EASA Rule Would Marginalize Homebuilts, Classics


European homebuilders and classic aircraft groups are mounting opposition to a rule proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency that would invalidate flying hours on so-called Annex II aircraft from counting toward EASA ratings and even renewal of existing licenses. The proposed rule would affect thousands of pilots in Europe, according to Pilot Magazine. In France and the U.K. alone, almost 6,000 Annex II aircraft are flying and 2,500 more are under construction. Hundreds are used by flying clubs for basic and advanced training and most countries allow even advanced ratings to be obtained on classics and homebuilts.

James Tannock, of the European Federation of Light, Experimental and Vintage Aircraft, said the EASA initiative is driven by its legal department. “The basis of this move is apparently a legal opinion that Annex II aircraft are not suitable because they are not regulated by EASA,” Tannock said in a statement quoted by Pilot. “EFLEVA’s view is that this move would be seriously damaging to European GA, with no benefits apart from the satisfaction of a few lawyers.” Civil aviation regulators in the U.K., France and Scandinavia are reportedly preparing formal opposition to the proposed rule and if three countries oppose an initiative, EASA has to reconsider the idea.