The role of AOPA is to work with Government institutions and regulatory authorities to make sure that when changes to the current environment are being proposed that GA can afford those changes. Often safety is the driving force behind many proposals but change at any cost is not affordable for GA.
After many years of seeking better regulation it is pleasing to see that European and national authorities are moving towards proportionate risk based regulations and oversight. EUROCAE, as a standards body, will play an important role in delivering risk-based proportionate standards for the future GA avionics. There are two major Global ATM modernisation programmes – SESAR and NextGen. Both of these projects are about modernisation and as aviation is a global activity so GA needs global solutions.
Safety is always a priority, but equally GA needs better airspace access, greater (low cost) access to regional airports and we need to reduce our environmental impact through improved efficiency (better routings) – through the airspace. Many ANSPs do not understand the performance activities of many of the business jet operators. General Aviation encompasses a wide variety of activities from sporting and recreational flyers to turbo prop and turbine jet aircraft. The latter are mostly flying IFR, whereas the former are VFR flights. In theory, everyone should have equal rights to access the airspace, but this access depends upon being able to comply with the airspace classification.
When you add in military and commercial air transport flights, managing the airspace is a demanding job. I think UK NATS is world leader in the provision of ATC, particularly when you consider the UK is about half the size of France with similar aircraft numbers. The future must be about sharing the airspace and we need technology to help. TCAS and RVSM is a good example of how technology has increased the number of flights in Europe’s airspace at the high levels - now we need solutions for all airspace users throughout all of the airspace.
EUROCAE can assist through its working groups but it may also need to examine existing standards and check if they are proportionate for the class of users. It may be time for EUROCAE to do some strategic thinking and publish what it thinks the future European airspace should look like over the next ten years – all airspace not just the Network.
Interoperability is the key for improved airspace use. Sharespace - I think I have heard that phrase before!
Note: The above has been taken from the EUROCAE Broadcast Edition 6 / 2017 P12. EUROCAE - The European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment. View the whole document here.