• If you are based outside the EEA, you will need to apply for a Foreign Carrier Permit in order to operate commercial flights to, from, or within the UK. This applies to all flights, whether they are a regular scheduled service, a short term chartered service or a single chartered flight.

    • The EEA is made up of the EU along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

    Aerial work

    A permit is also required for flights undertaking aerial work (for example: photography, parachuting or flight training) where the operator is using aircraft registered outside of the EEA.

    More information on aerial work

    We recommend you contact the CAA’s Foreign Registered Aircraft Permits Department using the details below before you apply for a Foreign Carrier Permit.

    Permits issued by the DfT are still valid.

    On 6 April 2014 the CAA took over the function of issuing Foreign Carrier Permits from the Department for Transport (DfT).

    Subject to any enforcement action or restriction that may be placed on a permit in the interim any permit granted prior to the transfer to the CAA will remain in force until its expiry.

    The DfT is still responsible for issuing permits to operate to some UK territories.

    If you require a permit to operate to the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands or UK overseas territories you should contact the Department for Transport directly. See contact details for DfT.

    Apply for a foreign carrier permit

    For application forms and details of other required documents, see the foreign carrier permit applications page.


    We recommend contacting the CAA before applying for a Foreign Carrier Permit.

    The Foreign Registered Aircraft Permits Department is staffed weekdays between 09:00 and 17:00 Local (excluding public holidays).

    Email: foreigncarrierpermits@caa.co.uk
    Fax: 00 44 (0) 207 453 6632
    Telephone: 00 44 (0) 207 453 6436 (office hours only)


    Outside of office hours the CAA will only consider applications for urgent permission in emergency situations, for example air ambulance or humanitarian flights. Applications that need to be submitted outside of office hours should be made to the CAA Duty Office 00 44 (0)330 022 1500 or 00 44 (0) 330 022 1500.

    Where a permit is not required

    Certain flights using non-UK registered aircraft do not require any additional approval namely:

    • Private flights
    • Overflights of the UK
    • Flights exercising traffic rights permitted by Chapter III of the European Market Access Regulation;
    • State flights undertaken on behalf of a foreign Government (for example flights carrying Heads of State/Government Ministers
    • Flights by military-registered aircraft (‘State’ not ‘Civil’ flights)*
    • Positioning flights, ferry flights or, delivery flights
    • A flight for the purposes of undertaking repairs, alterations, maintenance, or salvage
    • Test flights

    *Note: Before undertaking a military registered flight you will need to contact the UK Ministry of Defence using the following details:

    Diplomatic Flight Clearance
    Ministry of Defence
    Telephone: 00 44 (0) 207 218 2723
    E-mail: OIpsDir-Clerk4@mod.uk