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)
UK: Phil Dunnington (Secretary general) – PD
Austria, Thomas Herndl
Switzerland: Balthazar Wicki
Benoit Pelard (French Federation) & Emmanuel Renoir (French CNPPA)
1. Start of the meeting.
The assembly started at 09:00 am, online with “ZOOM” video conference tool.
2. Welcome to a new member: Germany
PL introduced Benni Eimers, as the German alternate delegate to EBF, representing Willi Eimers, President of the German Aeroclub, sektion ballon. Benni explained that the situation in Germany is a little difficult because another organization contests the EBF membership, but the situation is getting better and the totality of German balloonists should be represented soon.
3. 2019 in review
Because this meeting takes place very late in the year due to the Covid situation, PL made a quick presentation of what was achieved in 2019:
- Part BOP enforced on April 8th 2019
- Part ML enforced end of 2019
- Part BFCL: work was finished in 2019, to be enforced on April 8th 2020.
- Karel Abbenes represented EBF at Aero 2019 in Friedrichafen.
- Phil Dunnington worked with EASA safety group, outcome uncertain with the current situation.
- Germany joined EBF
- Dominique Roland acknowledged EBF as EASA’s main contact for ballooning and congratulated us for our work and involvement.
4. Finance report
- Geert Peirsman produced the 2019 Account sheet, which show that EBF finances are balanced and clear are attached to these minutes. EBF finances are very simple and clear: the income is solely composed of membership fees, and the expenses are travel costs (to attend meetings), + website domain and bank fees.
- Because of this simplicity and small budget, JA suggest to amend the statutes to waive the obligation of being audited by a third party of at least 2 persons. This until the annual budget reaches 10.000€. This amendment is accepted, the Executive Committee will work it out.
- 2 countries did not pay their fees on time, but the solution is already found.
- The finance report was approved. Geert Peirsman is willing to continue being Treasurer, and is elected by all members.
5. Discussion on hot topics, led by Karel Abbenes
- Examinations: OPC checks– There was one question from the floor about the OPC (Operator Proficiency Check): This test (in flight) has to be done by an examiner. All delegates wish that there is only one text, even if the pilot flies for several operators. KA will come back to EASA with this claim.
- Examinations: theoretical exams. Every one is very worried because, except for Germany who used a private company to make the questions, nothing is ready. KA will ask EASA if we can organize a central database for questions, and test them with a panel of instructors.
- Drones: they become a problem. In some countries (Denmark) there are very wide zones were only drones can fly. They represent big financial lobbies. EBF need to stay aware of this and take action if necessary.
- Part M light. Part M Light is now the only way for balloons. We need a professional to explain the differences with Part M and the advantages. PL suggest to ask Jean-Marie Huttois, a French Camo with a very good reputation.
- Green deal: nothing special except that we need to spread the idea that balloons are green!
- Part Med: Still in discussion. Things are changing, but it is not decided yet if for leisure pilots a self declaration will be enough, or a “class 3” medical. Benoit Pelard asks what is the situation in each country, so EBF are going to officially ask their members.
- Return to normal: The subject is an initiative from EASA. There a re big differences between countries, and EASA can only make recommendations.
KA insisted that to be efficient, EBF need input from all members, on all items noted above.
The meeting ended at 10:30, with wishes to meet again soon in real life.