IAOPA eNews - June 2003

AOPA-Malaysia Reactivated
After a four-year hiatus, AOPA-Malaysia has been reactivated. A core of 15 members led by Surendra Singam has rejuvenated the organization with the goals of promoting general aviation and working with government officials to provide a framework in which private aviation can flourish. Assisting Mr. Singam as officers of the organization are Captain Aida and Gavin Lim. They plan a major recruiting effort at the Langkawi International Maritime and Airshow (LIMA '03), which will be held in September and October in Malaysia. This is the biggest air and maritime show in Southeast Asia.

European Aviation Security Issues Addressed
Reports from IAOPA European Representative Sylvain DeWeerdt indicate that European authorities are becoming more active in seeking security measures for general aviation and aerial work in that region. These activities are taking form as:
a.. Articles in the popular press about the possibility of small aircraft being used for suicide or bombing missions. 
b.. Public fears driven by incidents involving small aircraft in Milan and Frankfurt. 
c.. Increasing calls for expensive and time-consuming security background evaluations of student pilots. 
d.. A proposal to make propeller locks mandatory for all unguarded light aircraft. 
e.. Codes issued to individual pilots for use in flight plans.

IAOPA Secretary John Sheehan responded to these concerns by advising, "IAOPA Representative to ICAO Frank Hofmann is working with the ICAO Aviation Security Panel to develop worldwide security measures for GA/AW that are both effective and reasonable. However, this is a lengthy process that may take years to devise and implement. In the interim, public education and close contact with national security agencies and legislators/parliamentarians by both AOPA staff and individual pilots appear to be the best means of bringing reason to the situation.

"This may be accomplished by:
a.. Publicizing the facts. Use the attached IAOPA World Assembly resolution regarding general aviation and aerial work security for background material -- available for download at www.iaopa.org/info/assembly21/res21_5. 
b.. Working with government security agencies. Help them identify the low level threat of general aviation. 
c.. Establishing contact with local government officials and national parliamentarians. Educate them regarding GA operations and the low threat involved. 
d.. Advocating common sense self-protection measures. The AOPA-US Airport Watch program is a good example. See www.aopa.org/asn/watchindex.shtml.
"Overzealous and misdirected security officials and uneducated members of the media and public may attempt to impose unreasonable restrictions on GA/AW. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure that that does not happen."

ICAO Flight Crew Licensing Training Panel Meets

The ICAO Flight Crew Licensing Training Panel (FCLTP) working groups met for two weeks in May 2003 to discuss possible changes to ICAO Annex 1, Personnel Licensing. This meeting represents the first major revision to the Annex in 20 years and is primarily concerned with multi-pilot professional flight crew training and qualification, all aspects of the Annex are subject to consideration. 

Frank Hofmann, IAOPA Representative to ICAO, who is participating in a number of the working groups reports, that very basic issues of pilot currency and recency requirements, whether ultralight pilots should be licensed and basic competency requirements for all license levels are being actively discussed. His presence at these meetings has prompted comments from some participants that IAOPA's presence has brought a practical perspective and real world insight to the deliberations. The work of the panel will reach into 2004 but changes to Annex 1 may not appear until 2005.

AOPA-Malta Holds Annual General Meeting

After a period of inactivity, AOPA-Malta has been revived pledging more vibrant activity at their recent AGM. Newly elected officers include:

President --------------- Elizabeth Micallef
Vice President -----Guy Gerada
Secretary -------------- Patrick Fenech
Treasurer ------------- Ivan X. Gatt
Technical Officer ----James Dunford

Ms. Micallef assumes this position after serving for some time as the organization's secretary. 

VFR Route Opened To Russia

Flying to Alaska can now be the start of an even bigger adventure. The FAA has issued a NOTAM opening a VFR route from Alaska to Russia. Route B-369 takes the venturesome general aviation pilot from Nome to Provideniya, a 275-nm trip that includes 39 miles over open water. Alaska Region FAA staff has been working on the route for three years and hope it eventually leads to a safe VFR route to Japan. 

Pilots with passports can expect to wait at least 30 days before finally getting the nod to take off. First, you need an invitation to apply for a visa. Then you need to actually apply for the visa and, 14 days in advance, you must get permission from Moscow to make the flight. On the day of the flight, an ICAO flight plan must be filed. Additionally, Russia imposes an air traffic fee of $49 per 100 kilometers -- about $200 for this flight. The VFR corridor is 10 km wide and approved altitudes are 5,000 to 10,000 feet. 

Plan to attend the IAOPA World Assembly in Toulouse, France 19-23 April 2004
421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701, USA 
Telephone: 301.695.2220 :: Fax: 301.695.2375