Aircraft Leasing - Regulations and Standards

Guidance on International, European and UK regulation and legislation.

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

ICAO Contracting States undertake to regulate aviation in their country. The State of Registry of the aircraft, in accordance with current Community and national law, sets criteria to ensure compliance with design standards, airworthiness and crew licensing; other matters are also covered. States license and supervise certificated carriers (e.g. AOC holders) with a view to setting standards designed to achieve a certain level of safety. When an aircraft registered in one State passes to the control of an operator in another State, the State of Registry may be unable to discharge the obligations allocated to it by the ICAO Convention. These obligations, set out in ICAO Annex 6, automatically fall on the State of Operator. This situation is resolved by the regulatory authorities of the two States agreeing to a common understanding of oversight responsibilities for the aircraft for a set period.

European Regulations (Approval Requirements)

Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community (Recast)

Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 deals with aircraft leasing.

Article 13(2) requires prior safety approval (in accordance with applicable Community or national law) for:

  • dry lease agreements to which a Community air carrier is a party (i.e. dry lease-in and dry lease-out); or
  • wet lease agreements where the Community air carrier is the lessee of the wet leased aircraft (i.e. wet lease-in).

The Regulation does not require prior approval for wet leasing-out (i.e. where the UK operator is the lessor of the wet leased aircraft). However, the Air Operations Regulation (EU Reg 965/2012) does require prior notification to the UK CAA (FOI and Leasing Co-ordinator) when wet leasing-out their aircraft. Note: Please see Part-ORO, paragraph ORO.AOC.110(f)) and AMC1 ORO.AOC.110(f) for further information.

Wet leasing-in of an aircraft registered in a third country (i.e non-Community lessor) requires prior approval under Article 13(3) of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008. This is currently issued by the Department of Transport (DfT) and requires recommendation on equivalent safety standards from the UK CAA. [Please Note: The UK AOC holder must also request prior approval from the UKCAA in accordance with EU Reg 965/2012, Part-ORO, ORO.AOC.110 Please also refer to AMC1 ORO.AOC.110 (General).

Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012 of 5 October 2012 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council - applies to commercial air transport aeroplanes and helicopters. The following gives an overview of the Leasing approval requirements with the Air Operations Regulation:

Annex II Part-ARO (Authority Requirements) - ARO.OPS.110 Lease agreements:

  • ARO.OPS.110(a)(1) – dry lease-in of third country registered aircraft;
  • ARO.OPS.110(a)(2) – wet lease-in of aircraft from a third country operator;
  • ARO.OPS.110(a)(3) – dry lease-out of an aircraft to any operator;
  • ARO.OPS.110(a)(4) – dry lease-in of EU registered aircraft and wet lease-in of an aircraft from an EU operator.

Annex III Part-ORO (Organisation Requirements) – ORO.AOC.110 Leasing agreement:

  • ORO.AOC.110(a) – dry or wet lease-in;
  • ORO.AOC.110(c) – wet lease-in of an aircraft registered in a third country;
  • ORO.AOC.110(d) – dry lease-in of an aircraft registered in a third country;
  • ORO.AOC.110(e) – dry lease-out of an aircraft to any operator;
  • ORO.AOC.110(f) – wet lease-out (prior notification requirement only)

Overview of Leasing Approval Requirements

In the United Kingdom, lease safety approvals are required under one of two Regulations depending on the type of lease involved:

  • Article 13(3) of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 by the DfT (for wet leasing-in a third country registered aircraft) ·
  • Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012, ARO.OPS.110 (once satisfied of compliance with ORO.AOC.110

Please use the following links to access further information:

Leasing Application Charges

Details of the charges to be paid to the CAA in connection with processing Aircraft Leasing applications can be found in the CAA Scheme of Charges, as published in the Official Record Series 5 (ORS5).

The ORS5 documents relating to leasing application charges are: ·

  • Air Operator and Police Air Operator Certification
  • Personnel Licensing

How to Contact Us

CAA Leasing Co-ordinator Flight Operations – Shared Services Centre
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority
Safety Regulation Group
1W Aviation House
Gatwick Airport South
West Sussex RH6 0YR

Tel No. +44 (0)1293 57 3422

Foreign Carrier Permits Associated with Non-UK Registered Aircraft being Leased-in

When the non-UK registered aircraft has been leased-in by a UK AOC holder and used on routes between the UK and points outside the European Economic Area (EEA), a Permit issued under Article 223 of the UK Air Navigation Order 2009 is required.

Applications and the associated fee to obtain a Foreign Carrier Permit should be made to the CAA’s Permit team. Contact details and further information can be found using the following link.