SEASONAL MEETING ONLINE – 05/07/2021

Present:

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)

Apologies:

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);

TO: 

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:  https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/dfu/Balloon%20Rule%20Book.pdf 

INCORPORATED AMENDMENTS IMPLEMENTING RULES (IRS) (COMMISSION REGULATIONS)
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
 24/3/2020
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
kaa@ballooning-federation.eu

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.

Part BFCL (Balloon Flight Crew Licensing) has been approved

EASA and EBF have been working for the last three years to produce pilot licensing rules specifically designed for ballooning. Instead of being part of a big rulebook covering all general aviation, the new Part BFCL provides simpler, lighter rules and a much shorter rulebook, just for ballooning. Part BFCL was approved by the EASA committee on 24th October and will be published officially in the Official Journal of the EU most likely in January.

From April 9th 2020, it is expected that pilots will exchange their national licences for the EASA Balloon Pilots Licence (BPL) during a one year transition period. Pilots already holding EASA Part FCL ballooning licences, BPL or LAPL(B) can exchange them via their national aviation authority from the same date.

A summary of the rules and expected implementation arrangements are given in a briefing document available from EBF. Further updates can be expected in January after the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMCs) and Guidance Materials (GMs) is published.

Paul Spellward, European Ballooning Federation