The European Aviation Safety Agency today published a proposal to the European Commission containing rules on qualifications for flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). With this so-called Opinion, the Agency puts forward new and more accessible instrument ratings focussed on General Aviation pilots. The proposed changes are expected to increase safety with regard to the accident category of controlled flights into terrain (CFIT) by establishing a better accessible IR. This will enable more European GA pilots to commence this type of training.
The Opinion covers requirements for a competency-based instrument rating (CB IR) and an en-route instrument rating (EIR) for private (PPL(A)) and commercial pilot (CPL(A)) licence holders.
The proposed new ratings will amend the training and checking requirements in the European Commission Regulation (Part-FCL). More specifically, the proposed CB IR course will contain a significantly reduced theoretical knowledge (TK) syllabus appropriately reflected by a different level of TK examinations, and a reduced amount of instrument flight instruction time when compared with the existing IR courses. Meanwhile, the EIR will allow holders of aeroplane licenses to gain familiarity with instrument flight rules procedures and cope with unforeseen deteriorating weather conditions in the en route phase of flight. Crediting provisions have also been included to support holders of a third-country instrument rating or a national instrument rating in obtaining a European instrument rating.
This Opinion also introduces a cloud flying rating for sailplane pilots. The privilege of this rating will allow a sailplane pilot to enter clouds whilst taking into account the airspace structure, the required minima in different airspace categories, and the relevant air traffic control (ATC) procedures.
These final requirements are based on extensive consultation of experts from national authorities, flight crew organisations, training schools, and the general aviation community. The Agency’s proposal was initially open for public consultation in 2011 and over 1500 comments were received. This feedback was taken into account and integrated in this Opinion.
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