IAOPA-Europe e-newsletter, June 2006

Welcome to the monthly e-news of IAOPA-Europe, which goes out to 23,000 AOPA members across the continent of Europe. This e-news is made possible by our lead sponsors ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants, whose Elite 20W-50 is the first aviation oil formulation for piston-engine aircraft to appear on the market in more than a decade. (See below)


Avoid Sardinia

AOPA-Italy reports that the Sardinian Regional Government has unilaterally imposed a ‘luxury tax’ on private aircraft entering the country, and the smallest four-seat aircraft must now pay a minimum of 150 euros on top of landing and handling charges.

Protests against this unreasonable tax have proved fruitless, and as a result AOPA-Italy is urging all pilots in the European general aviation community to avoid Sardinia. AOPA Italy’s Massimo Levy says: “We cannot do anything but condemn this initiative and urge pilots to go elsewhere. Italy has 3,000 miles of beautiful coastline, and there are many places to visit where you will be made welcome, not asked to pay more tax.

"By avoiding Sardinia you will make the authorities understand that they cannot treat us in this way, and that they are hurting their own cause."

The luxury tax also applies to yachts and second homes. It is also worth writing to the regional government to express your displeasure, which you can do through http://www.regione.sardegna.it/contattaci.html


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Madrid Expo abandoned

A helicopter exposition planned for Madrid in October has been cancelled following an accident which has called into question continued operations at Cuatro Vientos Airport.

Like many Spanish general aviation airfields, Cuatro Vientos is under constant threat from local authorities who want to build more profitable houses on it. An accident is often used as an excuse to close an airfield. In this instance the accident happened at nearby Casarrubios, but because both aircraft came from Cuatro Vientos, the authorities have used the incident to attack the airfield.

The helicopter show was to have been staged by the British company Reed Exhibitions, who stage the biennial Helitech exposition at Duxford, near London.

Marlies Campi of AOPA-Spain says that at Cuatro Vientos, new buildings are surrounding the airfield, neighbours are protesting about safety and politicians are spreading misinformation about general aviation. There is talk of moving the airport’s occupants to another airfield, but it’s not clear where. AOPA-Spain is creating an airport support group for Cuatro Vientos.

The situation mirrors that at Sabadell near Barcelona, which was closed for three weeks after a light aircraft hit a crane on a building site. The crane had been erected illegally, but the blame fell on general aviation.


Serving 26 masters

EASA head Patrick Goudou is moving to improve the Agency’s operation by forming a panel of experts to advise its Board of Management. EASA currently answers to a Board of Management comprising 26 individuals, one from each EU country. Mr Goudou wants to back them up with expert advice, and has proposed that a small group of six to eight specialists in aviation safety, finance, legal and institutional matters be formed.

The Board of Management meets infrequently, and its discussions can be convoluted when there are 26 voices to be heard. EASA says stories in the aviation press claiming Mr Goudou wanted to replace the Board of Management with an expert body had not come from them, and were untrue.


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Greek AD rescinded

IAOPA has helped AOPA-Greece have a mandatory overhaul directive on all Lycoming and Continental engines rescinded and wishes to thank IAOPA for its assistance in convincing Greek aviation authorities that the action was unnecessary.

As a result of information provided by IAOPA through AOPA-Greece, the Greek civil aviation authority HCAA has agreed that Lycoming or Continental engines reaching 12 years of age need not have a mandatory overhaul. A specific engine inspection regime has been substituted.

AOPA-Greece President Yiouli Kalafati says: 'We are fully in accord with the decision, which means that Greece now conforms to the inspection regime used by the majority of European countries.

"Once again it is proven that IAOPA's contribution can have a big influence, helping national AOPAs to make the case for general aviation. AOPA-Greece would like to thank all of you."


Mid-air fears

IAOPA-Europe fears the fatal collision between Greek and Turkish military aircraft in disputed airspace may lead to further restrictions on cross-border flights, and on general aviation in the two countries, where it is already regulated almost to vanishing point. The collision, during a regular mock dogfight in disputed airspace, highlights the problems of improving cross-border co-operation in parts of Europe where many historical issues colour the picture. While Greece has expressed an interest in improving the conditions in which GA operates there, IAOPA believes that progress will be hampered because of the latest incident.


Applause for IAOPA

German GA pilots reacted with undisguised appreciation at a conference in Berlin when IAOPA-Europe Deputy Vice President Martin Robinson told them it had been confirmed there would be no en-route navigation charges on aircraft under two tonnes in Europe. The conference, organised by AOPA-Germany to brief pilots on progress in the SESAR air traffic management system, heard that pressure for new charges on GA came not from regulators or governments, but from airlines. Mr Robinson said: “The airlines are pledged to eliminate all cross-subsidies except their own, which amount to billions of euros each year, mostly in fuel tax concessions.”

The conference was staged the day before the Berlin Air Show. In his update, Mr Robinson praised the work of Dr Michael Erb of AOPA-Germany who is managing AOPA’s participation in the SESAR project, together with IAOPA-Europe’s consultant Val Eggers.


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Netherlands contacts

There are a number of changes at AOPA-Netherlands, where IAOPA-Europe treasurer Peggy van Ootmarsum has a new email address – pvootmarsum@tiscali.nl. The Secretariat Office of AOPA Netherlands keeps the email address aopanlsecretary@csi.com. The postal address is Hornweg 24, 1045 AR Amsterdam.


World Assembly

There’s still time to think about attending the 23rd IAOPA World Assembly in Canada, which runs from June 18th to June 22nd. There are plenty of aviation activities going on in conjunction with the Assembly, and any AOPA member is welcome. Check out the details at www.2006worldassembly.com.


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If you have any comments on this newsletter or would like to have information from your country included in it, please email iaopa@richmondaviation.co.uk

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