Brussels, Belgium, September 20, 2012 – The formal backing of a General Aviation Safety Strategy by the Management Board of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) was warmly welcomed by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and EGAMA, the general aviation membership of the AeroSpace & Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD).
GAMA’s President and CEO Pete Bunce hailed the move by the Management Board, which is comprised of EASA Member States, in recognising the need to re-examine how general aviation (GA) is regulated in Europe. The Strategy acknowledges the need to separate non-commercial GA from the regulation of commercial air transport. It notes the need for more flexible, comprehensible regulations, framed by a proportionate and risk-based approach, which protect ‘grandfather rights’ where appropriate. The Strategy contains a number of specific remedies to be completed within an ambitious timeframe.
“This paper reflects many longstanding concerns of the GA community, and aims at pressing the reset button on how GA is regulated by authorities across Europe” stated Bunce. “It is a very positive sign from EASA’s Management Board, but it is only the start of a process, rather than the solution itself. It is vital that the problems which are identified are addressed swiftly, with the necessary changes implemented as soon as possible.”
Among other things, the Strategy recommends the possible amendment of EASA’s Basic Regulation 216/2008, which contains the legal obligations and limitations of the European aviation safety framework, which are largely based upon previous requirements for transport airline operations. Some of the key problems facing GA stem directly from this document, and have limited EASA’s own ability to find solutions for our industry.
“The GA community will proactively contribute to the next steps in this process”, said Nicolas Chabbert, Chairman of EGAMA. “In parallel, we need to see rapid incorporation of these principles into the rulemaking and implementation processes, so that regulations may be clearly measured against this standard. Furthermore, it is important that both the European Commission and Parliament show they are serious about these changes by stepping forward and endorsing the Strategy.”
The GA Safety Strategy represents an important piece of the puzzle in maintaining the vitality of general aviation. It complements other initiatives, including the current global effort to revise the rules affecting Part/CS-23 aircraft with the aim of making certified light aeroplanes both safer and more affordable. EASA’s active participation in these areas is of the utmost importance, in that it represents an opportunity to rethink how we approach GA, and identifies what is urgently required in order to make flying safe, appealing, and affordable.
This Strategy owes a great deal to the efforts of our sister associations, including LAMA Europe and ECOGAS. In particular the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Association (IAOPA) played an instrumental role in bringing about this document. GA manufacturers will continue to work closely with EASA, national authorities and the EU institutions to ensure that GA remains a valuable part of Europe’s transportation infrastructure and that it continues to unite people and communities and brings prosperity and enjoyment to millions.
ASD, AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, represents the aeronautics, space, and defence industries in Europe. ASD has 30 member associations in 20 European countries, and represents over 2000 companies with a further 80 000 suppliers, many of which are SMEs.