Civil aviation authorities in Africa are planning an Africa-wide regulatory system similar to the European Union’s European Aviation Safety Agency. The new AFRO-CAA was to be launched on June 28 at a meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, and plans call for the AFRO-CAA to publish regulations and focus on regulatory harmonization and oversight of aviation operators in Africa.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) awarded the Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner, its official seal of approval just over six months ago last December 12. The certification process for the A380 began in 1998 with France’s DGAC civil aviation authority and continued when EASA assumed responsibility for airworthiness approvals in 2003.
An International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard requiring demonstrated language proficiency for air traffic controllers and pilots operating internationally is set to take effect on March 5, but the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) has asked ICAO for a delay.
Eclipse Aviation’s announcement of a 180-airplane order yesterday signaled the launch of a very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi operation that will be based in Turkey. The Eclipse 500 order–including 120 firm sales and 60 options–was placed by Eclipse Eastern European distributor Etirc Aviation and is Eclipse’s largest European order to date. The Eclipse order book now stands at just under 2,700 airplanes.
Companies that have long been awaiting European approval for commercial single-engine operations under instrument meteorological conditions (SE-IMC), or at night, clearly face a longer wait. Despite continuing optimism voiced by some operators, it will be almost three more years before such flights can be approved across the region.
March marked the 30th anniversary of the creation of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA). Since 1977, the Brussels-based group has defended the concerns of an industry that is steadily expanding. From modest beginnings, EBAA now represents the interests of more than 300 business aviation companies in Europe and a fleet of more than 600 aircraft.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its annual safety report this week, which highlights concerns around the globe. Although the report focuses on commercial aviation incidents and accidents, business aviation operators can benefit from its content, given that specific regions and countries are analyzed for problem areas.
The days might soon be over for the basing of non-UK-registered general aviation aircraft in the UK. The country’s Department for Transportation (DFT) is considering a plan to prohibit non-commercial foreign-registered aircraft from being permanently based in Britain. A comment period on the plan is expected shortly.
Those who operate N-registered business aircraft in Europe know how well off we are in the U.S. Aside from a multitude of flight information regions under the jurisdiction of different countries, Eurocontrol charges and airport restrictions, there is simply a different attitude toward business aviation in Europe compared with the U.S.
The number of accidents in all segments of civil aviation last year was less than in 2005, according to the NTSB, with general aviation recording the lowest number of accidents in the 40 years of record keeping. Major airlines continued to have the lowest accident rates in civil aviation. The number of air-taxi accidents has been steadily decreasing over the past 10 years, while the hours flown by these air carriers has increased steadily.