Companies that have long been awaiting European approval for commercial single-engine operations under instrument meteorological conditions (SE-IMC), or at night, clearly face a longer wait. Despite continuing optimism voiced by some operators, it will be almost three more years before such flights can be approved across the region.
March marked the 30th anniversary of the creation of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA). Since 1977, the Brussels-based group has defended the concerns of an industry that is steadily expanding. From modest beginnings, EBAA now represents the interests of more than 300 business aviation companies in Europe and a fleet of more than 600 aircraft.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its annual safety report this week, which highlights concerns around the globe. Although the report focuses on commercial aviation incidents and accidents, business aviation operators can benefit from its content, given that specific regions and countries are analyzed for problem areas.
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.
Those who operate N-registered business aircraft in Europe know how well off we are in the U.S. Aside from a multitude of flight information regions under the jurisdiction of different countries, Eurocontrol charges and airport restrictions, there is simply a different attitude toward business aviation in Europe compared with the U.S.
The number of accidents in all segments of civil aviation last year was less than in 2005, according to the NTSB, with general aviation recording the lowest number of accidents in the 40 years of record keeping. Major airlines continued to have the lowest accident rates in civil aviation. The number of air-taxi accidents has been steadily decreasing over the past 10 years, while the hours flown by these air carriers has increased steadily.
Although the FAA has finally acquiesced to allowing commercial pilots to fly past their 60th birthday, a group of legislators has introduced a bill that would move the process along at what passes for “warp speed” in Congress.
A prominent moment of the 2003 International Operators Conference in Colorado Springs occurred just after the first day’s sessions. With dozens of pilots and aviation department managers standing around a nearby television, President Bush warned Saddam Hussein that the Americans and their allies were on the way. The war in Iraq erupted soon afterwards.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly is expected to take action later this month on legal guidance for member states to protect safety-data-
collection systems while allowing for proper administration of justice.
The guidance would help nations protect from unwarranted use information collected under systems such as flight operational quality assurance programs and line operations safety audit programs.
To borrow the term “caveat emptor” (Latin for “let the buyer beware”) and mangle it only a bit, flight crews of aircraft that require two pilots should be aware that in some countries both of those pilots need to be type rated in that particular airplane.