General aviation as a whole was a stain on an otherwise excellent year for aviation safety in Europe, according to 2010 accident figures released today by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). For all GA operations including both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters weighing more than 2,250 kg (4,960 pounds) involved in private, business and aerial work activity, the total number of accidents increased from 19 in 2009 to 31 last year.
Now that Caiga has finalized its purchase of Cirrus Aircraft, it is more than abundantly clear that Chinese companies (most owned by the government) are making huge investments in general aviation (GA) infrastructure. But the Chinese government is making a gigantic mistake that will make it difficult for these investments ever to pay off.
The Asian market is waking up to the fact that companies using business aircraft earn more than those that don’t (141 percent more, according to an NBAA analysis). However, there are many obstacles remain to developing the private aviation sector in that part of the world.
Operators pushing for clearance to fly commercial single-engine flights in IFR conditions, which are not allowed under European Union (EU) legislation, will be encouraged that regulators have brought forward by a year the start and end dates for rulemaking. That is the good news. The bad news–almost 25 years after the initial proposals–is that it will be well after the middle of this decade before regulations could permit such operations.
The UK business aviation lobby has launched a vigorous campaign to convince the British government that its plans to extend the existing airline passenger duty (APD) to private aviation are discriminatory and disproportionate.
It is just over a year since Rockwell Collins acquired flight planning group Air Routing International and rebranded the business Ascend Flight Information Solutions. The Houston-based operation has had a lower global profile than rival Universal Weather & Aviation for many years but that could be set to change as its new owner supports efforts to get closer to key emerging markets for business aviation.
General aviation (GA) pilots have just 12 months to obtain new European licenses to enable them to fly European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)-approved aircraft in European Union member states beginning in April next year. EASA proposals for flight-crew licences (FCLs) have completed all pre-regulatory stages and translation and were expected to go to the European Parliament by early April and become law by mid-year.
The General Aviation Airport Coalition (GAAC) was officially formed late last week to “preserve and promote,” on a national level, GA airports in the U.S. It consists initially of 24 founding members–all GA airport operators–from across the continental U.S. that began meeting late last year to discuss GA airport issues.