...towards simpler, lighter, better regulations for GA
General Aviation is a high priority for EASA. The Agency is dedicating effort and resources towards creating simpler, lighter and better rules for General Aviation. Recognising the importance of General Aviation and its contribution to a safe European aviation system, EASA in partnership with the European Commission and other stakeholders has created a Road Map for Regulation of General Aviation. In short called the GA Road Map.
EASA recognises that existing regulations impacting General Aviation may not necessarily be proportional to the risk exposure of GA. Some of this regulation was intended to cover more demanding (in terms of safety) activities, such as commercial air transport operations. Also, a regulation is not necessarily the best tool to improve safety; there can be other tools like safety promotion material on particular topics. One such example is the European General Aviation Safety Team- EGAST.
The Agency aims to bring positive change to the General Aviation community by simplifying existing regulations where possible, introducing flexible measures where necessary and developing safety promotion to address safety risks. This task will take time to be completed and it cannot be done by a single entity it can only be the result of a series of coordinated and harmonised actions from EASA, the European Commission, Member States, National Aviation Authorities, but also by associations and clubs. The process is not a sprint but a marathon.
EASA is well underway towards this direction and has already positive results to prove, upcoming developments to look forward to and future aspirations to fulfill.
EASA's Annual Safety Conference 2014 was dedicated on the topic of General Aviation. The conference took place in Rome on 15 and 16 October 2014. The conference presentations and other material can be found on the Conference website. In his closing remarks, Patrick Ky, EASA Executive Director described the 6 commitments of EASA to the General Aviation community, promising the next progress report during the AERO 2015 exhibition.
GA Roadmap is part of EASA Vision 2020:
On 16 March 2015, EASA presented its vision for the future aviation safety regulatory system in Europe. Called Vision 2020, it envisions a more proportional, flexible and proactive regulatory system in Europe. The Opinion is based on the views of the stakeholders and is in line with the principles of the GA Safety Strategy. On the topic of General Aviation it provides a sound basis for a more proportionate and flexible approach to safety regulations. It will help pave the way for the adjustment of the definitions of the Basic Regulation and tackle the growing need for delegation of oversight responsibilities to user organisations or for giving privileges to qualified individuals. The GA community across the EU awaited the outcome of this process to improve the prospects for European GA.
On the General Aviation chapter (Section 2.2.1 of the Opinion), it is proposed to:
- Simplify the airworthiness certification and oversight system for small and low-risk GA.
- Introduce the necessary flexibility for the certification and oversight of small and low-risk GA by allowing the Competent Authorities of the Member States and EASA to delegate oversight and certification responsibilities or tasks to approved third parties (user organisations, federations, associations).
- Introduce the necessary flexibility for small and low-risk GA by introducing provisions which will allow possible deviations from existing requirements, where appropriate.
- Adjust the definitions of ‘commercial operation’ as well as ‘complex motor-powered aircraft’, as they are currently creating difficulties for GA.
- Leave the principal scope of Annex II unchanged, and only make some minor adjustments (e.g. glider definition), albeit with more flexibility (Section 2.2.3 of the Opinion).
Latest news from EASA related to GA:
01 July 2016 - Dedicated rules for sailplanes
The GA Roadmap steering committee decided recently that a dedicated implementing rule (IR) for sailplane should be drafted, bringing more proportionality and simplicity. More specifically, the task is to remove from the existing IR the bits addressing the operation of sailplanes and the licensing of sailplane pilots and to draft with these a new IR. The expectation is that an IR which is dedicated to one aircraft category only facilitates a simplified structure and thus the accessibility by the GA community. The drafting of the IR is done in close cooperation with the European Gliding Union (EGU), NAAs and sailplane manufacturers. The schedule for the entire project runs until the end of 2018.
14 July 2015 - Certification Specifications for Standard Changes & Standard Repairs (CS-STAN)
EASA issued a set of standard changes and repairs, reducing maintenance and operating costs. The decision to adopt Certification Specifications for Standard Changes & Standard Repairs (CS-STAN) eliminates the need for approval for the specified changes and repairs for light aircraft in General Aviation. This long-awaited approach will simplify the process of making standard changes and repairs to a broad swath of general aviation aircraft in Europe. You can read more about the EASA Decision in the Explanatory Note here. CS-STAN is part of the Agency’s activities within the General Aviation Road Map to create simpler, lighter and better regulations for the General Aviation community.
09 July 2015 - EASA consults on simpler rules for aircraft maintenance in General Aviation (Part-M Light)
The objective to make maintenance rules for General Aviation simpler and lighter is coming a step closer to reality. Today the Agency’s Part-M Light proposal was put forward for consultation, a significant milestone in the process. The objective is to have proportional aircraft maintenance rules applicable to the lighter end of the General Aviation activities. This ‘Notice of Proposed Amendment’ to the rules (NPA) is part of the Agency’s activities within the General Aviation Road Map to create simpler lighter and better regulations for the General Aviation community. You can read the NPA and use the comment response tool here.
22 June 2015 - Licencing for maintenance staff: The Agency published its proposal for a progressive, simple and proportionate system for the licensing of certifying staff involved in the maintenance of light aircraft (including ELA1). A simple approach has been proposed for the licensing of Part-66 avionics. To read further on this package, please follow the link
19 June 2015 - GA survey on the size of the fleet and the activity of GA in Europe has been launched. If you are a GA aircraft(s) owner and/or operator we strongly encourage you to take part in the survey following this link: https://survey.enalyzer.com/?pid=f7d8ks2h . Informed decisions rely on good data!
9 May 2015 - PPL/IR, member of Europe Air Sport and key actor in the European GA community was organising this last Saturday their spring conference in Coventry.
Among many interesting speaches, EASA was invited to present to the objectives and the status of the GA Road Map project.
EASA was represented by Dominique ROLAND, Champion for the GA roadmap project, and CAA UK by Tony Rapson, Head of the GA unit.
The feedback received from the assembly was extremely positive and encouraging for the project. Julian Scarfe (PPL/IR), mentioned that the association was generally satisfied by the direction taken and the progress of the issues, whilst emphasizing that a lot was still to be done.
About 70 persons were attending the conference. Most of them joined the place using private aircraft. http://www.pplir.org
8 April 2015 - Dangerous Goods in General Aviation: The GA safety strategy demands a more proportionate regulatory framework for the operation of General Aviation sector in Europe. In this context, the GA community came together in 2013 to identify issues that have a significant impact on their activity. They established a common list known as the ‘GA community projects/proposals’ and delivered this to Agency at the end of 2013. The Agency fostered a new collaboration with all partners - the GA community, European Commission and the Member States – and seeked for integrated solutions to increase the probability of acceptance of the results. Many of the issues have already been addressed, while others are in the pipeline. The Dangerous Goods (DG) case is a good example where the Agency worked closely with Member States DG experts and the GA community to design a simpler approach towards the GA sector. To this end, a proposal for a simplification of the DG requirements in Part NCO has been integrated in the PBN opinion. Focus will be placed on raising DG awareness among GA pilots by means of safety promotion initiatives, to be undertaken by the NAAs. The PBN opinion is available at http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/.
27 March 2015 – CS-23 re-organisation: The Agency published an A-NPA to present the new concept of objective based rules incorporating technical standards, developed by industry bodies, and invite public for comments on the key questions. When this new rule is adopted, it will stimulate the incorporation of new safety enhancing features and reduce the certification costs for these aeroplanes. Additionally, it will provide flexibility in the process and up-to-date technical standards. The A-NPA is available at http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/.
27 March 2015 – Safety Promotion gets a central place in the GA road map: The European General Aviation Safety Team (EGAST) today released a pre-publication version of Safety Leaflet GA10 on In-Flight Icing. This leaflet provides guidance to pilots of non-complex aeroplanes without modern ice protection systems. Topics addressed include icing after landing, effects of icing, propeller icing, pre-flight planning, pre-flight checks and ground de-icing, and typical in-flight icing scenarios. Actions to be taken when encountering icing are presented in a summary section. All EGAST Leaflets are available for download and republication from the EGAST website.
25 March 2015 - Fresh Approaches towards the balloon sector: Following the EASA Safety Conference on General Aviation, held in Rome in October 2014, the Agency engaged with the balloon community to explore on ways for a more appropriate regulatory framework. Together with Agency experts, experienced professionals from the balloon industry, the user community and the competent authorities will bring the direct voice into the process and play an essential role in this work.
- On 10 March 2015, the first Balloon Accident Data Coding Analysis Group (BADCAG) meeting was held in Cologne. The group reviewed 13 fatal accidents, occurred in Europe the last 5 years, with the intention to improve the current taxonomy and to identify the main safety risks in Ballooning. The results of this work will be presented in a dedicated report soon.
- On 17 March 2015, the balloon experts met with representatives from the Agency and the Part M General Aviation Task Force to discuss maintenance related topics. They received an update on the work undertaken to produce a ‘Part M Light’ specific for general aviation. This event also provided an opportunity to have an in-depth dialogue on balloon maintenance specific issues.
- On 24-25 March 2015, the Agency held its first meeting with the balloon experts group to present the plan for the production of a ‘Air Operations Balloon Regulation’ (OPS balloon regulation). Whilst transposing the existing balloon specific requirements from the Air Operations rules into the new OPS balloon regulation, the Agency will review and introduce simplifications with the engagement and the contributions from the sector.
- n the field of licensing/training/medical, the Agency will organise a thematic workshop before summer to engage in a dialogue and agree on measures for possible further improvements in the aircrew regulation.
- In the rules of the air (SERA) implementation, the Agency clarified a few issues raised by the recently created European Balloon Federation that will be involved in future discussions on this rule.
Participants from the balloon sector welcomed and were encouraged by the recent progress in implementing reform measures specific to balloon operations. They also called on the Agency to maintain the momentum, continue the technical work and step up outreach efforts towards the sector.
17 March 2015 - Many proposals for simplifications from the GA community are incorporated in the second amendment of the aircrew regulation: Taking into account the concerns expressed by the GA associations and the balloon community, the Agency proposed amendments to the aircrew regulation to introduce a more proportionate regulatory framework for the licensing and training of the private pilots in Europe and not only. The fact that in such short time it was possible to discuss and agree on the new simplified requirements shows the real determination of the European Commission, the Agency and the Member States to play their role and deliver the major changes required for the GA sector to face the future. The Commission proposal received positive support from Member States in October 2014. Amongst the measures agreed, is the deferral of the derogation period of Approved Training Organisations to April 2018 to allow for the development of a complementary solution for pilot training outside ATOs, short-term temporary validation of third country private pilot licenses undertaking competition and display flights, the ability for an examiner to conduct part of a student pilot training and then still be permitted to examine them, increase of the age limit to 70 years to fly balloon or sailplane engaged in commercial air transport and many other issues stemming from the GA community common list. The amended regulation 445/2015 has been published in the Official Journal and will enter into force in 8 April 2015. For more details, please contact the Agency or follow the link http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/AUTO/?uri=OJ:JOL_2015_074_R_0001&qid=1426802124938&rid=8
24 February 2015: In the context of simpler certification, Stefan Ronig the Section Manager of the LSA, VLA and sailplanes section and two project certification managers of the General Aviation Department of EASA provided a training course for LSA manufacturers focused on certification.The course or workshop was held in Prague and was organised with the support of EASA, the association of light aircraft manufacturers LAMA Europe and the Technology Center of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic ASCR. 22 design engineers from different aircraft manufacturers in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Slovakia attended the workshop.