The European Parliament is expected to vote today or Thursday on whether to essentially cancel some of the privileges of pilots holding FAA certificates in European Union countries. Proposed regulatory changes put forth by the European Aviation Safety Agency would also make it more difficult to operate American-registered aircraft in Europe. In a special edition podcast interview with AVweb, Emmanuel Davidson, vice president of AOPA in France, said the proposals put forth by EASA "represent the greatest threat to general aviation in Europe in the last decade" and virtually all pilot groups and many companies and industry groups are trying to get it derailed. One of the difficulties with that is the measures are hidden in a larger bill of changes deemed positive by most in GA in Europe and the American issues will have to be separated from them.
Davidson said the most serious impact of the EASA proposal would be to effectively negate the FAA IFR rating that most IFR-rated pilots in Europe fly with. An FAA IFR rating is considerably less onerous to obtain than a European one because the European requirements are the same as those required for an ATP. Davidson estimates the average private pilot, with a job and family, would take more than a year to do the ground school and the rating would cost about $30,000.