Saturday 18 May 2013 12:11 UTC
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Just a note to say I thought today's presentations at Duxford were all extremely informative and professionally delivered. Definitely worthwhile.
Cliff Whittaker from CAA licensing is clearly grappling within the constraints imposed by the EASA regime and has made some sensible strategic moves. It's clear he can't please everybody. The idea to authorise EASA licence holders to fly non-EASA aircraft without a separate UK only licence is a good move. Removing medical restrictions from licences and putting them on medical certificates another. I understand a new CAP will be issued to replace LASORS and be a single comprehensive legal document covering all aspects of crew licences. While we await the proposals to be published on Sept 23rd re IMC/IR, the rest of the EASA FCL laws have now been published and will go into force in the UK from July 2012, with derogations of 2-3 years for most aspects.
Three presenters covered the Olympic airspace restrictions which are a lot better than first proposed, although still difficult for some. The rules are very clear and will be well publicised in the coming months. The RAF will have significant extra resources in place (I think it was said 3-4x the number of controllers for London Info today) and be able to switch controllers between the two zones (Atlas Norh/Atlas South) to match demand. There were questions about what to do when you see a Phantom Jet out your window (also to be clearly explained), but the key message was to work within the system rather than abuse it - the government still have the option to impose a total ban if they consider it necessary. There will be extra help 24/7 to fill out flight plans and a mass flight plan submission test on the development system in November - anyone can file a dummy Olympic flight plan to see how it will work.
Having not been to Duxford before, the quick walk round the exhibits was too short - I'll need to return. The American hangar with B52 and SR41 was a pleasant surprise. The fire alarm during the morning session less so.
Thanks to the AOPA team for pulling this together. I'm sure there will be a more detailed and accurate write up of the event elsewhere for those unable to attend in person.
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