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The principle of proportionate regulation • ‘An Agenda for a sustainable future for general and business aviation’ – European parliament text P6 TA(2009)0036 ‘Calls upon the commission to to ensure the application of the proportionality and subsidiarity principles in the design and implementation of both existing and future aviation legislation’
The argument for proportionate regulation for Microlight Aircraft • Established principle of increasing regulation with greater weights, passenger numbers and commercial usage. Microlight have: • Inherent low mass and low stall speed = low kinetic energy and negligible risk to third parties. • Non commercial • Two seats only Therefore Microlight regulation should be proportionately simpler than for instance ELA
The current situation • Diverse range of regulatory oversight within the union. • Average level of regulation significantly simpler than for other types of powered aviation • In consequence this has been the largest growth sector in aviation in the last 25years with much spin off benefit for heavier types. • This is a fragile bloom! And excessive regulation must be avoided. • A fair structure uniformly applied will result in greater opportunity for manufacturers and potential for increased sales inside and outside the community.
Safety • France is an example of a country with very minimal regulatory oversight. Its safety records show comparative levels of fatal accident vs flying hours to for instance the UK which has one of the greatest levels of regulatory oversight. • The majority of accidents across the union are as a result of pilot error as in all private flying. Structural problems are thankfully very rare. • The commercial imperative works as a strong driver to ensure that aircraft are designed and built to appropriate levels of safety.
Pilot Training • Most countries within the union have developed microlight training systems outside of JAR / EASA/ ICAO qualifications, that work well and produce pilots well able to operate their aircraft from from both ‘field operation’ and the conventional ‘airport’ environment when required. This requires specialised bespoke training and is not well catered for in traditional GA training systems. • It is vital that expertise in this type of training and such instructor qualifications and systems are respected.
Ideas for an acceptable standardised system Design and manufacture • It is important to ensure and encourage good standards of design and manufacture • Traditional ‘opponency’ style regulatory oversight and approval is not considered appropriate and proportionate • The principle of declarative standards for design and manufacture is considered an appropriate principle. • This has growing precedence in the US (and spreading across much of world), with the LSA system for heavier types, which also rely on this system.
Manufacture • For manufacture a set of ‘essential requirements’ can be defined to ensure good practice of material and process handling. • An example that could be adopted is ASTM F2297
Design • A number of suitable codes exist for use to declare compliance with: • BCAR Section S • LTFUL • F2317 (LSA trikes) • CS LSA • CS VLA • Possible formulation of CS MLA????
Audit • Audit not normally required, except under ‘special circumstances’ such as: • Following an accident or any other in service safety concern, that has design or manufacture issues as a cause. • EASA or its appointed agent would then have right of audit and power of grounding if necessary.
Sub groups – aircraft with particulary low mass and one occupant • Low mass aircraft (Sub 115Kg?), including footlaunched types, should not require formal declaration against codes. • Such aircraft often pioneer new forms of flight, and structures that have no compliance provision within standard codes. • Such aircraft being single seat only carry informed individuals. • Due to their extremely low mass offer even smaller risk to third parties.
Sub groups – Amateur built • Kits of any percentage may be sold if the manufacturer declares against the design and manufacture codes (manufacture of supplied components). • The finished aircraft should be inspected as satisfactory by someone approved by the manufacturer for the purpose.
Sub Groups – Amateur design and build • Ok to be flown as a prototype with one person on board. • After a proving period (50 hours?) and subject to a declaration against a design code it may carry passengers. • It must carry a large placard stating ‘EXPERIMENTAL’??
Ongoing airworthiness • Owner in charge of maintenance provision and management. • Manufacturer to define maintenance schedules to be followed. • Manufacturer to decide if certain work should be performed by specially trained persons / stations. • Annual condition inspection by independent system or person accepted by manufacturer?? • Unique parts must be sourced from the manufacturer.
Pilot training and licensing • We must not break what we have!! • It should be separate from the PPL / LPL, but should be respected by it for cross crediting experience. • PPL/LPL holder should be able to fly Microlight aircraft under their licence privileges – but should have some differences training (vital in the case of trikes).
Pilot training and licensing • For the grant of an European Microlight Pilots Licence (EMPL), we should accept current national systems – that comply with a set of basic ‘essential requirements, to include: • Minimum training requirements in accordance with a laid down training Syllabus • Final test with a certificate of competence issued by instructor/examiner • Theory Exams to cover : Air Law, Technical, Navigation, Meteorology, Human factors. • There should be a system for instructor training and testing.