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Martins Blog
One of the privileges of my job is I get to meet many members, particularly at events like Aero Expo. I was surprised when a pilot came to the stand and said, “I would join AOPA, but it doesn’t do anything”. Thinking about that comment, I wondered why he thought that? I mean we have the excellent magazine, website, Facebook, Twitter etc. so it cannot be we are lacking on communication! So I am interested to hear from members about where you think we could do more to  promote the Association. The primary role of the Association is to give GA a voice in areas of government that matter, and help in the safe development of piloting GA aircraft. AOPA provides assistance to individual members if and when the need arises and there are always a number of pilots who need our assistance for whatever reason. And AOPA supports in kind and financially other bodies like GASCO, FASVIG and GAAC where we feel its important to have a collective GA voice. AOPA has a team dedicated to serving the membership. The results of consultations and meetings are only as good as the level of advocacy AOPA can provide. Your subscription…
ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation) defines General Aviation as “an aircraft operation other than a commercial air transport operation or an aerial work operation” yet most people think about GA as small, single engine propelled aircraft, when in fact it is much more. When you look at aerial work operations, for example many of them use typical GA airframes. Over the last 25 years, we have seen through the JAA (Joint Aviation Safety Agency) and latterly EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) the volume of regulation increase- But the main focus of these regulations is to protect the non-involved 3rd parties. But all of this in my view, went too far and so it is good to see that EASA, through its GA road map, is seeking to re-balance GA and slow down the spiral decent the industry appears to be. Simpler, better, lighter regulation is the EASA goal, but we also need to bring costs down too! The ‘new’ Basic Regulation when it finally arrives sets out in article 4 the need for regulations to be proportionate to the risks of the activity- and as we know the UK CAA is moving to a performance based oversight (PBO) system…
Should be all encompassing and a UK strategy should make sure that we remain competitive in the fast moving global economy. The aviation sector provides thousands of Jobs (and tax) to the UK – brings in tourism and facilitates business growth and this includes GA. However the real divides are: Safety Expansion of CAT flights Environmental impact in noise System delay/ capacity ATM costs. Emissions charges. Through single European sky legislation, Europe is trying to address many of the issues listed above. For example, the issue of individual states all with their own ATC environment has led to fragmentation, this in turn has led to system delays along with flight inefficiencies, more emissions and so on. The development of functional airspace blocks was intended to deal with issues like efficiency and emissions. Unfortunately, member-states in my opinion paid lip service to FAB’s on one hand, whereas, again in my opinion the commission’s plan was far too ambitious because they really did not consider properly the social impact of trying to rationalise ACC. In looking across the Atlantic at the US ATC system, Europe thought why if it is for comparatively similar size land mass (the wider EU is 4% bigger…
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