Europe delays action on “Third Country” regulations

The European Union Commission (EUC) decided in a closed-door meeting to delay action on the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) recommendations to restrict acceptance of pilot and aircraft certificates issued by third countries.

This gives persons living in Europe but operating on certificates issued by other countries, including the FAA, at least three more months more to fly as usual while groups representing them seek support to defeat the proposed tougher regulations. About 10,000 persons now living in Europe fly with FAA-issued airman certificates or N-registered aircraft.

The EUC meets every three months. The next meeting will not be held until Dec. 18. Although the meeting in the week of Oct. 11 was closed to any outsiders and no documents are available, reports leaked from the session indicate there was only “lukewarm” interest to EASA’s proposal. Groups opposing the tougher rules welcomed tabling the issue as a favorable indication the EUC doesn’t accept the recommendations as written.

EASA’s proposal calls for all persons living in Europe to pass the same examinations as those issued by the European nations. As an example, students would need 100 hours before applying for a private license as opposed to the 40 in the U.S. If adopted, rules would virtually wipe out any European resident coming to the U.S. for flight training if additional training would be required when returning home.

U.S. groups in the U.S. are closely watching the issue, but have no standing to have their comments accepted.


  1. EchoMike says

    Having taught CAA/EASA ground school for 11 years at a USA FBO catering to UK students I can tell you that I will NEVER complain about the FAA as long as I live.

    The FAA may seem to be a creaking bureaucracy (aren’t they all) and might sometimes appear to be arbitrary and capricious, but at least they are nominally on our side, for the most part.

    The UK’s CAA (which has now been assimilated by the EASA), appears to be staffed entirely with people who have never actually SEEN an aeroplane and seriously doubt they exist. The abbreviation CAA stands either for Campaign Against Aviation or Charge Again and Again, no one is quite sure which, or maybe it is both.

    A UK private pilot license presently involves no fewer than SEVEN written tests, and many of the questions bear no relation whatsoever to flying airplanes – yes, I have seen the tests, and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. You also need a separate rating to fly at night. (Airplanes, however, are not afraid of the dark.)

    Their idea of aviation safety is to ground everything – that way no one gets hurt in an airplane accident. Aviation to them is sitting passively in row 325 seat R of an Airbus A7000, and why would anyone in their right mind possibly want to fly an airplane themselves?

    Maintenance is now an economic disaster for small airplanes. Doing the required 50 hour inspection requires THREE separate companies, working at arms-length from each other and billing accordingly. Company #1 does the actual inspection. Company #2 “oversees” the work. Company #3 coordinates between #1 and #2. I’ve heard stories of $7,000 inspections on airworthy C-172s. (Repairs are additional.) Each inspection company must be approved to inspect that particular make and model, if you have something odd, old, rare or unusual, you may not be able to find anyone authorized to inspect it, and you now have a flower planter. Getting the approval to inspect a particular type/make/model costs money, too, and guess who winds up paying for it?

    They are bound and determined to choke off even the slightest possibility of anyone going out and getting themselves a pilot’s license – they make it as difficult, expensive, tortuous and involved as possible, and they are working daily on making it moreso. As was noted in the article, THEIR laws are made behind tightly closed doors and NO public input is even allowed, let alone welcomed.

    Guess what – in 20 years, all of Europe will be taking the train – there will be NO aviation, civil OR commercial in Euroland. There won’t be any student pilots to grow up into airline pilots, there will be very, very few ex-military pilots left (defense cutbacks, remember?) to transition into airline pilots, and Euroland’s labor laws don’t let any non-Euro citizens work there. Further, if they won’t recognize USA/FAA/rest of the world pilot certification, how are non-European airlines supposed to operate into and out of Europe?

    These guys are blazing away, shooting themselves in both feet, repeatedly, and don’t even realize it. The entire Euroland aviation scene is a perfect example of the dangers of “big government out of control, answerable to nobody”.

    Personally, I’ll take working with the FAA any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The FAA isn’t just good by comparison to EASA, the FAA actually and actively works for aviation safety and education, the FAA *encourages* aviation. Euroland, however, seems bound and determined to kill it. (In fact, the Bishop of London recently called flying around in airplanes a sin.) We don’t realize just how good we have it.

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