New Pilot Rules In Effect In Europe

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New rules for foreign pilots and foreign registered aircraft in Europe came into effect on Saturday and, depending on how member states of the European Union are implementing them, could mean that your FAA, Transport Canada or other pilot certificate or ratings are no longer recognized by the European Aviation Safety Agency. EASA Part FCL homogenizes crew licensing requirements in all EU states and essentially means that those who want to fly in the EU have to prove competence and compliance with EU rules, rather than just use the credentials of their home country. Depending on the kind of flying involved, it can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor to earn those flight privileges, particularly for IFR.

In an editorial, German magazine Pilot und Flugzeug Editor Jan Brill says the new rule ignores acceptance of European qualifications in other GA nations and makes it costly and inconvenient for those licensed elsewhere to fly in Europe. "We insult our aviation-friends all over the world by rendering their certificates worthless, we repay the openness extended by nations such as Canada, Australia or the United States by pettiness and arrogance," Brill wrote. "To anyone who knows how to fly an aircraft, we're presenting Europe at it's very, very worst." Although the new rules theoretically took effect on April 8, some countries have implemented a two-year grace period.