The new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) came almost silently to life last month–as if echoing the muted expectations that many in the aviation industry have of the organization. To optimists, the new body is Europe’s answer to the FAA, promising a new regime of clear, consistent and harmonized regulations and standards.
Aviation in the United Kingdom
At the end of this month, Brian Humphries will take over as chief executive of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), succeeding Fernand Francois, who is retiring after 12 years in the post. Humphries, who has been EBAA chairman since 1996, will retire from his day job as managing director of Shell Aircraft, the international flight department of the Royal Dutch Shell energy group.
The task force established by the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) to deal with the issue of regulating fractional ownership expects to issue new proposals by next month. The task force has indicated that it is working toward “an accommodation” with the FAA, but has warned that European rules will not necessarily “mirror” the FAA’s Part 91 Subpart K regime.
Instrument-rated helicopter pilots are an expensive resource, particularly in the UK. Making the jump to a helicopter instrument rating (IR) has always demanded a significant investment in instructor and aircraft time, primarily because a lack of suitable simulators meant the vast proportion of the training–in the UK at least– could only be carried out aloft.
By the end of next month, TAG Aviation (Booth No. 6238) expects to learn the outcome of what could prove a landmark public inquiry into the growth of business aviation traffic at London-area Farnborough Airport. Hazel Blears, Britain’s secretary of state for communities and local government, is due to rule on TAG’s application to boost the number of movements permitted each year on weekends and holidays from 2,500 to 5,000.
Recent European orders for executive turbine aircraft, including VLJs, signal an influx of executive aircraft into European airspace. Will the Continent’s existing infrastructure be able to accommodate the increasing executive air traffic at a time when scheduled low-cost and holiday charter airlines are also rapidly expanding?
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) awarded the Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner, its official seal of approval just over six months ago last December 12. The certification process for the A380 began in 1998 with France’s DGAC civil aviation authority and continued when EASA assumed responsibility for airworthiness approvals in 2003.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has never had more work on its plate and the industry has never had a greater need for the group’s lobbying efforts on its behalf. This was the headline message from EBAA chief executive Brian Humphries as the 2007 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) prepared to open.
Proponents awaiting European approval for commercial single-engine operations at night or under instrumental meteorological conditions (SE-IMC) should not hold their collective breath. It could be another three years before formal clearance for such
operations–roughly equivalent to U.S. commercial single-engine instrument flight rules–are approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The days might soon be over for the basing of non-UK-registered general aviation aircraft in the UK. The country’s Department for Transportation (DFT) is considering a plan to prohibit non-commercial foreign-registered aircraft from being permanently based in Britain. A comment period on the plan is expected shortly.