General Aviation

Published on January 26th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer

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New EASA Flight Training Rules Public Consultation

EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, has published a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) that is available for public comment until 31st March 2021. According to the Agency, it will bring simpler, lighter and better Part-FCL requirements for general aviation. Pilots are invited to read the document and submit their comments using the automated Comment-Response Tool (CRT) available at http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/

This NPA addresses several topics and issues, such as:

  • new flight crew licensing requirements for small single-pilot single-engine aeroplanes with electric propulsion;
  • the possibility for student pilots to change from LAPL training to PPL training during the training course with credits;
  • the optional integration of the night rating training in aeroplanes into the PPL(A) training course;
  • the revision of the mountain rating revalidation requirements;
  • clarifications in the training syllabi for the LAPL(A) and the PPL(A) related to spin avoidance training;
  • the revision of the requirements for revalidation training flights for the LAPL(A) and for single-pilot single engine class ratings;
  • the revision of the revalidation requirements for helicopter type ratings;
  • the deletion of text from the AMC and GM to Part-FCL related to flight crew licensing for balloons and sailplanes;
  • text clarifications, improvements, and corrections.

Regarding aircraft propulsion systems, Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 currently addresses conventional propulsion systems, thus hindering or excluding the use of electric propulsion. However, there is a certain number of new small aircraft with electric propulsion like the Pipistrel Velis Electro.

Pipistrel Velis Electro

Currently Annex I (Part-FCL) does not address aeroplanes with electric engines, instead flexibility provisions of the Basic Regulation are applied by several Member States (e.g. Slovenia, Italy, France, Switzerland) in order to allow the operation and maintenance of, as well as the flight crew licensing, for these new electric-propulsion aeroplanes. These exemptions are also triggered by the strong prospects as well as the demand (from industry and national governments) to have hybrid propulsion and eventually fully electric aircraft included in the regulatory framework of Annex I (Part-FCL).

The current EASA Rule Making Task (RMT) and the related Impact Assessment analyse the need to address the issue of adapting the existing flight crew licencing rules to new technologies, mainly from the perspective of small GA aircraft:

  • The abbreviation for ‘single-engine piston (SEP) aeroplane’ is redefined to include single-engine aeroplanes (class ratings) with different types of engines.
  • The training, testing and checking requirements for SEP aeroplane class ratings needs to be amended to consider the use of such aeroplanes with different types of power plants by competent pilots/instructors/examiners.

The need to act on this issue has another important driver, namely the EASA Roadmap for General Aviation Issue 2, which highlighted the high priority GA has within the scope of the EASA activities in the coming years.

In the EPAS for 2020–2024, the integration of new technologies and concepts is a strategic priority, while citing electric and hybrid propulsion for aircraft as examples of such new emerging technologies.

There is a considerable market potential with subsequent positive effects on societal and employment aspects. The environmental benefits for Europe are also potentially significant in terms of reduction of both engine exhaust gas and noise emissions.

EASA says the four following stakeholders are affected by the amendments proposed with this NPA;

  • EASA and the competent authorities of those Member States where new electric aircraft will be operated;
  • training organisations: declared training organisations (DTOs) and approved training organisations (ATOs) — approximately 1,115 training organisations in the EASA MSs;
  • non-commercial operators in the EASA MSs;
  • pilots that hold privileges to fly single-engine piston aeroplanes (in the EASA MSs, approximately 80,000 are non-professional pilots).

If you want to have your say, please submit your comments using the automated Comment Response Tool (CRT) available at http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/ . The deadline for the submission of comments is 31st March 2021. The full NPA is available to read HERE.

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About the Author

Mark Dwyer

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.



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