Good news and bad news from EASA . |
Their Draft Opinion on NPA-2011-16, ‘Qualifications for flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions’, has been published and takes on board some important suggestions made by IAOPA Europe. In particular, it has acceded to the suggestion that pilots converting from ICAO-compliant instrument ratings such as the FAA IR should not need to sit written theory exams. Instead, they will simply need to demonstrate adequate knowledge to the Examiner during their Skill Test. Nick Wilcock of AOPA UK reports: “Conversion of suitably experienced pilots holding ICAO IRs wishing to convert to the new ‘competency-based’ IR should be much simpler, requiring no written exams. Instead, the IR Skill Test will include an assessment by the Examiner to confirm that the applicant has the relevant theoretical knowledge for the C-B IR.”
Overall, the document remains both prescriptive and bureaucratic. Wilcock adds: “Regrettably, the Agency has failed both to comply with the EASA Management Board’s call for greater rulemaking flexibility and to note the Commission’s flexible response in other areas of aviation legislation. It has also failed to recognise that there is no safety case to justify the exclusion of the provisions of JAR-FCL 1.175(b) in the Aircrew Regulation (which allow national authorities greater flexibility in their own airspace). We will work with all other organisations to demand their inclusion.”
The Draft Opinion also confirms that EASA has no time for specific national requirements such as the UK’s ‘IMC Rating’, which is credited with contributing so much to Britain’s enviable safety rate. Together with other associations, AOPA UK will be continuing its campaign to allow future pilots to gain the lifesaving skills the IMC Rating provides – a campaign which has the full support of the UK CAA.