We are pleased to announce some potentially very good news that follows sustained and prolonged effort by the BGA and our colleagues in other airsports to reduce the regulatory impact on our activities.
Following EASA’s announcement in April 2014 that they wanted to take a ‘New Approach to General Aviation’ and deliver ‘Simpler, Lighter, Better Rules for General Aviation’ there has been significant work going on at EASA and the European Commission to deliver on this commitment. Following a workshop held in Cologne in May, the EASA Committee, including the UK delegation, met on Wednesday 9th July 2014, to consider a proposal to amend Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011(Aircrew) and Commission Regulation No 965/2012 (Air Operations). The proposal, which will be further amended and presented for a vote in October 2014, has a number of aspects to it affecting gliding.
Please note that these proposed changes will be not be binding unless there is a positive vote in October and will be subject to any implementation dates applied.
Key elements of the proposal that will be voted on in October 2014 are:
- A deferment to allow pilot training without ATO approval from 8th April 2015 to 8th April 2018 to permit time to do detailed work on alternative options for private pilot training outside of ATOs. The discussions on the alternative options have not yet started so we do not know what private training outside of ATOs may look like and what restrictions and conditions, if any, may be applied. Balloon and gliding organisations would be permitted to operate under current national arrangements as they are now until April 2018.
- Deferring the requirement to hold a LAPL(S) or SPL and associated ratings until 8th April 2018. (Currently, those who fly EASA gliders need to have converted to a Part-FCL licence and associated medical certificate before 8th April 2015).We must stress that these proposals will only happen when and if they receive a positive vote in October. There is no reason at the moment to believe that a positive vote will not be forthcoming. As you would expect, the BGA will continue to stay closely engaged with the issues, working with our air sport partner organisations. We will keep you advised of any significant developments. Once the outcome of the October vote has been formally announced, we will advise clubs and pilots in detail, including updated advice about pilot licence conversion.In the meantime, we should all continue to operate under current agreed and published arrangements.
Pete Stratten BGA CEO
16 July 2014