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.