Hello LAMA Members (present and past) and LSA Professionals:
LAMA eNEWSLETTER #2
After a good reception to our earlier eNewsletter, LAMA wishes to continue this means of communication.
We have some interesting information to bring to your attention.
We need your support… LAMA pursues actions on behalf of the light airplane community — LSA, light kits, and Part 103 ultralights — without any support from government or other organizations. All we do is funded entirely by membership dues, and we use those very sparingly.
We urge you to remember … While some other good organizations will help when they can, they must (rightfully) serve their members first. Only LAMA is 100% focused 24/7 on LSA, light kits, and ultralights.
So, please … join LAMA. The cost is minimal (compared to any comparable business organization) at $500 per year. We stretch those dollars as far as possible, but it does let us try to help you sell airplanes and services. We hope you will join us and we will continue work as described briefly below!
TOPICS IN THIS NEWSLETTER
- Investigating Opportunities at Sun ‘n Fun … We met with FAA and others
- China Junket … opportunities for American producers may come sooner than you think
- Advocacy Update … our action list for investigation
- Housekeeping … unsubscribing, adding another company, topics suggestions, websites
INDUSTRY ADVOCACY ACTIVITIES AT SUN ‘N FUN 2015
“Pressing the Flesh with FAA and the Alphabets”
Last year LAMA and USUA began a joint advocacy program for the Light-Sport and ultralight industries. Our 2014 efforts featured large industry meetings at Sun ‘n Fun and AirVenture. Our preparation for the meetings included assembling a list of needed improvements to the FAA’s Light-Sport regulations as well as a list of how LSA are being used beyond sport and recreation in many countries.
Those 2014 meetings allowed us to ask industry what our priorities should be. It also allowed us to seek support from organizations like EAA and AOPA. Additionally these meetings allowed us to get feedback from the FAA on what might be achievable.
We gained a lot of valuable information, including the satisfying news that the industry, other organizations, and the FAA all still cared about light aviation. That’s good but those organizations must rightfully focus on what their members need. LAMA and USUA focus solely on the light side of aviation.
At Germany’s Aero and at Sun ‘n Fun the LAMA advocacy effort continued, this year with individual meetings with government officials and representatives from industry organizations. Smaller meetings are valuable because it allows us to focus on the points of view of other people. Larger meetings have their own kind of energy, but are not as good for detailed discussions. Some voices are not heard. Some details that might be important are not shared.
At Sun ‘n Fun LAMA held meetings with the FAA, AOPA, and EAA. At Aero we met with a representative from GAMA. We started with the intent to share information with others we had already visited, but we added new contacts. In the case of the FAA, someone who just happened to accompany the person we had an appointment with was a person we intended to visit in Washington D.C. This made for a very productive meeting on many levels and opened up opportunities for Light-Sport and the Experimental world that we had not yet explored.
Everyone we visited commended the work we had done to develop the list of action items and, just as important, to reduce the list to the four most important items for our segment of aviation (see list below). Now the goal is to work with our partners in aviation to achieve these priorities.
With your support, we will continue the advocacy efforts.
CHINA JUNKET … Paving the Way for American Aircraft
After Sun ‘n Fun ended, we began preparing for a trip to China, to the city of Anyang, which calls itself the “Airports Capital.” You can read more about this trip by clicking this link:
What we learned is that while the aviation market is surely beginning to develop, in our opinion, the earliest beneficiaries of this “great opening” will be the lighter, more affordable end of aviation.
As you cannot fly between city pairs without an IFR flight plan and a 48-hour reservation — largely limited to well-connected people in business jets — the future for certified general aviation seems fairly distant in the future.
However, the country is opening its airspace. Anyang has been granted a 4,400 square kilometer section of airspace, the largest in the entire country (about 300 miles south of Beijing). Such airspace allows flights about 60 miles away from the only airport. However this much area offer ample room for recreational flights of an hour or more.
Therefore, it was our observation that LSA builders (for the better-off Chinese) plus Part 103 airplanes, weight shift trikes, powered parachutes, and paramotors (already in significant use) have a much nearer-term opportunity for sales. Connecting American sellers to Chinese buyers was the purpose of the trip organized by Shu Dong Li of the Aero Sports Association (http://www.aerosport.org/).
Keep this in mind China has bought into these companies: Cirrus, Mooney, Continental Motors, Superior, Icon, Lisa, and more. Every American knows some people in China have money.
We witnessed strong interest in aviation. Many Chinese citizens could afford light aircraft and could use them in airspace like that now controlled by Anyang. Other cities are also aggressively pursuing airport building as the national government has decided to open aviation.
If you produce light aircraft or service them, you may have strong opportunities in China in the next few years. It’s a ground-floor market and those positioning early are most likely to benefit from the government-powered expansion.
LAMA was pleased to go help open doors for American businesses. Please consider joining LAMA to allowed continued pursuit of such goals.
LAMA ADVOCACY GOALS
- “Aerial Work” — This European term means using SLSA for compensated operations such as law enforcement, pipeline examination, agriculture, and similar missions. We plan to investigate possibilities for rule change (required to permit such use). The sales potential for our industry could be enormous and the pilot opportunities (likely for Commercial-rated pilots) might be large.
- Electric Propulsion — Nearly everyone is excited about the possibilities of electric aircraft and the lightest end of aviation is the most likely to see early success and practicality. What we plan to investigate is an exemption to allow industry to move to a higher level of learning about electric propulsion in the hands of users.
- Gyroplane SLSA — FAA originally meant for fully-manufactured gyroplanes to be part of the LSA mix. Indeed, outside the USA, gyroplanes are the biggest buyers of the Rotax 912 engine series. Others have worked on this and now we plan to investigate how SLSA gyros might move forward.
- LODA Simplification — Letters of Deviation Authority allow owners of certain aircraft to use them for compensated flight training, however, the process is cumbersome. We will investigate a simplification to help more new pilots take to the air and become potential customers. This helps USUA instructors and airplane makers alike.
Note: We want to hear from you about any other advocacy issues you believe LAMA should investigate. Our resources are limited but we want to pursue those matters of interest to the light aircraft business community.
LAMA asks for your continued support of these worthy advocacy goals.
The best way to do this is to become a member.
Please Join LAMA
— $500 per year —
Without LAMA and USUA, the industry and its pilots have no voice.
And let us offer our sincere THANKS to current members for your loyal support!
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