The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today announced its intention to hold a public consultation on its proposal to deregulate (for airworthiness purposes) all UK-registered single seat microlights. This consultation, which will open during September and run for six weeks, will, if successful, extend the present single seat deregulated (SSDR) category, introduced in 2007, to include all single seat microlight aircraft as defined within Annex II Article 4(4). All such aircraft would then be able to be designed and constructed either privately or commercially without the airworthiness oversight of either a member association or the CAA.
As with the previous 115Kg SSDR category, accountability for initial and continuing airworthiness would remain with the aircraft designer, builder and owner; there would be no requirement for a UK Permit to Fly, or any other form of CAA approval. Operation of all microlights would continue to require the pilot to hold a UK or EASA PPL / NPPL or LAPL and comply with the Rules of the Air.
The move has been prompted both by requests from industry and an internal appraisal of safety performance of the UK-only 115Kg ‘SSDR’ class. The consultation will provide the necessary degree of public scrutiny to a proposal which would provide innovation and economic incentives to industry and private constructors in a manner proportionate to the needs and accountabilities within that sector.
Welcoming the move, the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA)’s Geoff Weighell said: “The BMAA has worked closely with the CAA to extend the scope of SSDR to all single seat microlights. We welcome the pragmatic approach that the CAA has taken leading to this reduction in regulation. We feel that the SSDR microlight revitalises the roots of our sector of aviation and its extension will benefit pilots and industry.”
The Light Aircraft Association (LAA)’s Graham Newby added: “This is a good example of how the Regulator and industry are working in partnership to reduce the regulatory burden, where appropriate, not only helping the flying community but also the UKs aviation industry.”
The consultation document, and details of how to respond, will be available at www.caa.co.uk/consultations
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