IAOPA eNews September 2011

ICAO Regional Runway Safety Teams and Seminars | AOPA-Australia Shows GA Value | AOPA-South Africa Announces Airspace Accord | AOPA-US Presses for Sport Pilot Privileges | COPA Responds to Government Lands Needs Assessment Study

Plan to attend the 26th IAOPA World Assembly Stellenbosch, South Africa, 10-15 April 2012

ICAO Regional Runway Safety Teams and Seminars

The 2010 ICAO High-level Safety Conference recommended that States support convening of regional runway safety seminars (RRSS). One of the outcomes of the 2011 ICAO Global Runway Safety Symposium was to initiate regional runway safety seminars and to support the creation of local runway safety teams (RSTs) to address prevention and mitigation of runway excursions, runway incursions and other occurrences related to runway safety (as part of the ICAO Runway Safety Programme).

RRSS will be announced soon at eight locations around the world. While the IAOPA Secretariat is not able to participate in these events, our interest and participation in runway safety programs will be mentioned during the seminars. Local AOPAs may be requested to participate. IAOPA encourages all affiliates to participate in these programs. (Several airport and runway safety presentations are available at www.aopa.org/asf ).

AOPA-Australia Shows GA Value

When Qantas Airlines made disparaging remarks about general aviation, Australian general aviation groups were initially pleased when the government stepped-in, promising to show the value of GA. Unfortunately, the government significantly under-valued GA’s contribution to the economy. AOPA-Australia and other general aviation associations set the record straight by performing their own research and publicized the following significant statistics:

  • 8,500 airplanes
  • 800 helicopters
  • More than a half-billion dollars of industry product
  • 900 business enterprises
  • 4,000 people involved
  • A$ 300 million in wages

AOPA-Australia President Phillip Reiss noted, “General aviation serves Australians who work in mining, media, medical, air ambulance, terrorism, regional freight, agricultural, manufacturing, training and education, entertainment, government and community services and other industries.

"It is often worth reminding misguided people that it's general aviation, not the airlines, which provide facilities for rescue helicopter and remote medical services, to name just two critical services."

AOPA-South Africa Announces Airspace Accord

AOPA-South Africa Chairman Koos Marais recently noted, “AOPA-SA is proud to announce that CAA, the SAAF and the SAPS have agreed to not have any more flight restrictions imposed on civilian air space. This action is pursuant to the court order which AOPA had obtained against these authorities during the Soccer World Cup last year. The court order is still in effect but AOPA wants to thank and congratulate the CAA, SAPS and the SAAF for electing to rather follow the path of reason and liberty. South Africa is a wonderful country and AOPA is positive about the future of the country and general aviation in particular because this experience has proven once again that our democracy, the rule of law, the constitution, and the will of the people will always triumph.

“This announcement brings to an end, hopefully, a prolonged confrontation during which the opposing parties met at different venues and where strong view points had been expressed. AOPA also wants to express their warm thanks to the generals, the minister of transport, the director, and commissioner of the CAA for their courteous and respectful management of the matter during this time. It bodes well for the future.”

AOPA-SA also announced the introduction of a new safety initiative. AOPA is in the final stages of the development of this unique project, which will be the first of its kind world wide. It is planned to launch the initiative at the 2012 World Assembly of IAOPA which will be held in South Africa from 10-15 April 2012. This structured project is based on a five year, layered approach to instilling higher levels of awareness and improved human performance in general aviation. AOPA-SA has the backing of the authorities and are being supported by top level experts in airline operations.

AOPA-US Presses for Sport Pilot Privileges

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has posted to the federal docket a petition originally submitted by four aviation associations in January 2011. The petition, signed by the AOPA and other GA associations, seeks to fix a flaw in the original sport pilot rule pointed out in a letter of interpretation from the FAA’s Office of Chief Counsel that prevents student sport pilots who received their training from Sport Pilot Instructors from counting their training flight hours toward a higher rating, should they seek to pursue one.

In their petition, the associations say the clear intent of the new certificate was to make it easier—not harder—to enter aviation. “It is obvious from these statements that the sport pilot certificate was intended to be able to serve as a stepping-stone towards private pilot and other higher certificates and ratings,” the associations concluded.

The problem affects sport pilots who received their training from flight instructors only authorized to teach toward a Sport Pilot certificate. According to the letter of interpretation, since a sport pilot-only flight instructor is not authorized to give instruction toward a higher rating, none of the time spent training with that instructor counts for a recreational or private pilot certificate.

In the petition, the associations argue that not only is air safety not compromised by allowing sport pilots to count the flight hours, it is enhanced because pilots will be encouraged to seek higher certificates and ratings, and both conventional wisdom and accident statistics hold that safety is enhanced as a pilot receives additional training and pursues higher certificates and ratings.

COPA Responds to Government Lands Needs Assessment Study

When Toronto’s important Buttonville airport closes in the near future, general aviation aircraft will be forced to move farther from the city center. Transport Canada is using a due diligence study that will force this move.

Transport Canada’s recent announcement follows a due diligence exercise, which involved “checking and verifying (the Study’s) assumptions, methodology and findings to ensure completeness and adequacy”, according to the announcement. It goes on to say that “The Government of Canada will prepare a federal plan for the Pickering Lands in the coming months” using this Study for guidance.”

COPA President Kevin Psutka, consequently announced that COPA has secured the services of Malone Given Parsons Ltd. to review the findings and recommendations for retention of the Pickering Lands [a key area] as a future airline airport site.

Kevin Psutka states, “While concluding that key lands should be retained, it also builds the case for permitting general aviation to deteriorate significantly in the Toronto area. The study boldly states that recreational aviation is declining and it states that airports as far away as Hamilton, Kitchener, Barrie and Peterborough [all farther from Toronto than Buttonville] can accommodate what remains of general aviation in the event that one or more Toronto area airports close or activity is restricted at any of these airports.”

“Given the continuing growth in the number of privately registered aircraft, it is difficult to conclude that this sector is declining. And while it is true that distant airports may accommodate some Toronto traffic, the study fails to consider that an airport as far away as Barrie would not be an attractive destination for people flying into Toronto by private aircraft to conduct business, for people from Toronto seeking a location to base their aircraft or seeking a convenient aviation training location close to where they live in Toronto. The study illustrates the continuing need for a review of the National Airports Policy, which has failed to ensure a viable system of smaller airports.”

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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