GAMA: European Regulators Accelerate Reform

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While regulatory reform is inching along in the U.S., it’s going so quickly in Europe that the EU runs the risk of outstripping the rest of the world, says GAMA. At a press briefing at Aero Friedrichshafen this week, GAMA President Pete Bunce said that although the European Aviation Safety Agency has a reputation for overregulation, the reverse is actually proving true.

“They’re delivering not only on CS23, but in the whole of how they’re going to regulate general aviation differently,” Bunce said in this podcast interview during Aero on Wednesday, “It started out by EASA trying to regulate GA just like commercial, but … that‘s not the way to regulate it. You improve safety not by easing up on safety regulations, but easing up the way you regulate industry to allow innovation to get into the cockpit. If you have safety based on commercial regulations, it’s unaffordable to the average pilot.” CS23 is global revision of light aircraft certification that includes FAR Part 23.

Bunce said EASA, despite complaints about the agency in Europe, is proving more effective and fast-moving than the FAA. “I think that EASA, being a newer agency and a smaller agency, is more nimble. They’re true partners with the FAA, Transport Canada and the other regulatory bodies out there,” Bunce said.

He also told aviation editors that GAMA is worried about the slow uptake of ADS-B equipment and that if too many owners wait until the last minute, the industry won’t be able to accommodate the glut of installations required by the 2020 mandate.