General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and chief executive Pete Bunce has hailed a move by the European Aviation Safety Agency's management board to recognise the need to re-examine how general aviation is regulated in Europe.
GAMA insists that "the GA Safety Strategy represents an important piece of the puzzle in maintaining the vitality of general aviation in Europe".
GAMA, together with EGAMA - the GA membership of the AeroSpace & Defence Industries Association of Europe - has presented a safety strategy for separating the regulation of non-commercial general aviation from the regulation of commercial air transport, which has now been backed by EASA.
"This paper reflects many longstanding concerns of the GA community, and aims at pressing the reset button on how GA is regulated by authorities across Europe," says Bunce.
GAMA has called for a policy of "more flexible, comprehensible regulations, framed by a proportionate and risk-based approach, which protect 'grandfather rights' where appropriate". It also sets targets for specific remedies to be completed within a short timeframe.
For example, the strategy recommends the amendment of EASA's Basic Regulation 216/2008, which contains the legal obligations and limitations of the European aviation safety framework, which are largely based on previous requirements for airline operations.
GAMA says that "some of the key problems facing GA stem directly from this document, and have limited EASA's own ability to find solutions for our industry".
"The GA community will proactively contribute to the next steps in this process," says EGAMA chairman Nicolas Chabbert. "In parallel, we need to see rapid incorporation of these principles into the rule-making and implementation processes, so that regulations may be clearly measured against this standard.
"Furthermore, it is important that both the European Commission and Parliament show they are serious about these changes by stepping forward and endorsing the Strategy."
This European strategy complements the current global effort to revise the rules affecting Part/CS-23 aircraft with the aim of making certificated light aircraft both safer and more affordable
EGAMA says: "EASA's active participation in these areas is of the utmost importance, in that it represents an opportunity to rethink how we approach GA, and identifies what is urgently required in order to make flying safe, appealing, and affordable."