At AERO 2017, EASA has presented a number of tangible results of its GA strategy based on minimum necessary rules and a flexible, risk-based approach. The strategy’s key objectives have now mostly been reached, and they mean good news for pilots, training schools, manufacturers and, in general, aircraft users and owners.
Also in the scope of AERO, which celebrated its 25-years anniversary, new and cutting-edge aircraft and other aviation technology such as the Italian-made ultralight aircraft Black Shape received EASA Type Certification, handed over by EASA Certification Director Trevor Woods. Further events included the signing of a Charter, between EASA and 3 flight sharing companies (COAVMI, Flyt.club, Wingly) respectively, to promote the safety of non-commecial GA flights with light aircraft and the EASA Happy Hour which offered a relaxed and non-formal atmosphere for meeting & mingling and getting to know each other.
Alleviations for training schools and better access to IFR for GA pilots
The new Part-DTO (Declared Training Organisations), effective as of 8 April 2018, will grant significant alleviations for the GA training domain and allow the training of private pilot outside of an approved training organisation (ATO). GA pilots will get easier access to Instrument Flying Rules (IFR) with the Basic Instrument Rating (BIR) which allows for a modular and less prescriptive training for GA pilots.
Stand-alone OPS rules for Balloons and Sailplanes and one single set of rules for specialised Operations
The overall goal is to extract the OPS and FCL rules from the specific regulation, and to establish a separate rule book for balloons. The most advanced topic is ‘Air OPS balloons’. Balloonists will thus have their special book of rules and also sailplane operators will follow suite and receive their book.
And on 21 April 2017, the European rules addressing aerial work or so-called specialised operations (Part-SPO) with aeroplanes and helicopters will come into effect in all 32 EASA states. Also Part-SPO is flexible and risk-based, requiring prior approval only for certain high-risk operations.
Part-M Light and CS-STAN – maintenance, repairs and changes made easy
Part-M Light – which is expected to come into effect by early 2018 - simplifies existing maintenance rules, , and offers a less prescriptive and burdensome approach to maintenance programmes, airworthiness reviews, defects deferments and TBO extensions. It also provides more privileges for pilot, owner, independent mechanics and small maintenance organisations.
Likewise, CS-STAN makes changes, repairs and upgrades of and to light aircraft easier, quicker and less costly since there is no approval required as long as an appropriately licensed mechanic is involved. The number of applications for minor changes to the Agency has dropped significantly when CS-STAN was published and the specifications have since been further optimised.
EASA‘s new CS-23 – a great potential for industry!
EASA‘s re-written CS-23 certification rules for small aircraft enable innovative solutions to enhance safety. At the same time, red tape, time and certification costs are reduced. The new rules establish objective and design-independent requirements. New designs will not be hampered by detailed prescriptive rules. Industry took a very positive stand on the new CS-23 at AERO and emphasised its great potential!
Making design and manufacturing easier – simplified entry levels for small low risk aircraft
In spring 2017, new acceptable means of compliance (AMC) for small companies applying for a Production Organisation Approval (POA) are being developed by EASA. These AMC focus on showing that the actual produced aircraft, engine or propeller are in accordance with the approved design. There will be less procedures and organisational checks. The AMC will be accompanied by specific templates facilitating an easier and faster certification process.