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Anyone who thought lockdown and working remotely would be a time of relaxation got it totally wrong!
Beyond GA business recovery from COVID-19, we will be turning our attention to life after EASA from 1 January 2021, if there is no change in the intent to leave. The biggest threat will be if there is no mutual recognition of UK training, in particular for commercial licences, UK issued licenses, UK medical standards and issue of medical certificates and aircraft maintenance standards.
Since the May Newsletter I have been involved with the following:
600 kg opt-out for new design aircraft types. The CAA expect to introduce the opt-out into UK legal framework in mid-2021.
Pressing the CAA on a weekly basis to move on RNP approach applications that they have been sitting on for an unacceptable length of time and continually moving the goalposts. I have written to the CAA Head of Airspace, Air Traffic Management and Aerodromes, copied to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chief Executive of the CAA.This has has some effect and the CAA has begun to fast track the process and I am happy with the new direction - sometime things need a little push.
Ab-initio training using kit built permit aircraft. Here I have serious concerns about safety standards and liability.
eGAR. The Home Office is still working on the proposed electronic general aviation report but due to the pandemic they are behind schedule. Many of our members have been seeking advice with respect to border crossings and as is the case at the moment there is a lag in the system from what the PM announces to what the officials are able to provide as up to the minute advice.
Pilot Training. It is clear that the policy, following the comments from the head of the safety regulation group, will be that those flight training organisations wishing to continue to offer EASA licences will be required to obtain Third Country Operator (TCO) status. This is because there will be no agreements with the EU on conversion of UK CAA issued licences to those of another EU member state, even though they will be based on those same EASA requirements.
More than ever we need the support of all Pilots, Aircraft owners and GA businesses, particularly those who want to operate or be recognised outside the UK.
CEO AOPA UK
Chiltern Park Aerodrome Future
As you may be aware, for some time a question mark has been hanging over the future of Chiltern Park Aerodrome
Dennis and Julie Pearson have been working hard in the background to turn things around. Their landlord of over 40 years, (or someone very close to him) has decided that Chiltern Park should close by the end of September 2020. They intend to appeal, which will take 3 to 6 months from the end of September. If the appeal goes against them, they would have a further period of 3 months and 21 days to vacate, so at worst, sometime around July 2021. However, if they win, the Court has the powers to grant a new lease of up to 15 years.
Dennis and Julie will only appeal if there is wide public support for Chiltern Park to continue as an Aerodrome. An appeal may also need a fund raising effort to help with legal costs.
As a backstop, Dennis and Julie are investigating alternative sites, all within a few miles of Chiltern Park aerodrome, but first would like to channel all their efforts into saving the Aerodrome.
Another possibility is to have Chiltern Park Aerodrome declared an Asset of Community Value (ACV), which may help their case.
We will report any updates, including details of how you can help, when we know more about Dennis and Julie's plans.
You can contact Dennis and Julie via their website to let them have your support.
Flying outside the UK?
The information given below is correct at the time of writing, but are subject to change at any time. For this reason, rather than provide a static list of requirements we have provided links to authoritative websites that will be updated for any changes.
If you are planning to venture outside UK Airspace while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place don't forget that you will also need to comply with any additional requirements on return to the UK, bearing in mind that there may be Regional, or even local, differences.
Information can be found here.
Please note that GA pilots who fly to the UK for leisure purposes do not qualify for the quarantine exemption that applies to commercial Pilots and Crew members who have travelled to the UK in the course of their work.
Do not forget to provide you journey and contact details on the passenger locator form up to 48 hours prior to arrival in the UK. Each person on board must complete separate forms which are available online here.
Travel to other Countries
The UK Government Travel Advice can be found here. You can also find the latest information for entering other countries from the website using this link.
Travel to Channel Islands and Isle of Man
The situation may change at short notice, so it is essential that you check for the latest NOTAM. At the time of writing, this is the situation:
Non-scheduled arrivals from outside Jersey must submit a General Declaration prior to departure.
All persons arriving mus register for contact tracing and must either self-isolate for 14 days or present documentary evidence of a negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours of arrival in Jersey or undergo a PCR test as soon as possible after arrival.
To be tested on arrival, you must call the local helpline prior to departure on +44(0)1534 445566 to book your test. The test should be arranged for as soon as possible after arrival. You will be told the location of the test centre when the booking is made. Please be aware that this may involve a car or taxi journey to/from one of the drive through test centres, which you will need to pay for.
All persons are required to self-isolate form the point of arrival until their PCR test is conducted, only leaving their aircraft or residence fro the purpose of being tested. Once the PCR test has been conducted, individuals will be granted permission not to self-isolate.
In the event that any of the PCR test results for any person are positive the person will be notified by telephone from the Contact Tracing Service. They will be given specific guidance and must self-isolate as directed. The earlier permission not to self-isolate will be revoked at this point. Member's of the individual's household will also be directed to self-isolate.
Due to Border Control requirements, non-scheduled flight arrivals may be restricted during the following times (UTC):
With the current closure of the Jersey Aero Club, any visiting pilots to Jersey will have to go to GAMA for handling and pay a £50 fee, plus landing fees. GAMA is imposing a maximum 2 hour stay, but there is the option of re-parking the aircraft at the aero club provided airport security is given 1 hour notice to let pilot and passengers through the Aero club building.
GAMA Aviation can be contacted on +44(0)1534 496496
For the time being, there are no toilet facilities at the aero club and no facility for paying landing fees, hence the need to use GAMA.
Ports of Jersey and the new aero club transition team are actively pursuing options to re-open the club for GA handling.
Both Guernsey and Alderney Airports are strictly PPR to all non-scheduled traffic from outside the Channel Islands.Only Guernsey and Alderney aircraft will be able to complete a full stop landing.
Further, the Medical Officer of Health has imposed a requirement of all persons arriving in the Bailiwick from anywhere in the World to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. This is a legal requirement and failure to comply is a criminal offence. All non-essential travel to Guernsey and Alderney has ceased. See here for the latest information.
Isle of Man:
The airport is closed to all GA movements for aircraft up to 5600 kg MTOW with the exception of Isle of Man based aircraft. From 20 July, Isle of Man Residents will be able to travel outside the Island, subject to conditions. Seeherefor the latest information.
AOPA Members Working Group (MWG)
The next AOPA MWG will be held on 18 July 2020 via a Zoom video conference. The timing will be:
09:30 Meeting opens for general chat and testing connections
10:00 Meeting formally starts
13:00 Meeting closes
There will be major updates including Q&A from:
Martin Robinson, CEO, about AOPA UK’s current activities and direction
Nick Wilcock about regulatory changes including dispensations for CV-19 as well as EASA’s ongoing rule making
John Walker who closely monitors issues involving airfields
The number of attendees is limited, so please register with David Chambers if you would like to participate: email@example.com
Zoom meetings now employ AES 256-bit GCM encryption and only Zoom clients on version 5.0 or later, including Zoom Rooms, will be able to join Zoom Meetings.
AAIB Annual Safety Review for 2019 The UK AAIB have published the Annual Safety Review for 2019 and often contains useful learning points. This can be foundhere.
We have applied to the CAA to hold the November course by remote video as a one-off exemption due to COVID-19 restrictions. If we are given permission to do so, anyone booked on the course will be advised and also be refunded £25 if already paid. If the CAA do not give permission we hope to run the course at another London venue where we can fully comply with social distancing and any other COVID-19 precautions.
Online learning for Pilots and Students
Time on your hands? AOPA have teamed up with EasyPPL to bring you online learning with courses for Students and Pilots.
Break the boredom of lock-down and explore the courses on offer.
Remote Pilot Briefings
If you still need a Remote Pilot Briefing to extend your SEP MEP IR IR(R) IMC TMG LAPL ratings you can use this servicevia the AOPA UK website.