AOPA UK

Licences to be provisionally suspended for infringing pilots :

Pilots who infringe controlled airspace could have their licences provisionally suspended while the incident is assessed, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced today. The decision is the latest attempt to try and reduce the number of infringements occurring in UK airspace - which remain worryingly high despite previous attempts by the CAA, air traffic service providers and General Aviation (GA) representative bodies to tackle this serious safety issue. In 2015 there were over 1000 infringements reported to the CAA.

Under a new process, a pilot who is identified as having infringed controlled airspace, a Danger Area or Restricted Area, could have their licence or licences provisionally suspended, while the details of the incident are investigated and follow-up action considered. The CAA is committed to delivering a speedy resolution to any investigation and will only impose a suspension for as long as necessary.

Details of new infringement events received by the CAA are assessed on a weekly basis by a team of experts made up of in-house pilots, investigators and air traffic controllers. If an incident is deemed to reach a certain level of seriousness then the licence of the pilot involved will be provisionally suspended until further notice (the criteria used to determine the level of seriousness of a particular infringement has also now been published www.caa.co.uk/cap1404). Depending on the outcome of the subsequent follow-up action, a decision will be made about lifting the provisional suspension.

The CAA has always acknowledged that the majority of infringement events are unintentional but some do have a significant impact on the operations inside Controlled Airspace.All events, however, carry some risk. Some events clearly show inadequate pre-flight planning, poor airmanship, or insufficient pilot knowledge. In a few cases, a deliberate intention to fly into Controlled Airspace has been found and there have been instances of multiple infringements by the same pilot. It is likely that in these circumstances pilots will have their licences suspended.

Following a recent serious incident at the beginning of the flying season, when a Red Arrows display was severely disrupted because of an infringement, the CAA has provisionally suspended the licence of the GA pilot involved.

Despite today's announcement the CAA will continue to focus on tackling infringements through education and training and opt for provisional suspension or legal enforcement in more serious cases. The CAA is fully engaged in the Airspace and Safety Initiative campaign with GA representatives, air traffic control providers and others to promote awareness of the risks of infringement.

The CAA's Rob Gratton, Chairman of the joint Airspace Infringement Working Group, said:

“The number of infringement incidents in the UK has not seen any serious decline in recent years, despite the strenuous efforts of the CAA, GA representatives and many others. Therefore, we really do feel that this measure has become necessary. We hope that this decision will bring home to those pilots who do infringe the gravity of the situation. Any infringement has the potential to be a very serious safety incident. We need to see the numbers decline urgently.

”We will be working with the GA community and in particular, the Future Airspace Strategy VFR Implementation Group over the coming months and developing our education work. We are hopeful that this continued engagement activity will lead to a reduction in these incidents and enhance aviation safety.”

iaopalogocolor

Welcome to the May 2016 Enews of IAOPA Europe, which goes out to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent.

Newsletter now available on the IAOPA EU website

Changes to UK Private Pilot Medical Requirements :

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced today that medical requirements for some private pilots are to change in line with our top level principles for GA regulation. These changes do not apply to pilots with commercial licences or those displaying at airshows who will still need to be approved as fit to fly by a specialist aviation medical examiner.

The move will lead to both cost and time savings for pilots and, in most cases, remove the need for General Practitioner (GP) or Authorised Medical Examiner involvement in the process. The change follows a public consultation, in which 96 percent of those responding agreed with the proposal.

Once the change takes place later this year the medical requirement for UK private pilot licence and national private pilot licence holders will be to meet the same standard as that required to hold a DVLA Group 1 Ordinary Driving Licence (ODL). Existing medical options (for example a UK declaration with GP counter signature) will remain available. The same options will also be available for private balloon pilots.

To take advantage of the change, pilots will need to complete a form on the CAA website to declare that they meet the DVLA medical standard. Pilots under 70 will need to do this once while pilots over 70 must confirm their declaration every three years.

The changes are planned to come into effect in late summer 2016 when a new version of the UK Air Navigation Order legislation will be published and which will contain these changes and other significant amendments for general aviation.

Currently pilots with a NPPL licence are required to comply with DVLA group 1 or 2 standards and have their self-declaration of fitness countersigned by their GP. Holders of a UK PPL currently need an EU class 2 medical or the NPPL medical requirements if they only use the privileges of an NPPL licence.

The change is supported by a study of the risks associated with GA flying, together with a review of the causes of light aircraft accidents and the likelihood of these being triggered by a pilot being medically incapacitated. The risk to third parties has been considered and the regulatory approach taken by the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA, which mirrors the UK proposal, was also reviewed.

Currently, UK PPL holders are able to fly EASA aircraft using the privileges of a LAPL. This is anticipated to change in 2018, at which point the benefits of this change in medical requirements will decrease for those pilots. However, the CAA aim to influence EASA in considering reviewing the medical requirements for EASA Private Pilot licence holders flying EASA aircraft.

EASA - Part M Light Aircraft Maintenance Opinion 05/2016.

Opinion 05/2016 from the Task force for the review of Part-M for General Aviation (PHASE II) proposes a ‘light Part-M’ (Part-ML) with requirements proportional to the much lower complexity and associated risks of the lighter end of the General Aviation (GA) community, and as clear and simple as possible in order to facilitate implementation.

Part-ML proposes alleviations for aircraft maintenance programmes (AMPs), airworthiness reviews and deferment of defects, and applies to the following aircraft when not listed in the air operator certificate (AOC) of an air carrier licensed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 and not classified as complex motor-powered aircraft:

  • aeroplanes of 2 730 kg maximum take-off mass (MTOM) or less;
  • rotorcraft of 1 200 kg MTOM or less, certified for a maximum of up to 4 occupants; and
  • other ELA2 aircraft.

This means that all sailplanes and balloons are covered by this Part-ML.

This Opinion also proposes a new simplified organisation approval (Part-CAO, Annex Vd to Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014) with alleviated requirements and with combined privileges for maintenance, continuing-airworthiness management, airworthiness reviews and permits to fly. Appropriate conversion requirements and transition measures have been introduced in order to facilitate the existing Part-145, Part-M, Subpart F and Subpart G organisations in obtaining the new Part-CAO approval.

This new Part-CAO approval is applicable to other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft not listed in the AOC of an air carrier licensed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008, and does not contain safety management system (SMS) requirements.

This Opinion will be complemented by a second Opinion to be issued in 2016/Q2, which will replace the existing Part-M, Subpart G by a new Part-CAMO (Annex Vc to Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014), with SMS requirements, applicable to continuing-airworthiness management organisations (CAMOs) managing complex motor-powered aircraft, and aircraft listed in the AOC of an air carrier licensed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008. This second Opinion will also contain the changes to Part-M stemming from both Opinions.

You can view this opinion here.

The Comment Response Document can be found here.


Non-Commercial Flights - 3rd Country Licenses & 3rd Country Registrations.

The CAA have published Information Notice IN 2016/036 which may be of interest to individuals using Third Country Licences for Non-Commercial Flights in Aircraft Registered in a Third Country and individuals using Third Country Licences for Non-Commercial Flights in Aircraft Registered in the United Kingdom.

It is reproduce in full below. Please take note of paragraph 2.3.

1 Introduction

1.1 This IN is intended to notify publication of ORS4 No. 1163 “UK Licence Validation Requirements for Holders of ICAO Annex 1 Flight Crew Licences” which provides a general exemption from the requirements of Annex III to Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011.

1.2 Due to pressure on the EU legislative programme, there has been a delay in the actions necessary to permit the UK CAA to extend the derogation from Annex III to Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011, which expires on 8 April 2016.  The UK has therefore issued a general exemption, under Article 14(4) of Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008 for the period 8 April – 7 May 2016, in the terms outlined below.  After this period, European Legislation will be in place permitting the UK to derogate from Annex III to Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011 into 2017.

2 Scope

2.1 The Civil Aviation Authority, on behalf of the United Kingdom, pursuant to article 14(4) of Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008, has exempted any holder of a pilot  licence issued by a third country in compliance with the requirements of Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention who intends to operate a non-commercial flight in an aircraft registered in a Third Country from the requirements of paragraph A of Annex III to Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011. 

2.2 The Civil Aviation Authority, on behalf of the United Kingdom, pursuant to article 14(4) of Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008, has also exempted any holder of a pilot licence issued by a third country in compliance with the requirements of Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention who intends to operate a non-commercial flight in an aircraft registered in the United Kingdom, from the requirements of paragraph A of Annex III to Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011.

2.3 The exemptions outlined at 2.1 and 2.2 above are restricted to UK airspace. Individuals and operators are responsible for ensuring that, if a flight will enter  non-UK airspace, the competent authority for that airspace has enacted provisions which ensure that the flight will be legal.  The Exemption is published as part of the Civil Aviation Authority’s Official Record Series 4, “UK Licence Validation Requirements for Holders of ICAO Annex 1 Flight Crew Licences”,  dated 8 April 2016.

3 Queries

3.1 Any queries or requests for further guidance as a result of this communication should be addressed to:

ISP
Civil Aviation Authority
2W, Aviation House
Gatwick Airport
RH6 0YR 
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

4 Cancellation

4.1 This Information Notice will remain in force until 7 May 2016.

Release of Controlled and Segregated Airspace (RCSA): Raising Base of Controlled Airspace Solent CTA-6.

The FAS VFR Implementation Group (FASVIG) has submitted a proposal to the CAA’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG) for the disestablishment of a portion of controlled airspace within Solent CTA-6 in accordance with its policy for RCSA.  The purpose of this notice is to provide an overview of the roposal and SARG’s subsequent decision.  

Solent CTA-6 comprises a triangular fillet of Class D controlled airspace on the eastern side of the Solent CTA complex between 2500 - 5500ft above mean sea level (amsl):

 



The FASVIG proposal involves the raising of the base of CTA-6 to 3000ft amsl, releasing the Class D airspace beneath this altitude to Class G.  In line with RCSA, FASVIG has provided full details of the release of the airspace and conducted a consultation with both local and national airspace stakeholders, including the controlling authority for the airspace, Solent Radar.  SARG are content that that there will be no adverse flight safety impact on those aircraft operating in the released airspace.  SARG is equally content that there will be no notable operational impact on commercial aircraft operations in the area and that the requirements of airspace users will not be adversely effected.   Indeed, the release of this airspace to Class G will, to some extent, relieve the funnelling of traffic in the vicinity of the Solent CTA, Lee-on-Solent aerodrome and adjacent airspace structures.

As the airspace will revert to Class G airspace, it is not possible to predict the number of pilots who will choose to fly in the released airspace or to wholly determine what activity there may be, but it is assessed that an overall increase in traffic levels is unlikely. 

SARG are content that the proposed release of airspace to Class G has been undertaken in line with the principles of RCSA Policy and that appropriate actions are in place to ensure a safe transition for airspace users and adjacent aerodromes.  Promulgation of the change will be through the AIRAC publishing schedule.  Given the nature of the new airspace arrangements and consistent with RCSA Policy, it is unlikely that a review of the effectiveness of the airspace
release will be required.

The chart above shows the extant Solent CTA structure; Solent CTA areas will be renumbered as Solent CTA-6 and CTA-7 will both extend from 3000 - 5500ft amsl. Implementation of the change will be at AIRAC 06/2016 on 26th  May 2016.

iaopalogocolor

Welcome to the April 2016 Enews of IAOPA Europe, which goes out to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent.

Newsletter now available on the IAOPA EU website

A Piper Warrior had to pay £1047.36, for making an Emergency landing at London Luton Airport.

On the 19th January 2016 an instructor and a student set of from Elstree aerodrome, in a Piper Warrior151 (weight 2,325lbs.), on a night flight for his night rating course.

On the take-off run a loud thump was heard. The controller at Elstree said the lighting was poor for a low pass for an undercarriage inspection and a decision was made to fly to Northolt instead. They were unable to accept them and recommended an Emergency be declared and to divert to Luton. This they did. A couple of low approaches were made for the fire crew to have a look at the undercarriage. They reported that it looked to be down and the instructor decided to go back to Elstree. 

However the Luton controller suggested that a landing should be made “just to make sure everything was OK and then take off again shortly afterwards”. They accepted this, as it was sound safety advice, landed without incident and taxied to the Handling Agent. They inspected the undercarriage and all looked normal. They asked if they could use the washroom facilities before departing and were taken to the reception. As the pilot had declared an emergency, he claimed that under the “Strasser Scheme” landing fees should be waived.

Although 207 UK airports have joined and participate in the “Strasser Scheme”, unfortunately London Luton is one of the remaining 4 airports, who have so far declined several attempts to get them to do so.  

As an AOPA member, the pilot enlisted the help of Charles Strasser, the originator and still administrator of the “Strasser Scheme”, to try and get at least a partial refund of the billed amount of £1,047.36.

Although Luton airport is not a “Strasser Scheme” participant, an article in “Today’s Pilot” published in 2010 listed the then non participants as Cardiff, Biggin Hill, Belfast International, Carlisle, Leeds/Bradford, Bristol Filton and London Luton. All except London Luton have since joined. However their then MD, Glyn Jones, is on record as saying “that London Luton would do its utmost to assist any pilot in distress and would never disadvantage a GA pilot financially”.

Charles Strasser’s several attempts to communicate with the CEO of London Luton, Nick Barton, to get the charges refunded finally resulted in a refusal. On the other hand the charges levied by the Handling Agent have been refunded in full.

It is the fear of such monstrous charges being levied for genuine emergency landings by GA aircraft which prompted the CAA to publish potentially life saving CAP667 9.2(c) which clearly states “that all aerodrome owners be persuaded  to adopt a policy  that there should be no charges for emergency  landings  or diversions  by general aviation aircraft.”

Consultation: Rules of the air - increased fines for infringements.

Seeks views on increasing the maximum fine level applied to persons contravening the Standardised European Rules of the Air. These changes apply exclusively to the regulations on:

  • communicating with air traffic control
  • flight plans
  • position reporting

The proposal will change the maximum fine from level 4, £2,500, to level 5, unlimited, in England and Wales.

Unlimited fine levels can only be made under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).  As LASPO does not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland the maximum fines in these areas would increase to £5,000 instead.

The consultation closes on 22 April 2016.

Full details can be found here.

AOPA UK will be responding to this consultation. At a minimum we would not expect fine levels in England and Wales to be any higher than in Scotland. Please can you make your views known to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly to help in our response.

AIR LEAGUE- Volunteer Gliding Squadrons Petition - Government Response.

With almost 16,000 signatories so far the Government have made thier first response to the petition:

The MOD has confirmed plans to relaunch Air Cadet Aviation to ensure cadet flying opportunities are available whilst delivering value for money.

Air Cadet Gliding had to be paused in 2014 due to safety concerns with our aircraft. A full inspection programme was initiated with a view to recovering all of the aircraft. However after substantial operational, technical and commercial negotiations with a range of leading aerospace companies, for most of the Vigilant aircraft and a few of the Vikings it no longer represented sensible value for money to continue their repair.

In order to give Cadets the opportunity to start flying again following an Air Cadet Organisation review there will be at least 73 Vikings, a fleet of up to 15 Vigilant aircraft, combined with an increase of an extra 25 Grob Tutor fixed wing Air Experience Flights (AEFs) – a more than 50% increase on previous flights. We are committed to returning as many gliders to the skies as possible while ensuring the safety of cadets and instructors. For the first time this will be backed by a range of realistic simulators provided by the RAF Charitable Trust.

The restructured glider fleet will be operated by fewer, but larger, Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS), which will have a regional focus and be better integrated with synthetic training and increased AEF locations. The RAF is fully committed to Air Cadet flying. Where Cadets will have to travel longer distances, we are increasing investment in VGS and AEF sites to include residential accommodation for cadets and staff. In the future cadet flying will be better associated with force development and ground training opportunities alongside the gliding and flying.

The RAF acknowledges this has been a tough period for cadets and instructors and is grateful for the patience and understanding of the Volunteer Gliding Squadron instructors who continue to provide inspiration and leadership to generations of cadets. Air Cadet flying will be safer and far more resilient in the long run; enabling all cadets across the United Kingdom to have equal access to flying opportunities and which better integrates and allocates cadet flying opportunities between realistic synthetic flight simulation, glider flying and an increase of AEF flights.

The Petition can be found here.

CAA - Air show fees decision -

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today announced the outcome of its consultation on charges for air displays

The regulator has reaffirmed its commitment to the air show industry and highlighted the importance of new safety enhancements being introduced. The CAA is not funded by the tax payer and therefore these charges must be met by the industry.  However, the CAA has recognised the possible and immediate impact these increased charges could have on air show organisers and has therefore implemented a phased introduction of the new fees over the next three years.
 
An extensive review of air show safety has been carried out by the CAA, following the tragic accident at the Shoreham Air Show in August 2015. As part of the review a series of additional safety measures have been introduced that air shows must now meet in order to go ahead, including carrying out enhanced risk assessments. Tougher checks and training requirements for pilots and display directors are also being introduced.
 
The CAA launched a consultation in February on the proposed increases to fees to fund its air show work. This also recognised the historic under-recovery of costs for their regulatory oversight of air displays, although these increases do not seek to recover any historic under-recovery.
 
While needing to ensure that the new charges are in place, to enable the CAA  to introduce these important new safety measures this year, they recognise it may be difficult for some air shows to absorb these additional charges in 2016/17.  Therefore, to reduce the impact on the air display community, the CAA has decided to phase in the introduction of the new air display post event charges.  The 2016/17 charges will now be set to recover £100,000 of the expected £200,000 of additional costs, with the remaining £100,000 being absorbed by the CAA.
 
Andrew Haines, CEO of the CAA, said, “We understand that people care passionately about air shows and we want all events to be a success. We are also very clear that we will not compromise on safety. Enhancing the safety of air shows is essential and this extra work must be funded. However, we have listened to the responses and recognise that some shows could face challenges in absorbing the full cost of these changes into this display season. In making our final decision on fees we have therefore decided to phase in the new charges, recovering only half of our costs for the current year.”

“We welcome the opportunity to address with air show organisers any questions or concerns they have around their planned activity for 2016, but safety must be the priority and we are committed to doing all that we can to make air shows even safer in the years to come. In addition to the phased introduction of new fees, we will also review any further requests for assistance from smaller and charitable air show organisers who are concerned about not being able to afford the new charges.”

The Consultation Response document can be found at www.caa.co.uk/cap1388.
 
The CAA's air display review work continues and they expect to publish our final report in the coming weeks.

I am pleased that the CAA has listened to the concerns of the industry and that the phasing in of the new charges is the right way to go. Martin Robinson, CEO AOPA UK

AIR LEAGUE- Volunteer Gliding Squadrons Petition.

Recently the UK Government has decided to axe 15 of the 25 Volunteer Gliding Squadrons across the UK.

The following petition has been set up in an attempt to retrain the  units scheduled for disbandment.

We would appreciate any support you can give us.

The aim is to preserve air cadet gliding as we know it today to ensure the youth generation for air cadets can have the same opportunities as older generations to begin their careers in aviation.

The Air Cadet movement is about the air mindedness of the youth in the UK. It is a great organisation and one which I was associated with as a Cadet and later on as a civilian instructor.  Please support this petition. Martin Robinson, CEO AOPA UK

The Petition can be found here.

MAJOR CONSULTATION LAUNCHED ON IMPROVEMENTS TO UK AIRSPACE CHANGE PROCESS.

The CAA today launched a major consultation on how decisions are made on proposed changes to the UK’s airspace structure.

It seeks views from stakeholders, ranging from the aviation industry and general aviation to people affected by aircraft noise, on a series of proposals aimed at making the airspace change process more transparent and giving the CAA a more hands-on role.
    
The airspace change process

If someone, usually an airport or air traffic control body, wants to request a permanent change to the UK airspace structure they must submit a proposal to the CAA, which goes through our airspace change process.

The CAA is consulting on proposed improvements to this process, which is used to decide whether a change goes ahead. Our suggested changes are supported by an independent review carried out in 2015 by specialist consultants Helios.
 
The consultation

The consultation therefore details changes to the process a proposal goes through, which includes consultation with local communities, and also how it can be made more transparent.

One of a range of recommendations under consideration to achieve this is an online portal to provide a single access point for anyone to view, comment on and access documents for every UK airspace change proposal. The effectiveness of the process could also be improved by additional stages of scrutiny and validation.

The consultation is not about areas which are outside of the CAA’s airspace change process, such as Government policy, which the CAA’s process must follow. Government policy on issues, such as whether flight paths are concentrated along a narrow path or deliberately dispersed, whether flight paths are alternated to provide periodic respite from noise, and whether tranquil areas are avoided, are not part of the CAA consultation.

The consultation which is open to everyone is available until 15 June 2016 and can be accessed here.

Loss of Control in Flight.

Loss of Control In-flight is the most frequent and most deadly type of accident in GA.

There are approximately 37 fatal LOC-I accidents per year in Europe leading to 67 persons on average losing their lives every year due to LOC-I (for fixed-wing aircraft only), and take-off and landing phase are particularly risky.

For more information, including advice on preventing Loss of Control Accidents,  visit the EASA website here.

Why not add recovery procedures to your next rating revalidation and/or learn new skills with an AOPA Aerobatics Certificate or an Instrument Rating?

 

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