New EASA IMC rules proposed for pilots

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has released proposed rules on qualifications for flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).
With Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2011-16, the Agency puts forward for consideration new and more accessible instrument ratings for holders of private pilot licenses.
This step has been based on consistent feedback from stakeholders including the general aviation community.
The proposals offer holders of aeroplane licenses a new full Instrument Rating (IR) comprising of a significantly reduced theoretical knowledge syllabus focussing on the private pilot license or commercial pilot license related items. Meanwhile, an En-route Instrument Rating (EIR) will allow holders of aeroplane licenses to gain familiarity with instrument flight rules procedures and cope with unforeseen deteriorating weather conditions in the en-route phase of flight.
The competency-based modular system would allow the EIR to count as a module which can be credited to the proposed new full IR. A cloud flying rating for sailplane pilots is also proposed allowing these to enter clouds taking into account the airspace structure and the relevant ATC procedures.
NPA 2011-16 follows from NPA 2008-17b developing rules for pilot licensing which revealed that the proposed instrument rating requirements seemed too demanding for private pilot license holders and that a separate rulemaking task should be initiated for this purpose. Therefore, together with experts from national authorities, flight crew organisations, training schools and the general aviation community, a dedicated NPA was developed.
The publication of this NPA is the first step of a fully transparent public consultation process. All concerned parties are invited to submit their comments to EASA. Comments will be reviewed and a Comment Response Document (CRD) will be made available for public consultation. At the end of the consultation process, EASA will present a final Opinion to the European Commission which will then launch the final process for adoption of the rules by the European Parliament and European Council.