The EASA management board’s decision today to re-examine how general aviation (GA) is regulated in Europe has been hailed by the U.S. and European GA manufacturers associations–GAMA and EGAMA, respectively–and the AeroSpace & Defence Industries Association of Europe.
According to GAMA, the EASA board backed a general aviation safety strategy that acknowledges the need to separate non-commercial GA from the regulation of commercial air transport. The strategy paper notes the need for “more flexible, comprehensible regulations, framed by a proportionate and risk-based approach, which protect ‘grandfather rights’ where appropriate.”
It also contains several specific actions to be completed within a certain time frame. The document’s key recommendation is the amendment of EASA’s Basic Regulation 216/2008, which sets the legal obligations and limitations of the European aviation safety framework for GA operations but was largely based on more rigid airline operation requirements. Many of the problems facing GA in Europe stem directly from this regulation, GAMA said.
“This paper reflects many longstanding concerns of the GA community, and aims at pressing the reset button on how GA is regulated by authorities across Europe,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “It is a positive sign from EASA’s management board, but it is only the start of a process, rather than the solution itself.”