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STOP PRESS: RECREATIONAL GA FLYING ADVICE UPDATED. SEE HERE.
Since our last scheduled newsletter of March 2020 it seems that the World has been turned on its head and come to a standstill.
That hasn't been the case for the AOPA team though, as we have been kept busy supporting GA as far as we can and answering your questions and concerns, as Government support packages, Regulatory exemptions and restrictions have been introduced and revised.
There has been so much information that we have been updating you more frequently as and when relevant.
Hopefully everyone is now aware of what individual and business financial support is available and you have now been in receipt of support.
AOPA have been successful in persuading the Department for Transport (DfT) that aircraft owners were becoming increasingly concerned about maintaining and protecting their aircraft and clearer guidance was required from the CAA. This was published on 17 April 2020 and now seems to be being used sensibly for the most part. I would thank all airfields that have supported their customers in this respect.
At the end of March I emailed the DfT asking how GA could help in the fight against COVID-19. I finally got a reply on 30 April from the Minister for Aviation, Maritime and Security. The key part of the reply is:
"We know that many businesses are keen to offer their support to the Government’s response to Covid-19. Businesses in this position should provide details of any assistance they are able to offer to Cabinet Office for their consideration using the form at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business.
I am very grateful to businesses for their kind offers of support in these difficult times."
There have been examples of Pilot's ferrying key workers and PPE around the country, from those who volunteered to help the NHS. So opportunities exist.
My thoughts are now turning towards the recovery of GA when restrictions can be lifted. To this end I have started a small focus group with some of our Corporate Members to develop a recovery plan that can be put to the DfT and CAA and influence their thinking. I have had to keep the group numbers low so that we can effectively "meet" on video-chat platforms. Inevitably any return to business will be phased and, while the DfT see Private flying as "recreational" and not essential, it is likely to be the commercial activities that restart first. Any views you have are welcome so please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
AOPA have been leading the way in putting forward and discussing proposals to start a return to flying. Yesterday, 14 May 2020, I took part in a video conference with the DfT and CAA, resulting in the revised advice. See STOP PRESS!
Keep well, keep safe and protect others,
CEO AOPA UK
We have placed COVID-19 information under a single COVID-19 Information Menu on the AOPA UK website
Currently this includes:
CAA Extension of validity EASA licences
CAA Extension of Validity Periods for National Licences
Remote Briefing for Pilots
GA flights for maintenance checks
Guidance Notes to CAA GA Flights for Maintenance
Teledyne Continental Motors - Engine Preservation during COVID-19
Guide for Disinfection of General Aviation Aircraft
Licence Extensions decoding Tool
Issuing Permits for EASA Enduring Permit aircraft
CAA CAP 1913: Exemption Guidance COVID-19
CAA COVID-19 - Flying Season 2020 DA's
COVID-19 CAA ORS4 1386 Delay to Implementation of the 6 Month Validity Rule Applied to Skills Test or Assessment of Competence
Please do check to see if any of these answer your questions before using Ask AOPA.
The CAA have published CAP 1919 "Safety advice and tips for pilots returning to GA flying post COVID-19."
This should not be taken as a green light to go flying. The DfT have re-iterated that current guidance remains as below. AOPA are fully aware of the frustrations of some, especially when other "recreational" activities have restarted,albeit with restrictions.
Other COVID-19 Updates In Brief
The CAA have published ORS4 1386 which delays the implementation of the rule requiring an application for a licence to be made within 6 months of a Skills Test or Assessment of Competence.
ORS4 1386 applies to anyone who hassuccessfully completed the required skills test or assessment of competence prior to 13 May 2020 and allows an application to be made up to and including 1 December 2020.
FI & CRI Refresher Courses
The revalidation and renewal regulations for CR(I)'s have changed and now allow alternate CRI revalidation by attendance at an approved Instructor Refresher Training Course. Full details on the revalidation requirements can be found inFCL.935.
Attendance at an AOPA Instructors Refresher Course meets the revalidation requirements of FCL 935. Subject to any continuing restrictions due to Coronavirus, the next AOPA Refresher Course is scheduled for 24/25 November 2020.