CAA launches consultation on historic aircraft flights

Date: 30 May 2014

As part of its consultation on the future regulation of General Aviation (GA) in the UK the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today proposed an easier way for aviation enthusiasts to enjoy flights in historic aircraft.

The consultation details a proposed policy that would put in place a new way to regulate GA that both recognises the need to protect third parties, such as the general public, but also makes requirements more proportionate and assists in the Government's aims of making the UK GA sector innovative and vibrant.

Passengers can already fly in many GA and historic aircraft, but if the operator wants to make a profit from the flight then they currently need to obtain and maintain a full commercial Air Operators Certificate approval from the CAA. The new policy sets out a much easier route by ensuring passengers are fully aware of the level of regulation and risk before deciding to fly.

It would bring the oversight of this type of flying in line with other activities and sports that have a higher risk, such as kitesurfing, and perhaps use similar disclaimer forms for passengers.

Andrew Haines Chief Executive of the CAA said: "We know that there is a very large and enthusiastic community in the UK that while not directly aircraft owners or pilots want to be actively involved in aviation and the experiences it can offer.

“Operators of historic aircraft in particular want to be able to offer more flights and make it easier to financially support their operations when doing so. Many haven't been able to because of the level and expense of the safety oversight currently required. Our proposals address this in what we think is a sensible way, building on what has worked successfully in other countries and ensuring that any passengers are aware of the level of safety and risk involved in their flight. The new policy is designed to ensure that third parties and non-GA participants are protected in line with the CAA’s statutory duties while delivering our new vision for GA."
The wider consultation builds on the recent GA Red Tape Challenge and the formation of the CAA's first dedicated GA unit and will define how the CAA regulates GA on a day-to-day basis.

Once in place the policy would provide a set of clearly defined and transparent guidance as to how the CAA would make decisions on GA regulation. The changes would potentially reduce regulations and requirements for many areas of GA, including operators of historic aircraft and air show organisers.

The consultation includes an outline of the policy process and an example of how it would be applied.
The CAA is keen to hear the views of anyone involved in or affected by GA, including members of the public who have any views on the proposals to ease restrictions on carrying fare paying passengers in historic aircraft.

The consultation can be viewed at where details of how to respond are also provided. The closing date for responses is 31 July 2014.

More detail on the CAA’s GA activities and the work of the GA Unit are available at

For further press information, contact the CAA Press Office on: 0207 453 6030

Follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA

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.