IAOPA/Eurocontrol General & Business Aviation Forum Scheduled | Plan to Attend the 24th IAOPA World Assembly in Athens, Greece, 9-14 June 2008

IAOPA Secretariat Continues to Press for Modification of ICAO ELT Requirement

ICAO Annex 6, Part II will require carriage of a 406 MHz ELT of any type in all existing general aviation aeroplanes operating internationally after 1 July 2008. IAOPA has opposed this standard for several years for a number of reasons and continues to seek alternative forms of compliance for the standard. Poor equipment reliability, lack of installation standards that would assure activation and operation, and lack of a credible cost-benefit analysis to make a case of ELT carriage have been offered to ICAO several times with no effect.

As an alternative to the ELT requirement for existing aircraft, which may be a portable unit not attached to the aircraft, IAOPA has advocated the carriage of a personal locator beacon (PLB). These units are small, lightweight, relatively inexpensive, truly portable and built to the same specifications as ICAO mandated ELTs. Their portability will allow them also to be used for emergency locating services other than aeronautical purposes. Australia and New Zealand have authorized their use in general aviation aircraft and Canada and the UK are considering them.

IAOPA has submitted a petition to ICAO advocating the use of PLB in lieu of ELT, to be considered at an upcoming international search and rescue conference to be held in early September.

AOPA-Spain Initiates Agreement with their Government to Investigate Ultralight Accidents

Until recently, ultralight accidents in Spain were only known to the government if voluntarily reported by the ultralight community; even then the accidents were not investigated. This arrangement did not provide either the government or the ultralight community with adequate information regarding the circumstances or causes of accidents. As a consequence, safety awareness and knowledge within the ultralight community suffered.

Beginning two years ago, AOPA-Spain proposed to the Commission on Investigation of Accidents and Incidents of Civil Aviation (CIAIAC) to join with the ultralight community in investigating ultralight accidents and incidents so that their activities could be made safer. An agreement was recently signed between CIAIAC and the Royal Aeronautical Federation of Spain (RAFE), the air sports sanctioning organization within Spain, to collaborate on technical and organizational issues to investigate and determine causes of ultralight accidents and incidents. RAFE will supply technical experts to conduct investigations and analyze data generated prior to sending it to CIAIAC for confirmation and codification. Eventually, other air sport activities will be covered under this agreement, including gliders and other types of air sport vehicles.

AOPA-Spain president Marlies Campi noted that, "This is a very important achievement for AOPA-Spain, one that we have been working on for two years. Prior to this CIAIAC would only publish an annual report of accidents that had been reported. This agreement will mean that for the first time in Spain's ultralight history, accidents and incidents will be reported, studied, and safety recommendations made."

IAOPA and FAI Join in Requesting Modification of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements

IAOPA and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) have joined forces in requesting that ICAO modify their stringent language proficiency standards for VFR pilots. In a joint working paper to be considered at the upcoming triennial ICAO Assembly, both organizations requested that the highest deliberative body of ICAO modify the requirement for language proficiency level 4 for VFR operations. The working paper noted, in part, "The requirement for a pilot to meet the high levels of language proficiency specified in the new standard while operating under VFR and in non-complex airspace is unnecessary for the safety and efficiency of the air traffic control system. The high costs and time required to meet this requirement cannot be justified for the few times a VFR pilot may be required to contact an air traffic control facility.

"Qualifying for level 4 language proficiency will require hundred of hours and thousands of dollars in training and costly testing for each of the hundreds of thousands of pilots who may only occasionally use language in their brief international flights as required by the ICAO standard. Language training, testing and proficiency for an estimated 500,000 general aviation pilots who fly internationally is estimated to cost $1.5 billion over the next three years.

"Reconsider the IAOPA petitions to modify the language proficiency standards for VFR operations. Employ risk analysis techniques to properly consider the factors involved in the decision process."

IAOPA Representative to ICAO and FAI President Pierre Portman will work together to advocate this cause with Assembly delegates and jointly present the paper at the 18-28 September meeting in Montreal.

IAOPA/Eurocontrol General & Business Aviation Forum Scheduled

The biennial European General and Business Aviation Forum, jointly sponsored by IAOPA Europe, European Business Aviation Association and Eurocontrol is scheduled to be held at Eurocontrol headquarters, Rue de la Fusée 96, B-1130 Brussels, Belgium on Friday, 4 April 2008. IAOPA President Phil Boyer, EBAA Chief Executive Officer Brian Humphries, and Eurocontrol's Deputy Director for Air Traffic Management Strategies Alex Hendriks will co-chair the meeting.

The event will present and discuss issues of interest to the general aviation community, including SESAR, airspace access, equipment requirements, future developments and ATM procedures. The forum is designed to present and permit discussion of the topics covered. Equipment and program displays will be featured. Watch for information regarding the agenda and other developments at www.eurocontrol.int.

Plan to attend the 24th IAOPA World Assembly in Athens, Greece, 9 – 14 June 2008

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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