The British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) has been granted 'A8-26' approval by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which delegates greater responsibility for airworthiness oversight of recreational 'Permit to Fly' microlights and amateur built very light aeroplanes (VLA). The move, which will allow the BMAA to develop a greater level of oversight of the microlight sector, is in line with the CAA's intention to introduce a more proportionate approach to regulating recreational aviation.

Under the approval the BMAA will provide design, construction, maintenance and continuing airworthiness management oversight of any microlights and VLAs on a Permit to Fly. The CAA announced in November 2013 the policy change that would allow organisations such as the BMAA to expand their oversight powers. The BMAA approval, therefore, follows 18 months of detailed work to ensure it is in accordance with the British Civil Airworthiness Requirements.

Welcoming the approval, Geoff Weighell, chief executive of the BMAA, said: “We are extremely proud to be the first organisation to be approved to the new standard, which allows us the potential to expand our areas of activity, particularly in respect to working with the microlight manufacturing industry to help them reduce the cost of regulatory oversight and strengthen the viability of British microlight aircraft design and production.”

After handing over the approval certificate at the CAA's Gatwick headquarters, Tony Rapson, Head of the CAA's General Aviation Unit, said: “We are delighted to be able to grant this approval to the BMAA. The CAA has an excellent working relationship with the BMAA and we look forward to continuing that.”

More information on the approval policy for organisations providing airworthiness support to the CAA and guidance for organisations applying for approval are available on the CAA website.

For further press information, contact the CAA Press Office on 0207 453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk.

Follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA.

Notes to Editors

The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.