A Good Time for Business Aviation in Europe: After several years in the making, the new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Basic Regulation came into force last week. The revised legislation gives the EASA coordination of aviation cybersecurity, lays out its stance on drones and general safety rules. (Part of the amended regulation is the consolidation of the entire area of European aviation under the EASA.) However, according to the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), it doesn’t fully acknowledge the varied nature of business aviation models. Currently, business aviation represents 7% of all European air movement making it a key user of airspace.
So, in response, the EBAA has called for a clear definition of fractional ownership regarding commercial and private operations. The group has also expressed concern with the new Basic Regulation’s definition of Commercial Air Transport (CAT) – “an aircraft operation to transport passengers, cargo, or mail for remuneration or other valuable consideration.” And, since the new framework doesn’t include commercial operations, it doesn’t reflect the requirements of the industry.
Earlier this summer, the European Parliament and the European Commission called on all industry stakeholders to work together to build a more innovative air traffic infrastructure for the continent. The move was warmly welcomed by the EBAA who has recently said that it will develop a dedicated working group to coordinate with the EASA and address the specific safety needs of the business aviation industry. With a period of five years, it will be urging the European Commission to provide whatever resources possible to ensure this vital task gets completed as soon as possible; this is surely welcomed by the 700 aircraft operators, ground services and business airports that the EBAA represents.
According to the WingX Business Aviation Monitor, business aviation missions in Europe this July amounted to over 94,000, making it the busiest month ever on record. Let’s hope this increase in movements continues. Undoubtedly, the move to modernize Europe’s safety framework is great, and it gives EASA more options in the ever-changing environments of general aviation and business aviation. We will be keeping an eye on the events as they unfold.
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