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Martins Blog
The Law is changing on 1 January 2018 for aircraft owners/operator’s equipage of 8.33 kHz capable radios continues to rise, assisted by the European funding. There are delays obtaining certain radios and in getting radios fitted in aircraft by the engineers, with reports of several months’ delay. Ground stations will be converting radios to 8.33 kHz during 2018. The CAA has listened to the community and is invoking a number of 12-month exemptions to provide flexibility for users and to assist with the capacity issues identified. They are only issuing exemptions for ground stations and the geographic areas that the assignment covers. The CAA continues to support the carriage of radio by UK airspace users, for situational awareness and other safety aspects. It will be possible to use a 25-kHz radio on board an aircraft after 31 December 2017 for a ground service that remains on the 25-kHz spacing. When the ground service transfers to an 8.33 kHz channel then the aircraft must also communicate with it on 8.33 kHz channel spacing capable radio. As the UK look to use more available frequencies in the 8.33 kHz band it will become increasingly more restrictive where it is possible for 25…
In December of 2011 the EU commission published a proposal for the regulation of ground handling services. Debate after debate has led to a situation where today the proposal is still stalled. This means the 1996 directive is still the current ‘regulatory’ means of dealing with ground handling. Article 7 of the directive speaks of the freedom to self-handle but it is far less simple than the words imply. AOPA would like to hear from you if you think GA non-revenue earning should be allowed to self-handle and if you think the current fees that are applied need to be more proportionate to the kind of operation. Also tell us if you think the CAA should intervene and regulate those fees - If you have any stories to share please do---- at info@aopa.co.uk Some regional airports would like to see GA back so maybe they should be looking at their pricing. This issue is of concern to AOPA as it relates to regional access at a proportionate price for non-revenue earning GA (i.e. private flights) AOPA thinks that the way to do this is to give GA the ability to self-handle. References: See the full directive here. The CAA have…

EUROCAE

The role of AOPA is to work with Government institutions and regulatory authorities to make sure that when changes to the current environment are being proposed that GA can afford those changes. Often safety is the driving force behind many proposals but change at any cost is not affordable for GA. After many years of seeking better regulation it is pleasing to see that European and national authorities are moving towards proportionate risk based regulations and oversight. EUROCAE, as a standards body, will play an important role in delivering risk-based proportionate standards for the future GA avionics. There are two major Global ATM modernisation programmes – SESAR and NextGen. Both of these projects are about modernisation and as aviation is a global activity so GA needs global solutions. Safety is always a priority, but equally GA needs better airspace access, greater (low cost) access to regional airports and we need to reduce our environmental impact through improved efficiency (better routings) – through the airspace. Many ANSPs do not understand the performance activities of many of the business jet operators. General Aviation encompasses a wide variety of activities from sporting and recreational flyers to turbo prop and turbine jet aircraft. The…
One of the privileges of my job is I get to meet many members, particularly at events like Aero Expo. I was surprised when a pilot came to the stand and said, “I would join AOPA, but it doesn’t do anything”. Thinking about that comment, I wondered why he thought that? I mean we have the excellent magazine, website, Facebook, Twitter etc. so it cannot be we are lacking on communication! So I am interested to hear from members about where you think we could do more to  promote the Association. The primary role of the Association is to give GA a voice in areas of government that matter, and help in the safe development of piloting GA aircraft. AOPA provides assistance to individual members if and when the need arises and there are always a number of pilots who need our assistance for whatever reason. And AOPA supports in kind and financially other bodies like GASCO, FASVIG and GAAC where we feel its important to have a collective GA voice. AOPA has a team dedicated to serving the membership. The results of consultations and meetings are only as good as the level of advocacy AOPA can provide. Your subscription…
ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation) defines General Aviation as “an aircraft operation other than a commercial air transport operation or an aerial work operation” yet most people think about GA as small, single engine propelled aircraft, when in fact it is much more. When you look at aerial work operations, for example many of them use typical GA airframes. Over the last 25 years, we have seen through the JAA (Joint Aviation Safety Agency) and latterly EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) the volume of regulation increase- But the main focus of these regulations is to protect the non-involved 3rd parties. But all of this in my view, went too far and so it is good to see that EASA, through its GA road map, is seeking to re-balance GA and slow down the spiral decent the industry appears to be. Simpler, better, lighter regulation is the EASA goal, but we also need to bring costs down too! The ‘new’ Basic Regulation when it finally arrives sets out in article 4 the need for regulations to be proportionate to the risks of the activity- and as we know the UK CAA is moving to a performance based oversight (PBO) system…
Should be all encompassing and a UK strategy should make sure that we remain competitive in the fast moving global economy. The aviation sector provides thousands of Jobs (and tax) to the UK – brings in tourism and facilitates business growth and this includes GA. However the real divides are: Safety Expansion of CAT flights Environmental impact in noise System delay/ capacity ATM costs. Emissions charges. Through single European sky legislation, Europe is trying to address many of the issues listed above. For example, the issue of individual states all with their own ATC environment has led to fragmentation, this in turn has led to system delays along with flight inefficiencies, more emissions and so on. The development of functional airspace blocks was intended to deal with issues like efficiency and emissions. Unfortunately, member-states in my opinion paid lip service to FAB’s on one hand, whereas, again in my opinion the commission’s plan was far too ambitious because they really did not consider properly the social impact of trying to rationalise ACC. In looking across the Atlantic at the US ATC system, Europe thought why if it is for comparatively similar size land mass (the wider EU is 4% bigger…
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