The 2017 NMAI AGM took place at Limetree Airfield on Sunday 28th May. For once, the weather cooperated and we had a great turn out by members who travelled by air and road. The meeting started with an introduction to the Committee who were all in attendance except for Vice CTO Niamh Fitzgibbon who was unable to attend. 2016 was another great year for the Association with growth shown in all areas. The table below indicates the growth in the organisation over the last number of years.
|Aircraft in Permit||62||73||81||87||+ 7%|
|Active Aircraft||84||80||89||101||+ 13%|
|Transferred to other Organisations||3||-2||-1||-1||–|
|3 Year Permit||9 (14%)||36 (49%)||66 (81%)||100%||–|
An active aircraft is one the has a current permit or has expired within the last 12 months (which indicates it’s likely to be renewed). We now have over 100 active aircraft and we expect to see the in permit number rise to the mid 90’s over the summer. There are also some aircraft operating on foreign registers which we expect will join the NMAI Airworthiness scheme in the next few months. The 3-year permit system has now been fully implemented and all new aircraft that join the Airworthiness scheme will be issued with one.
Following discussions with the IAA and help from NMAI Member Martin Wade, an SSDR system has been adopted in Ireland. This differs from the UK SSDR rules so please make sure you comply with the correct rules. IAA Aeronautical Notice A.112 has full details. The main points of the SSDR rules are:
- The aircraft type must be accepted / registered in Ireland
- You cannot convert a 2 seat aircraft and operate under SSDR rules
- A declaration must be to the IAA to inform them that you’re operating under the SSDR rules
- SSDR aircraft operate completely independently of the NMAI Airworthiness scheme
There have also been changes to Aeronautical Notice P.21 which deals with licences. The UK NPPL is now recognised as an acceptable licence by the IAA to operate microlight aircraft in Ireland. There are however some additional requirements that must be met. Some members raised some issues that we will clarify with the IAA in the coming weeks. Some of the additional requirements are:
- Foreign licence holders must meet the minimum hours requirements. These vary depending on the category of aircraft but for 3 Axis its 45 hours total time of which 10 hours must be PIC
- The holder must be in possession of a valid Class 1, Class 2 or LAPL Medical
- The holder must declare to the IAA that they are operating in Ireland under the provisions of P.21***
*** This procedure has just been announced and was not discussed at the meeting. If you would like to take advantage of the provisions of P21 please complete this form. You are not legal to fly unless you have completed this form. The NMAI have worked very hard to get to this stage so we would really appreciate if you could take a few minutes to submit the required details. Unfortunately, this has to be completed each year. If you require any help, please get in contact with a committee member.
This agreement is not just for U.K. NPPL’s, in fact it allows almost any licence holder in the world to fly in Ireland once they meet the requirements laid out in the Notice.
The 8.33kHz radio refund scheme was also outlined, so far only one NMAI aircraft has registered. Full details are available at http://www.nmai.ie/8-33khz-radio-refunds/
Ken Lannery presented the financial position of the organisation. The accounts are still being finalised but an approximate ‘profit’ of €5000 was made in 2016. This brings the current bank balance to €10,200.20. This of course will be reinvested in the organisation, mainly for purchasing much needed equipment for the Tech Office. CTO Mark Brereton suggested to the floor that we purchase a certified set of aircraft weighing scales as this is a common audit finding with the IAA. There were no objections from the floor. Ken confirmed to the floor that the NMAI has now been converted to a ‘Company Limited by Guarantee’ as required by new Company Law. Damien Minnock has retired as a director and Ken Lannery has taken his place. Con Brogan remains on as the other director.
There was not much to report from the Tech Office. Mark Brereton has reported that things are running quite smoothly at the moment and thanked members and inspectors for their diligence with paperwork. He reminded owners to send in their validity sheets each year so it can be signed and returned to you. He also reminded pilots that in the event of an incident or accident please report it to the AAIU. If you’re not comfortable doing this, please contact the tech office or any member of the Committee for advice. Non reported accidents run the risk of delaying any subsequent permit renewals and deprives your colleagues in the microlight community a chance to learn from the event be it pilot error or a mechanical failure.
Brian Lowe spoke briefly about the safety and regulatory activity. Discussion continues at European level on the plan to increase the MTOW of microlights. This still has some way to go and we don’t expect to see any progress on this soon. Some charting errors where identified in the current charts and members were reminded not to rely on one specific chart for height and elevation information. Brian Lowe also announced that he will be stepping down from the committee on health grounds. Brian will be a big loss to the Association and has provided a wealth of information on regulatory and licensing issues over the years to the committee and members. I’m sure everyone will join me in thanking Brian for his invaluable work and wish him all the best for the future.
The meeting closed with some questions and comments from the floor. The BBQ was then fired up and thanks to some fine weather a very enjoyable afternoon ensued with lots of visitors dropping into Limetree to say hello. I’d like to thank all of the Committee who put so much work into keeping the Association running and keeping our members safely in the air. I’d also like to thank Jerry Deegan at Limetree for allowing us to host the AGM there.
National Microlight Association of Ireland