EGAMA forms to oppose a wave of new EU regs

 - September 20, 2007, 10:38 AM

The European general aviation industry has created a counterpart to the U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in an effort to head off the threat posed by a barrage of new EU regulations.

Named EGAMA, the group is a part of the aerospace and defense industries association of Europe (ASD) with a core membership consisting of manufacturers of business jets, helicopters, light aircraft and their suppliers. At the EBACE show in Geneva in May, EGAMA’s founding members named Dassault senior vice president for civil aircraft Olivier Villa as the group’s first chairman and Piaggio Aero’s Jose Di Mase as vice chairman. EGAMA headquarters is located in Brussels in existing ASD offices.

“We want to give our opinion as manufacturers,” Villa told NBAA Convention News. “If we do not watch out, we will be eaten away by regulations.”

He thus tried to clarify EGAMA’s role versus those of the European Busine
ss Aviation Association (EBAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), explaining that the three groups will certainly work together on a variety of issues, but that EGAMA has concerns specific to aircraft manufacturing.
For example, makers want to state their positions regarding CO2 emissions, emphasizing that emission reduction needs to be balanced with noise and other issues.

Focus on General Aviation Agenda
Villa explained that EGAMA will seek to highlight the differences between general aviation and commercial aviation and explain why GA sometimes needs different rules. Besides manufacturing-specific goals, issues at the forefront of EGAMA’s lobbying agenda will include safety, security and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) fees, Villa said.

Founding members include Airbus, Bombardier, Dassault, Diamond Aircraft, Eurocopter, Evektor, Piaggio, PZL Swidnik, Turbomeca and Socata. To qualify, a company should be represented in a European national association. For example, Bombardier is a member through its factory in Northern Ireland (formerly Shorts). “We want to act effectively, so we do not want to be too numerous,” Villa said. “We just need diversity.”

EGAMA company CEOs will meet twice a year.