My name is Gerd Holzner.
I think most of you know me as the organiser of the slope flying event “Flying Circus” in Fiss/Tyrol, which has been taking place since 1996.
With the start of the event, a dynamic, which could not have been foreseen at the time developed, because many regions were animated by the event to promote even this previously unknown target group: RC-pilots, especially slope flyers. After a few years, according to official statistics, 11,000 overnight visits of RC-pilots were already counted in Fiss during the flying season. This figure has long been exceeded today. This is just to illustrate the importance of this model aviation sector for the tourism industry!
When the last amendment of the aviation regulations in Austria went through the forums, it became clear to me what we are facing. The fight in Germany against the 100m limit has also raised a lot of dust!
The drone regulation and its effects on model flying kept us on our toes for at least a year with campaigns and direct approaches to politicians.
In Austria, I regularly pointed out to the TVB in Fiss that they were on very thin ice from a legal point of view, because 150m above ground on the slope as a requirement for model flying tourists was quite unrealistic! For the Flying Circus event, I was then authorised to represent the TVB, in order to at least put the event on a legally secure basis with Austro Control. Since then, the procedure of “applying to exceed the flight altitude on a daily basis” has been repeated every year – at a cost of almost 600 €!
In the circle of my team, there were sometimes heated discussions about how to secure the airfield on the Schönjöchl in terms of aviation law outside of the event. A foundation of an association was discussed, but nobody in Fiss wanted to join in. In the end, I found numerous IGs in a list of model airfields on the ACG site as responsible for the airfields. By founding the IG-FA-Schönjöchl, with the help of the ÖAEC (Dr. Schober), I succeeded in getting the airfield included in the list! A first step, after all …
But now we are all facing completely new challenges again!
A small committed group of model pilots, some of them from the FC team, followed my idea of IG-Hangflug, when it was already foreseeable last year, that the new EU-DVO would firstly become a monster of paragraphs and secondly that many would fall over their own feet when implementing it, to put it bluntly.
The restrictions on slope pilots, who in Austria particular are only allowed to fly within the Open Category, were ultimately the trigger for the founding of IG-Hangflug.eu!
Intended as a gathering place for all slope RC-pilots in Europe.
Well, what do we want, what is the intention?
To wake up, mobilise and build networks.
To put pressure on decision-makers to deal with the issue appropriately.
And to bring people together to find constructive and practicable solutions, and to contribute ideas that will help us all.
After all, the goal of all of us is to achieve the uniformest possible standardised rules for model flying outside of approved airfields. In addition, practicable guest flight rules are very important.
In any case, a two- or multi-class rule is neither expedient nor acceptable!
Now we will soon have about 400 registered members from many European countries and about 2500 signatures of the petition.
It is interesting for the ÖAEC that many Austrian pilots, especially competition pilots, do not dare to take a public stand through their membership, but do sign the petition! What are they afraid of?
I would also like to mention that numerous clubs, two associations from France and Italy and companies – i.e. manufacturers and gastronomy businesses – support us ideally, as you can see on the supporters’ page on www.ig-hangflug.eu.
In any case, this attracts more attention to us than if ONLY we model pilots make our displeasure known, the model pilots with their toys, who are still not accepted seriously by many decision-makers.
My name is Gerd Holzner.