Significant progress continues to be made to make regulation of the UK's General Aviation (GA) sector more proportionate and evidence-based the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said today.

In its fifth regular update to confirm its work in the area the CAA said that in the last 60 days it had:

  • Simplified guidance on, and issued a permission allowing more private pilots to undertake, charity flights by extending the type of aircraft that can be used to include permit aircraft such as microlights, gyroplanes, hang gliders and paragliders. The change places more emphasis on pilots providing a thorough explanation to passengers of the level of safety and risks prior to the flight taking place.
  • Presented the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Wings Award Scheme the first endorsement under the CAA's new 'good training provider' scheme. The Pilot Recognition for Operational Upskilling and Development (PROUD) initiative aims to improve the general skill level of private pilots, particularly recently qualified PPLs and NPPLs. The Light Aircraft Association (LAA) is the second recipient of this new initiative. In addition, all new private pilots now receive information on PROUD and schemes run by other organisations which encourage further training.
  • Granted the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) the first A8-26 approval which delegates greater responsibility for airworthiness oversight of recreational Permit to Fly microlights and amateur built very light aeroplanes (VLA). The change allows the BMAA to develop a greater level of oversight of the microlight sector.
  • Progressed the review of the UK Air Navigation Order to simplify the rules covering GA. The final consultation on the subject is set for 24 September and will last six weeks.
  • Concluded the second consultation on new simple requirements for the initial testing process for experimental aircraft. This could benefit small-scale aircraft designers by reducing the red tape and financial burdens associated with securing airworthiness and operational approval for new light aircraft designs, encouraging the growth of new design concepts.
  • Issued guidance on the changes introduced by EASA to simplify aircraft maintenance.
  • Concluded the consultation on proposals to make private pilot medical requirements more proportionate. The consultation attracted one of the highest number of responses ever to a CAA consultation with the majority supporting the proposals. The aircraft manufacturer Game Composites has been approved as an EASA design organisation, and its prototype GameBird 1 has been given a Permit to Fly to begin flight testing. The aircraft will still need an EASA Type Certificate before it can be sold commercially. The GameBird will be the first new UK designed and built aircraft certified to international standards since the 1980s.
  • Following consultation, (which the CAA contributed to), EASA has released CS-STAN (Standard Changes and Repairs) at Phase 1 which can now be used on eligible / applicable aircraft.

All of the changes support the CAA's new top level principles for GA regulation:

  • Only regulate directly when necessary and do so proportionately,
  • Deregulate where we can,
  • Delegate where appropriate,
  • Do not gold-plate, and quickly and efficiently remove gold-plating that already exists,
  • Help create a vibrant and dynamic GA sector in the UK.

The final 60 day update for 2015 will be published on 2nd Nov.

More detail on the CAA's GA activities and the work of the GA Unit are available at www.caa.co.uk/ga.

Notes to Editors

The creation of a dedicated GA Unit within the CAA emerged from the Government's Red Tape Challenge in 2013, which explored ways to reduce the regulatory burden on the general aviation sector. The 25-strong Unit has been assembled from airworthiness, flight operations and licensing specialists from across the CAA. All have significant knowledge and experience of general aviation, with most being active private pilots. The Unit is based in the CAA's Aviation House facility in Gatwick.

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.

For further press information, contact the CAA Press Office on 0207 453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk You can also follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA.