As the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) launches two new consultations on detailed rules on aviation safety and standards, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is encouraging the UKs aviation community to take part in the process and make its voice heard at a European level.
The two new consultations are on Operational Suitability Certificates (closing 30/04/09); and Air Operations and related Authority and Organisation Requirements (closing 30/05/09). The consultations are part of the process of developing the EUs aviation Implementing Rules, and follow the addition of aircraft operations and personnel licensing to EASAs remit. Additionally, EASAs proposed extension to aerodromes and Air Traffic Management is currently going through the political process for approval, and the General portions of the Organisation Requirements will also be applicable to aerodromes and ATM providers. This is the latest development in the process of EASA taking over the responsibility for rulemaking from the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) with the UK CAA maintaining responsibility for approving and overseeing UK civil aviation. There are also several ongoing consultations on other proposed implementing rules, including one on Pilot Licensing. This Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) consultation closes on February 28th,giving interested parties only one more month to make detailed submissions to EASA. As well as the current consultations on flight crew licensing and operations, a new EASA working group, FCL.008, has started looking at the possibility of developing an instrument qualification more accessible and appropriate to private pilots than the full instrument rating. This follows the decision by EASA not to include the UK Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) rating or equivalent in the initial proposals for pilot licences but to investigate a number of options as a separate rulemaking task. The group includes regulators and industry specialists from countries throughout Europe, and aims to develop a proposal by late 2009. While many of the proposed rules are based on the existing JAA requirements, there are some significant changes proposed to both flight crew licensing and operations. The pilot licensing NPA includes a proposal for a new Leisure Pilots Licence, which would be a first for Europe and would replace the existing UK National Private Pilots Licence (NPPL). The NPA consultation documents are available on EASA's website at http://easa.europa.eu/ws_prod/r/r_npa.php where there is a link against each NPA to the Comment Response Tool (CRT) established by EASA to log comments. These can be entered directly into the CRT after a one-time registration. The CAA will be contributing to each of the consultations but, to ensure that the views of the UKs aviation community are recognised, stakeholders are also encouraged to comment directly to EASA Commenting on EASAs new NPAs, Captain David Chapman, CAA Group Director Safety Regulation, said: The regulations currently being developed by EASA will provide the basis for much of Europes aviation safety regulation for many years to come. It is therefore vital that they are fit for purpose. Like many national authorities the CAA will be submitting its thoughts on the proposals, but the UK industry would miss a golden opportunity if it fails to make its own contribution.. The more views that are received, the more chance that EASA will act on them, and there may be views held by UK industry that are different to those of the CAA. The CAA and EASA will continue to work together to publicise the proposals. An EASA briefing on pilot licence changes was held at the CAAs Gatwick offices on 17 November and a further two-day briefing from EASA on operational issues was held in January 2009, again in Gatwick.