View Full Version : New European Legislation Threatens 'Airborne Chaos'

1st Apr 2005, 06:09
The following edited from an exclusive in this morning's Flight Training News:

New European Legislation Threatens ‘Airborne Chaos’

New European legislation to modernise aviation navigational standards threatens to impose significant extra costs on all aircraft operators and lead to chaos in the skies. The legislation threatens to force almost every aircraft owner or operator to replace expensive flight instruments and avionics. Some pilots are even predicting airborne chaos as the new rules take effect.

The legislation has been driven by the Metric Advisory Division (European) Uniformity Panel – National Airspace Mandate Executive. This pan-European working group deals with matters of the standardisation of international navigational standards, including deciding what units should be used for altitude, distance, speed etc. In a nutshell, the legislation applies metric units to the most fundamental aviation measurements, and there is no doubt that the metrification of the measurement of direction is sure to be a controversial and, many say, needlessly expensive requirement.

The head of the Executive, Hadu Rapofolli, speaking exclusively to FTN, explained more. “As with many things in aviation, the measurement of direction has been based entirely on an unquestioning habit and tradition – mere custom and practice.” The new division of the compass into 100 units will - Mr Rapofolli claims - have many significant safety benefits. “There will be no more confusion over directions such as 030°, 300° and 330°,” he claimed, continuing “furthermore, working out reciprocals will also be far simpler. Most people can add or subtract 50 to or from a number of less than 100, much quicker than they can do the same with 180 to or from a number up to 360”. The 100 units of direction will be decimally sub-divided into 0.5 divisions for ATC heading instructions, and further divided into 0.25 divisions for routes and courses. The new units will be called ‘Gradients’ – abbreviated to ‘Grad’ for ATC phraseology purposes – after the British military system that divided the circle into 400 gradients.

“The introduction of ‘Grads’ will mean that 40 new directions are available, in effect adding over 10% to airspace capacity,” claims Mr Rapofolli. “Grads will be introduced in airspace that requires B-RNAV equipment on the 1st April, with 0.25 Grad spacing being the required standard. The use of the new units in B-RNAV airspace is expected to be principally a matter of re-programming EFIS, FMS or GPS software. Grads will be introduced at lower levels as compass manufacturers bring in models with the new compass cards. For ‘mixed-use’ operations, pilots with an ‘old’ 360º compass only need to divide the reading by 3.6 to obtain the equivalent ‘grad’ – or multiply the grad figure by 3.6 to obtain a ‘degrees’ figure,” says Mr Rapofolli. Defending the move he went on “There are only three countries in the world that have not formally adopted the metric system, namely the USA, Liberia and Myanmar (Burma) – and we’re not really sure about the last two. In any event, this is an opportunity for European manufacturers”.

Whilst the reprogramming of VOR stations is already underway, the redrawing of maps and charts will take longer. A further cost will be to airfields which will be required to re-designate their runways. “We have taken into account airfield operators’ concerns,” states Mr Rapofolli “and only easterly runway headings need to be re-designated during 2005. Westerly runways need not be re-designated until the end of 2006. The re-calibration of windsocks will take longer.”

Full details on the implementation of European Directive 1/4/AF are at the Executive’s website www.metriccompass.com

Buy one get one free
1st Apr 2005, 06:22
I wonder if the 1st April will have anything to do with this modernisation proposal ??

1st Apr 2005, 06:24
Man I sure hope so!!!!:) :}

1st Apr 2005, 06:41
Let's go the full hog and have metric flight levels !!


1st Apr 2005, 06:54
I belive that the island state of Sans Serife has already adopted these regulations.

Captain Windsock
1st Apr 2005, 07:11
Rapofolli = April fool

1st Apr 2005, 07:20
Actually, of course, it all makes some kind of crazy sense!

I particularly like the bit about dividing the compass into 100 units, makes reciprocals SOOOOO much easier and washes away all those 030, 300 confusions. Great! Can't wait!


ps Windsock - don't spoil the fun!

1st Apr 2005, 07:40
Hear hear 'TOO', and let's hope we can get time sorted out into decimals as well, in line with the concurrent EC proposal - just think - no more questions on the 'Computer' forum about how to put flying hours into decimals in spreadsheets. :ok:

1st Apr 2005, 08:03
This is a very dangerous post !
Some clown in the EU could well form a Commitee to look into this !:D ;)

1st Apr 2005, 08:07
Hadu Rapofolli = HAD U APRIL FOOL

Still, makes a change from some of the drivel that gets posted ;) :p


Why do I think you may be right?!? :{ :ugh:

surely not
1st Apr 2005, 08:31
and you will also find that the acronym = MADE UP NAME

Flying Mech
1st Apr 2005, 09:12
Another shining example of where EU Citizens Taxes get spent.Don't forget this is the same EU Comission that wanted to "Standardize" Bannanas a few years ago,i.e. they must be all the same dimensions,weight(probably mectric) and wait for it Straight Seems to me that Eurocrats are getting bored again after getting the Euro introduced and are looking for a new scheme to keep themselves in a job for another few years.
Next will probably the Metrification of Time which will be called PMT (Paris Mean Time) instead of GMT, 100 secnds in a minute 100 mins in 1 hour 10 hours in a day 10 days a week etc,you get the picture Happy Flying!:ok:

1st Apr 2005, 09:43
Actually our links to duodecimal and base 60 are very old. I was recently rereading Will Durant's masterwork and there in the beginning of book 1 (Our Oriental Heritage) was the reason behind the base 12 and base 60 counting system in use for "things" that need to be divided - like cakes, days and compass points.

Obvious when you think of it - but 12 is the only (small) number that is divisible by 5 of the first 6 numbers. And 60 is just 5 (fingers) x 12 ..... And 60 x 60 is ......

I had previously quite forgotten that - and it is so obvious really. Base 10 is great for "Maths" but useless for dividing things without nasty bits left over.

surely not
1st Apr 2005, 10:50
errrrrr Flying Mech you seem to be taking it seriously :confused:

Check the date and all might become clear. :D

1st Apr 2005, 10:54
If I recall correctly, a certain Mr Hitler devised a system of direction measurement based upon 400 Grads about 65 years ago!

And that IS true.

1st Apr 2005, 11:11
Flying Mech are you sure about that?
I thought that the bananas had to be CURVED, not straight.
:D :=

Random Electron
1st Apr 2005, 11:20
While we are on the subject, how about Metric Time?

100 seconds in a minute, 100 minutes in an hour, 10 days in a week, and ten months in a year, with appropriate leaps to cater for the awkward Earth and Solar orbit cycles!

Any takers at Brussels. They have tried to metrify everything else.

1st Apr 2005, 12:14
It was extremely well written though and better than the usual 1st stuff.

1st Apr 2005, 12:20
That's one of the better ones I have seen.

Of course, us ATCOs can only count so high (until we have to take our shoes off), so adding MORE of anything work related would be trouble..........

Solid Rust Twotter
1st Apr 2005, 20:17
I believe metric flight levels are in use in the former Soviet Union.

1st Apr 2005, 20:56
.............grads are older than you think!

And now a new proposal: as compass precision has progressed so much in last decades, thanks to inertial stuff, lasers, computers......it has been proposed that a NEW GRADE should be used based on :

1000 NEW GRADES = 360°

(it will require some training for French firemen still using the old Grade - 400 grades=360° - to signal fire location.......)

16 blades
2nd Apr 2005, 02:00
The sad fact is, were it not for the date, that proposal would be perfectly believable. Nothing that comes out of the New Soviet Union of Europe would shock me anymore.


2nd Apr 2005, 07:12
.......Seems you guy had no time to read the new project of Constitution for Europe, dedicated to PROFITABILITY!

Or maybe Tony and Bolkenstein are new hidden Marxians?

2nd Apr 2005, 07:22
How does one calibrate a windsock??????

That sort of removes the believeability to start with.

Malissa Fawthort
2nd Apr 2005, 08:56
Really ?

surely not
2nd Apr 2005, 10:16
hey 16B open your jaundiced military eyes for a moment and you might realise that all the infamous banana report was about was ensuring that there was a form of quality control in place to so that the produce sold to the public would be of best quality.
It wasn't the EU who made it seem daft it was the Sun newspaper, a well known purveyor of crap quality, who seemed to think a battle cry against having quality control was a good thing. Look at the whole principle not just a minute part.

2nd Apr 2005, 23:20
Random - How could we have missed that opportunity for so long?:ok:

A ten day week? - I could have 3 days off (Saturday, Sunday, and Spareday) and still get in 7 days work every week:) (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Extraday and Anotherday:ugh: )

Long live the wonderful EU - apart from the ****s, the *****s and the ******s:yuk: (see I'm being PC as well!!)

16 blades
3rd Apr 2005, 00:05

Believe me, I ve read through the EU constitution (not an easy task, since they dare not release the full text in plain English, lest the common man realise their true agenda) and it scares me.

It is not about Profitability at all, it is about protectionism and CONTROL. It gives an unelected, unaccountable body the legal right to interfere in EVERY aspect of people's lives with no comeback. It bans 'member states' from acting in any way other than in 'the interests of the union' (as defined solely by the afforementioned unelected, unaccountable body). It gives workers in ANY EU country the right to strike in support of other lazy [email protected] striking in other countries, destroying the hard-won reforms of the 1980s that allowed the UK to become prosperous again after 2 decades of destructive left-wing millitancy. And, unprecendented in a western democracy, it affords itself a permanence which binds successive national governments to observe it, something which goes against the written British constitution (yes there is one; it is one line long and says the exact opposite of the above, ie 'Parliament is Sovereign but cannot bind its successors')

Surely Not,

We already have a form of 'quality control' in place - it's called 'consumer choice' - if the product's crap, no one will buy it. We don't need an entire EU department spending our own stolen taxpayer's money to tell us what a good banana is. I would hazard that it is your eyes that are jaundiced, my friend - too many EU-approved bananas, perhaps??

It seems that, if this disaster is adopted, Chirac, Schroeder, and that arch-crook-cum-gangster D'Estaing have done with the pen what Hitler and Napoleon failed to do with military force - take over Europe and subjugate it and all its citizens to their collective, corrupt will.


3rd Apr 2005, 00:28
The banana story is bollocks (http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/06/08/eu.facts.myths/)

There are grading rules, which were called for by representatives from the fruit & vegetable industry to enable buyers in one country to know what quality and quantity they would get when purchasing a box, unseen, from another country. Nothing is banned under these rules: they simply help to inform traders of particular specifications. The EU Single Market rules are identical to pre-existing standards set down both by the UN/OECD and the UK.

The tabloids like to pretend that we are being ruled by Brussels bureaucrats, but the Commission only proposes legislation, it is the European Parliament and the Council - made up of Ministers of the member governments - that make decisions. Under the new Constitution, these Ministers will no longer be able to hide behind closed doors. they will have to make decisions in public and take responsibility.

16 blades
3rd Apr 2005, 05:15

I think we just fell into a parallel universe.....


3rd Apr 2005, 09:21
....................because my reasons to oppose this Frankenstein's type of Constitution are at 200 grades from yours.

Funny we don't read this text with same eyes.

What you would appreciate as a benefit I take for a disaster, and inversely.

I guess we could use all PPRune's pages and never reach an agreement?

Do you agree?

16 blades
4th Apr 2005, 00:48
Quite possibly, old chap. But at least we both oppose this monstrosity!


4th Apr 2005, 08:49
....the very idea of Europe 16B, which isn't my case.

I think a strong Europe is the key for our children future, when China will reach its superpower status and compete with United States in the fields of Oil/Democracy/pollution................. .

My only wish is Europe could set an example for real Democracy, Tolerance, Education, Justice, Wellfare, Care for our planet............you know .....all these things which allow people to live as men/women, not as animals only subject to Economy, Advertising or Big brother dictature.

My reasons to reject THIS Constitutionnal project are precisely because it doesn't fulfill my wish, and binds us for years in the present subjugation of peoples to the God Finance.