As you will no doubt recall, the so-called EIR which Jim Thorpe has proposed to FCL.008 is allegedly based on the Australian Private IFR Rating. Here is some information about the PIFR rating privileges:
What are the limits of a grade of the PIFR rating?
(a) the holder may only fly a single-pilot aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 5 700 kg or less;
(b) unless otherwise authorised under subparagraph (c) the holder may:
(i) take off only during day time in VMC; and
(ii) fly below LSALT during departure and arrival only if the aircraft is clear of cloud and flight visibility is at least 5 000 metres;
(c) the holder may fly the aircraft to the extent only that the holder is authorised to do so by a FPA entered in the holder’s personal log book.
Note subparagraph (c). An important part of the Australian Private IFR Rating is the inclusion of Flight Procedure Authorisations (FPA). These extend the privileges beyond the basic minimum and can include instrument departure, instrument arrival and instrument approach procedures.
There is no such similar provision in the EIR advocated by Jim Thorpe. This is the fundamental reason why so many people oppose the EIR - it includes neither instrument arrival / approach procedures nor any proposals to add these to the basic EIR. Whereas the tried and tested UK IMCR does.
However, the EC Transport Department’s Administrator of Air Traffic Management, Jyrki Paajanen, has announced that the European Commission plans to leave the designation of airspace below FL195 to individual nations, using the seven ICAO designations as a foundation but allowing states a degree of flexibility to adopt sub-categories of airspace as they see fit. There is no logical reason, therefore, why the current UK IMCR should not be proposed instead of the wholly unacceptable EIR, with the proviso that it will be for individual nations to state the conditions under which it may be used in their national airspace. The only minor tweaks needed to the current UK IMCR are mandatory approach minima (rather than 'recommended' minima) proportionate to the training, experience and testing of the pilot, plus a small addition to the current single paper multi-choice examination to include international operations.
It is, of course, essential that any pilot flying under IFR should be clearly understood both by associated ATC organisations and any other airspace users. This must therefore dictate a requirement for such pilots to hold at least ICAO Level 4 English competence when flying internationally, or an equivalent national standard when flying entirely within national airspace. Having heard the stumbling RT incompetence of a European PPL/IR pilot attempting to fly an approach at Hurn (I was waiting to meet his passengers) - and the frustration this caused to ATC, it is a requirement that clearly must be included.
FCL.008 must not be under any misapprehension - the EIR is most assuredly not a 'solution' to the 'IMCR situation' in any way, shape or form. To propose such a widely opposed concept to EASA would merely provide EASA with hundreds of hours of nugatory effort in the analysis of the thousands of objections that it would undoubtedly receive. Since EASA is already struggling to meet deadlines for their reply to part-FCL comment responses, presenting a concept guaranteed to attract yet more objections would hardly be reasonable. Particularly since the EIR concept has been subject to virtually no formal industry consultation.
The time has come for FCL.008 to listen to the volume of opposition and to abandon the EIR concept. Eric Sivel has stated that they will have failed in their defined objective if they do not present an acceptable solution to the UK IMCR situation and it is abundantly clear that the EIR concept is very far from providing an acceptable solution.