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Coronavirus Restrictions
Following the Governments announcements and guidelines on Monday AOPA has decided to restrict access  the London office at 50a Cambridge Street for essential business only : therefore for the time being it will not  be open to visitors.

AOPA members of staff all have the facilities to work from home. However, with membership renewals season about to start they will have to make infrequent visits to the office to use the fixed hardware there so I hope you understand the reasons for closing the office to visitors. In order to further protect them they won’t be using public transport to get there.You can help us by turning your membership renewal around as quickly as possible. 

This also means the telephone line won’t be manned as usual and will divert to personal mobiles.

I’ve also thought about the advice to avoid all unnecessary travel. I’m sure the Government wasn’t thinking of private flight when that advice was drawn up so I will leave that to your own individual consciences and personal risk management. At this time the DfT have advised us that there are no plans to ban VFR flights. There may be some pressures on controlled airspace further down the line (e.g. if air traffic controllers are unable to go into work), but the current message from NATS and others is that demand is reducing faster than the ability to service that demand. (Obviously this pressure would not impact on uncontrolled airspace.)

I am aware of many Flying Clubs, Airfields and Flight Training Organisations have been taking steps to minimise social contact with the closure of social facilities such as cafes and payment of landing fees by telephone. I’m also informed that sensible disinfectant precautions are being taken for those flights that are going ahead. Remember your ‘Fit to Fly’ training and keep both yourself and any passengers safe.

Finally, AOPA will continue its work with the DfT, CAA and EASA to protect your right to fly, but within the constraints of the current situation.

We’ll be keeping the situation under review and will get back to you with any changes.  AOPA intends to maintain the highest levels of service as is reasonably practical however please keep in mind we may not get back to you as quickly as we would like. Rest assured we shall do all we can to meet your needs. 

You can still contact AOPA on and from the website, however,  please bear with us if the response isn’t as prompt as usual: we will get back to you. If you have an urgent matter you can use or myself,, my mobile number is also below.

Pauline Vahey
07977 458842
Free Website Adverts for AOPA Members Businesses
For the duration of the the current emergency AOPA are offering their Corporate and Individual Members with a business a free banner advert on the AOPA UK website.

We will promote any adverts, listed on a separate page, from the Home Page. We have set up a simple online application form

Martin Robinson
AOPA Sponsorship Scheme 2020
Despite the ongoing pandemic situation, I am pleased to introduce our sponsorship scheme for worthwhile GA Events or Activities in the UK to be held between now and 31 March 2021.

It is our intention that sponsorship is member driven, so requests for sponsorship, which can only be made online, should:
  1. Come from an AOPA UK member (individual or Corporate) who will be involved with the event/activity; or.
  2. Come from a credible non-AOPA UK member but is endorsed by an AOPA UK member, or members, who will be involved with the event/activity.
  Applications will be assessed against these criteria :
  • The event/activity will provide AOPA with an opportunity to promote itself.
  • The event/activity will promote GA and its opportunities for career and/or recreation to a new audience, especially younger generations, females, ethnic minorities, disabled and/or disadvantaged persons.
  • The event/activity will be educational, hands on and promote STEM learning opportunities offered by Aviation.
  • The event/activity will provide an opportunity for AOPA members to be involved.
Applications for sponsorship will be  reviewed by the AOPA Members Working Group, who will report their conclusions to Pauline Vahey, AOPA Chairman, and Martin Robinson, CEO AOPA, for  a final decision.

The maximum sponsorship for any single even or activity will be £1,000 unless there are exceptional reasons to exceed this.

The Online form to apply for Sponsorship can be found

Pauline Vahey

AOPA UK Chairman
There are two important changes affecting UK National Pilot Licnence Holders and LAPL Licence Holders with a Pilot Medcial Self-Declaration (PMD):
1) UK National pilot licence holders are reminded that they will no be able to operate an aeroplane with an EASA certificate of airworthiness (CoA) from 8 April 2020 due to a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) derogation expiring on 7 April and not being renewed. To operate an EASA CoA Aircraft you will be required to hold a Part-FCL (EASA) Licence.

The change does not affect balloons or sailplanes including powered sailplanes.

This change arises as a result of the derogation contained in
Article 2a of Regulation (EU) 1178/2011 (the EASA Aircrew Regulation) ending on 7 April 2020.

2) The current exemption that allows General Aviation (GA) pilots to self-declare their medical fitness expires on Wednesday 8 April 2020. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is therefore advising affected pilots to act now to be able to continue flying legally after that date.

Currently pilots with a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence (LAPL) or Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) can self-declare their medical fitness to fly aircraft certificated by EASA, rather than having to gain a LAPL Medical Certificate, a Class 2 medical with an Aero-Medical Examiner (AME) or a LAPL medical certificate with their NHS General Practitioner (subject to certain criteria).

The exemption that allows this in the UK expires on Wednesday 8 April 2020. This can only be renewed if EASA extends its own derogation that permits National pilot licence holders to operate EASA certified aircraft. The UK decided that as a National pilot licence holder could operate an EASA certified aircraft on a pilot medical self-declaration a UK issued EASA pilot licence holder should be able to do the same.

EASA has not yet published a decision on extending its derogation. The CAA is therefore advising pilots who are likely to be affected to consider booking and completing a LAPL or Class 2 medical to enable them to continue flying legally. Information about obtaining a GP-issued LAPL can be found here.

The UK cannot legally issue a further exemption at this time but, given the very short notice at which an EASA decision is expected, the CAA is working with the Department for Transport (DfT) to try to find an alternative approach. The CAA will immediately publish any update from EASA or the DfT.

Pilots flying non-EASA certificated aircraft with a medical self-declaration in the UK are not affected.

Other Regulatory Changes In Brief
1) On 4th March 2020, another Aircrew Regulation came into effect. This was mainly necessary because all Sailplane and Balloon regulations have been moved to their own respective documents.  However, there are other points of note:

1.1) FCL.015 has a new point (f): ‘For the issue of a licence, rating or certificate the applicant shall apply not later than 6 months after having succeeded at the skill test or assessment of competence’.  This means that the youngest age at which a LAPL or PPL Skill Test should be attempted is 16½ , assuming that application is subsequently made on the applicants 17th birthday.  All exams must remain valid at the date of application.

1.2) FCL.620 has a new point (c): ‘Applicants who have completed a skill test for a multi-engine IR in a single-pilot multi-engine aeroplane for which a class rating is required shall also be issued with a single-engine IR for the single-engine aeroplane class or type ratings that they hold.’

1.3) Appendix 9 point B 5(l) now states:  ‘To establish or maintain PBN privileges, one approach shall be an RNP APCH. Where an RNP APCH is not practicable, it shall be performed in an appropriately equipped FSTD.

By way of derogation from the subparagraph above, in cases where a proficiency check for revalidation of PBN privileges does not include an RNP APCH exercise, the PBN privileges of the pilot shall not include RNP APCH. The restriction shall be lifted if the pilot has completed a proficiency check including an RNP APCH exercise.

2) The Implementing Rules for the Basic Instrument Rating (BIR), FCL-835, have been published;  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/359 of 4 March 2020 amending Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011

The date of effect of the BIR is delayed until 1 Sep 2021. 

Regrettably neither the BIR instructor nor examiner requirements are those which was agreed during development of the BIR.  Also training will not yet be permitted at DTOs.  Both of these points will mean that the BIR will be far less attainable than was our original requirement.  This is further complicated by the effect any decision of the UK to leave EASA might have.  We will be proposing conversion criteria towards the BIR for IR(R) holders as none have yet been included - for the simple reason that EASA does not have any similar qualification included in the Aircrew Regulation.

When more is known, we will of course keep you informed - but please do NOT bother asking any questions just yet as neither AOPA, the CAA nor the DfT know anything more!

In March 2020, changes to EASA regulations will separate the existing continuing airworthiness requirements for 'Light Aircraft' from the requirements applicable for licensed air carriers and other complex motor-powered aircraft.

The CAA will be developing their webpages over the coming months to help organisations and personnel involved in Light Aircraft to transition to the new requirements. Other regulatory changes (e.g. Part-CAMO, Part-T) are dealt with in other areas of the CAA website.

The regulation will become applicable from 24 March 2020. These webpages will be updated as further guidance becomes available.

The CAA guidance on EASA Part-ML has been updated to include new guidance, links and additional information.

Farnborough - Denial of Service?
Have you been denied a service by Farnborough or not been given a clearance into their controlled airspace?

Many assurances were given to the GA and Gliding communities by Farnborough during the consultation in respect of service levels and access to controlled airspace. We hope that these assurances will be honoured, but if not we will need reliable data to be able to take issue with Farnborough, or raise concerns with the CAA or DfT. 

AOPA would like to collect information about any denial of service, refusal to give clearance or unacceptable clearances through their Class D Controlled Airspace. We have set up an online report form for this purpose.

You should separately report any denial of service using Form FCS 1521, as our more comprehensive reporting form is not an official report and does not replace the FCS 1521.
New AOPA Member Offer

IAOPA EU has negotiated a deal with TopMeteo, which provides weather resources for pilots. TopMeteo offers the following benefits to AOPA members:
  • 4 weeks free of charge use of European Super Package!
  • 50% discount on any subscription for the first year
  • 30 % discount for the Europe Super Package for following years, and 25% for all other Packages for the following year.
TopMeteo offers visual weather data for most of Europe. Special aggregated charts show e.g. the VFR conditions per day at a glance.

TopMeteo covers all stages of meteorological flight planning:
  • Forecasts up to 6 days in advance (potential VFR hours, Significant Weather, Clouds, Winds at levels, Gusts, Rain etc.) for planning and timing purposes - as charts and site forecasts
  • Actual weather information shortly before take off: Satellite Imagery, Lightning Radar. The Cloud Tops & Ceiling uses actual measurements from weather stations to be updated on a minute base
  • METARs and  TAFs can be selected along your routing. METARs are coloured for critical values and available for a short history to derive trends
  • Inflight weather through the App TopMetSat (iOS & Android) which cares for the poor network connection automatically
For more information about TopMeteo services and FREE trial for AOPA members click here.

To obtain your AOPA discount, during checkout enter your AOPA member number and your name as it appears on your AOPA membership card.

Jeppesen Discount Offer

Don't forget AOPA members can get a 15% discount on most Jeppesen products, including Navigation Database updates. For full details of the offer see

PLEASE NOTE: Unless you have given consent for your Email and other necessary data to be shared with trusted 3rd Parties you will not be able to access these discounts. If you haven't given consent but now wish to access this, and other offers, please email giving your AOPA UK Member Number. (AOPA UK Members Only) For this offer we will only place your Member Number, Email and Name on the IAOPA Europe database set up for this purpose.

Should you have any problems getting your member details to validate please email giving full details.

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 in FCL.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 Courses are:

  • 7/8 July 2020
  • 24/25 November 2020
For more information see here.
Refresher Course in a Northern UK Location?
Currently all our Instructor Refresher Courses are held in London. In the past we have considered holding at least one course in the North of the UK, but demand was not sufficient enough to be viable.

We would like to test whether demand has changed and whether we might hold a course at a Northern location, e.g. Carlisle, Glasgow, Edinburgh.

If you are an FI or CRI, please click on the blue Yes if you would be likely to attend an AOPA Instructor Refresher Course in the North or the UK? 
AOPA Members Working Group
The next Members Working Group (MWG) will be held on Saturday 28 March 2020 at White Waltham Airfield.

All members are welcome, along with non-member guests.

The MWG is your chance to meet members of the AOPA Board, hear about the current work being done on your behalf, join in the discussion and make your views known.

Meetings start at 10:30, with arrivals from 10:00, when refreshments will be available. There will a finger buffet at lunch. Meetings end at around 15:00.

If you plan to attend, please email David Chambers (
) by Wednesday 25 March 2020.
Copyright © 2020 AOPA UK, All rights reserved.

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