I'm not sure if many people have been following developments in Europe with regard to the implementation of Part-FCL and other legislation coming from Europe over the next couple of years (too many to go into detail!). Only for the work of some very good people our flying would already have been seriously curtailed (VFR flight charges, Mode S transponders etc.).
The latest hot topic is the rentention of the IMC rating in the UK. This may be retained in the UK as the IR(R) but Europe is also talking about an Enroute Instrument Rating (EIR) that could be used accross Europe. A valuable tool for the GA pilot who does a lot of travelling. Almost everybody in the UK would agree that the IMC rating has lead to a huge decrease in accidents and helped vastly improve UK General Aviation Safety. That's why I was very dissappointed to read about comments from the IAA over this issue at a meeting late last year in Europe. The extract below came from the December issue of the AOPA magazine.
Should we really have people like this regulating us? With that kind of attitude they will only be happy when we are all grounded. Comments Anyone?
SES and instrument flying
In his report on progress (or lack of it) towards the Single European Sky, Dr Michael Erb, Managing Director of AOPA Germany, said the authorities wanted to reduce the priority of what working group FCL-008 had been proposing, including the En Route Instrument Rating (EIR) which would supposedly improve access to the IFR system for GA.
Some national aviation authorities considered the EIR to be dangerous, but he had countered by saying that very few people would get one, so it wasn't a problem. "We finally had a meeting with some national CAAs who raised concerns about this project," Dr Erb said. "The strongest language came from Ireland, who said the EIR should be renamed the 'Suicide Rating' and believed it would endanger their IFR system.
"I asked how many private pilots they had - they said about 1,500. How many would want this rating? Perhaps ten percent. And maybe they'd each fly ten hours a year. So in a year, only a tiny number of hours would be flown with an EIR.