Simplified Pilot's License Proposed for Europe

Flight Design president and chief operating officer Matthias Betsch arrived at Sun 'n Fun direct from the Aero general aviation show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. He reported that the event included a meeting of several national aviation regulatory bodies including the FAA, Europe's EASA, and governmental aviation regulatory agencies from China, Brazil, India and others. Betsch reported that the aviation regulators took action on a proposed simplified European pilot's license that has been in the works for some time. The new license would appear similar to the U.S. Sport Pilot license, but would permit pilots to fly aircraft with up to four seats weighing up to two metric tons (4,410 pounds). U.S. Light Sport pilots are limited to two-seaters with maximum takeoff weights no more than 1,350 pounds. Betsch said the proposal has gone to the Parliament and is expected to pass and go into effect before the end of this year. He also brought news that Flight Design had received production approval from China for its facility in Ukraine, the first such approval from China for an aviation company.