Belgium: Geert Peirsman (Tr) – GP
Czech Republic, Petr Kubicek, 
Denmark: Jan Andersen (JA)
France: Patricia Lamy (President) – PL
Holland: Karel Abbenes (VP) – Ka
Germany: Benni Eimers (BE)
Spain: Neus llado (NL)


Austria, Thomas Herndl 
Switzerland: Balthazar Wicki
UK: Phil Dunnington (Secretary general) – PD

  1. Start of the meeting.

The assembly started at 16/00 online with “ZOOM” video conference tool.

  • Around the table: Covid situation by country

In all countries, business has come back to normal or nearly normal. Everybody flies a lot, with or without masks (in the balloon and/or in the car. There were problems with ground transportation for the passengers, but now everything is OK. 

  • AMC1.BOP.ADD.315(b)

Because Part BOP was made before Part BFCL, relations between Bop and BFCL are not always clear. So some AMC should be changed, and EBF want to open a discussion with EASA. 

Czech Republic sent a proposal to change AMC1.BOP.ADD.315 (in annex to this document):

  • in case of flight crew members engaged in commercial passenger ballooning, include the content of the proficiency check for the commercial operation rating specified in AMC1 BFCL.215(d)(2)(i) (AMC & GM to Part-BFCL);


The Operator Proficiency Check shall be conducted by the flight operation manager nominated in accordance with BOP.ADD.040.(c).1

The document sent by the Czech representative Petr Kubicek details all justifications.

Karel Abbenes will make a proposal to EASA, and It may be more appropriate that instead of a “Flight Operation Manager”, it is an FI, or a “nominated person”, which leaves more flexibility.

However, until this rule is changed (or not), of course the current regulation prevails.

  • Examinations

The situation varies in the countries:

NL: The Federation has a delegation from the CAA to organize exams thing and it works fine.

B: Nothing exists: no learning objectives, no questions, no exams, so the Belgians go to NL to pass the exams.

D: The Danish Federation takes care of exams with the Gliders Federations. 

S: questions Ok, but no flexibility, candidates have to pass all questions the same day, and the success rate must be 80%.

G: All is managed by a new DTO, who is also seeing how to form Belgian FI-Fes.

CZ: 3 special FEs have been nominated to manage the exams. They have made their questions database.

F: Questions OK, but the DGAC cannot cope and we have very few dates and places to pass the theoretical exams. So the French federation proposed to delegate the exams to Fes

  • Recency requirements

Some of the members think it is not clear when pilots should do their checks, for instance: – “are recency requirements applicable for newly acquired privileges/ratings? For example, does a new BPL holder have to start with a prof check immediately after his skill test? Does a pilot with a new commercial operation rating have to start with a OPC prof check immediately after his skill test? Does an instructor have to start with an instruction flight with an FI immediately after his assessment of competence?”

The initial intention was simplification, so in general pilots have to combine as much as possible. Karel will discuss this with EASA so that it becomes clearer. 

  • How to cope with Dominique Roland’s retirement

Dominique Roland, who is very much in favour of General Aviation, and balloons, is retiring at the end of the year. As soon as we know who is replacing him, we must plan a visit to Cologne to present EBF.

  • Date of General meeting 2021

All agree that it will be difficult to organize a real trip for 2021 General Meeting. So everybody agrees that we have a virtual GM on Zoom in October, and then a real meeting, in Copenhagen where the Danish AeroClub is happy to welcome us, in May 2022. PL will create a doodle poll to choose a date.

The meeting ended at 17:30 with wishes to meet again soon in real life.

Happy New Year

EBF wishes the best for 2021 to all balloonists in Europe and worldwide. The coming year will hopefully be a happier one than 2020. Well, it will if we manage to work together. Please take care of yourselves, of your beloved, and also of our planet.

Patricia Lamy, President

EASA has published the EASY ACCES Rules for ballooning including BFCL, Part BOP and Part ML

All EU rules and regulations in one document, this was what the European Ballooning Federation has been working toward for the last 6 years. Easy rules which should be east to find.

These common rules for the EU have now been published and can be found at the EASA website: 

Incorporated Commission Regulation: 

Regulation (EU) 2018/395 Cover regulation Annex I — Definitions (Part-DEF) 
Air operations 8/4/2019 Annex II — Balloon air operations (Part-BOP)Regulation (EU) 2020/357 
Cover regulation Air operations and Aircrew 8/4/2020 
Annex I — Definitions (Part-DEF) 
Annex II — Balloon air operations (Part-BOP) 
Annex III — Requirements for balloon flight crew licensing (Part-BFCL) 
Regulation (EU) 2019/1383 Annex Vb (Part-ML) 
Continuing Airworthiness
Regulation (EU) 2019/1384 Annex Vb (Part-ML) 24/3/2020  Regulation (EU) 2020/270 Annex Vb (Part-ML) 24/3/2020 AMC/GM TO IR (ED DECISIONS)  

Any questions or remarks can be addressed to:
European Ballooning Federation

Covid-19 protocol from EASA

EBF is happy to publish the latest version of the recommendations for General Aviation. This document has been worked out by GA stakeholders (including EBF for ballooning) & EASA. It is only recommendations, not compulsory, but we believe it may be very useful to make a decision before a flight.

Read the recommendation – click here.

EBF Covid 19 Protocol

EBF has prepared a COVID 19 Protocol for our members to either uses or take as a idea to expand on. It is available to EBF members and is meant to generate ideas and suggestions. If you already have a protocol you may want to read the EBF protocol and compare.

EBF covid 19 Protocol.

All members are free to use this document.

You are welcome to let us know your comments and suggestions!

Karel Abbenes

Recording of flight time

Type of flight When does this type of flight occur? How is time logged?
Normal flight When you have your BPL and you fly a trip (regardless of whether you are alone in the basket or not) in a balloon class you are approved for. The time is recorded as Pilot in Command by the pilot.
Pilot under Training (PUT)

You are in training.
This may be training to acquire your BPL or to extend the BPL certificate privileges

Time is recorded as Dual / instruction flight.
FI (B) records time as Pilot in Command and as FI (B)
Training flight You must have at least one training flight with an FI (B) within the last 48 months prior to the scheduled flight. Time is recorded as Dual / instruction flight.
FI (B) records time as Pilot in Command and as FI(B)
Solo You fly your solo flight during your training.
Your instructor follows from the ground.
The time is recorded as Pilot in Command.
FI(B) cannot record flight time.
Practical skill test When acquiring a new certificate privileges for a new balloon class.
You fly a practical skill test with an FE(B).
Time is recorded as Pilot in Command (if you pass).
FE(B) records the time as Pilot in Command and as FE8B)
Proficiency test You do not meet the hourly experience requirement or training flight required, so you must have acquired your privileges again. Time is recorded as Pilot in Command (if you pass).
FE(B) records the time as Pilot in Command and as FE(B).
Dual (under supervision) You fly under supervision with an FI(B) (who is the commander/PIC) and you fly at different times during the flight. You register the time you fly the balloon as Dual.
The commander registers the entire flight as Pilot in Command.

“Flight time” means the total time from the moment the basket leaves the ground for the purpose of taking off until the moment it finally comes to a rest at the end of the flight.

COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol

For your information and consideration I attach the EASA recommendations (not compulsory) regarding COVID 19 measures for flights.

They are not specifically written for ballooning, but you can distil from these what you think is needed.

We have proposed to restart commercial ballooning based on these suggestions in the Netherlands. We will know next week if they have the guts to say yes to our suggestions. All the research points toward a extremely remote chance to get infected in the open air if normal hygienic measures are observed. Covering mouth and nose with protective hospital quality covers offers very limited protection if you are not trained appropriately.

Karel Abbenes

Considerations for a return to flying after Covid

The first thing to say is that virtually every nation has developed its own overall public response, so different limitations exist as do different policies for ‘exit’ timing. Even within single countries (such as Germany) several variations and enforcement levels exist.

Clearly the most limiting element in all this is ‘social distancing’, which varies from 2 (UK)-10 (Denmark) people in a group, and at distances ranging from 1.5-2.0m.

In addition certification limits (Maintenance Manual Programme) mean that there can be no deferral of annual inspection by more than one month for any EASA-certified manufacturer, even though other elements such as ARCs and pilot medicals are being extended in most countries. This may mean a queue for inspections once opening-up is announced, and only then if distancing is not enforced. Imagine inspecting a Group D balloon with limited help?

Remember that big balloons using the rapid deflation methods installed by most, if not all, manufacturers, have a calculated Minimum Landing Mass (a Flight Manual Limitation). This means you cannot just say “let’s take 8 passengers instead of 16”.

Then the distancing issues, starting before the flight:

  1. Can a briefing be given without passengers being shown the safety features of entry, restraint, landing position etc?
  2. How many passengers can be in each compartment (even if separated by a screen between compartments)? Most sections are at maximum 2-2.5m long.
  3. With small single-compartment baskets required separation is practically impossible without obstructing the pilot.
  4. How is the work of rigging, inflating, and subsequent packing to be achieved with separation? A 375 balloon envelope weighs around 350-400kg. Even with mechanical assistance this will be a challenge.
  5. Returning to the take-off site in a vehicle. How many occupants (including pilot, crew, pax) are permitted in a vehicle?
  6. How will landowners/farmers react to a large group of strangers arriving on their land?

All this assumes that VFR flight is permitted by the NAA and that limitations on location (most aircraft, but not balloons, take off and land in a known and controlled environment) are relaxed. Even private flights are likely to be affected by many of these considerations.

Some questions can be answered by innovation, but care should be taken not to solve one problem and inadvertently create another.

Phil Dunnington