Trade association umbrella organisation presses ICAO to authorise independent study
The International Business Aircraft Council (IBAC) has forwarded a working paper to the president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation calling for an objective study into worldwide harmonisation of fractional ownership regulations. The Montreal-based council, an umbrella organisation for 11 business aviation trade associations, is pushing for the paper to be presented to the ICAO Assembly in September.
The move comes as the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) task force sets a deadline of the first half of next year to develop a common position on the regulation of fractional ownership in Europe (Flight International, 10-16 July).
IBAC president Don Spruston says the association's objective is to seek a solution to this controversial issue as soon as possible. "The problem is the different interpretation by countries of what constitutes a commercial air transport operation," he says.
In the USA, for example, fractional ownership operations are regarded as private and governed under FAR Part 91 and its newly created Subpart K. But in Europe, fractionals are deemed commercial and they are regulated under JAR Ops 1 regulations as public transport, and subject to more restrictive operating practices.
Spruston says the fractional ownership issue has become contentious: "There are too many personal feelings involved, which are not based on fact or objective analysis". He adds: "It's time we stepped back and let an independent body look at the issues and develop a uniform position."
But the concern is that the ECAC working party - which includes the US National Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, fractional operators NetJets and Bombardier Flexjet, and Jet Aviation and TAG Aviation - will develop a policy at odds with ICAO. "There is strong feeling throughout the business aviation community that the ECAC position is treated as an interim measure and should be incorporated into the ICAO study," says Spruston.
KATE SARSFIELD / LONDON
Source: Flight International