Wet and Damp Leasing

Guidance and application information relating to wet and damp leasing of aircraft

Wet Leasing is defined under EU regulations as an agreement between air carriers pursuant to which the aircraft is operated under the AOC of the Lessor.

A Damp Lease is defined as a wet-leased aircraft that includes a cockpit crew but not cabin attendants.

Please note that there may be a charge associated with wet/damp leasing applications depending on how much assessment is required. See the details on Leasing Application Charges.

Flight Time Limitation (FTL) Scheme

EU-OPS Subpart Q is not a complete scheme for FTL as it contains a number of areas that are still regulated by Member States and was not subject to scientific review. Therefore, in accordance with EU-OPS recitals and as required by Article 8(4) the CAA has notified the Commission that it will maintain CAP 371 as the basis for all UK AOC FTL schemes until such time as Community rules based on scientific knowledge and best practice are established. With regard to FTL scheme requirements for wet lease arrangements, they must be in compliance with the UK operator's approved FTL scheme.

Identifying the Operating Air Carrier

UK Operators are reminded of the requirements in Article 11 of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2111/2005, which requires the air carriage contractor to inform the passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier or carriers. See Article 11 for further information.

Wet Leasing-in a Third Country Operator

In order to wet lease-in from a third country operator, the UK Operator (Lessee) must first obtain prior approval as follows:

  • Lease approval from the DfT in accordance with Article 13(3) of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 (New Third Package Regulation);
  • Lease approval from the CAA issued under ARO.OPS.110(a)(2) of Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012 (Air Operations Regulation) after demonstrating compliance with ORO.AOC.110(a), (b) and (c);
  • A Permit is required under Article 223 of the UK Air Navigation Order 2009, which can be obtained from the CAA’s Permit Team – please use the following link for further information on how to apply for a Permit and the associated Permit application fee: http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=148&pagetype=90&pageid=13220

Additional considerations for wet leasing-in a third country operator include:

  • The Lessor’s pilots will be required to hold third country pilot licence validations in accordance with Annex III of Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011 (“the Aircrew Regulation”) or have been granted an Article 14(4) Exemption under Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008 (“the Basic Regulation”);
  • The Third Country Operator holds a Part-TCO Authorisation issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) once Regulation (EU) No. 452/2012 (“the Third Country Operators”) has been fully implemented.

Required Application Information

Wet or Damp Lease-in of a Non-UK registered aircraft

Please provide an application letter detailing the following information:

  • aircraft type and model;
  •  registration(s) of the aircraft;
  • name and address of the foreign operator (Lessor);
  • the period of the lease; and
  • routes to be flown.

In addition, the following documentation should accompany the application letter:

  • Copy of the lease agreement or description of the lease provisions;
  • A copy of the report on the safety assessment/audit carried out by the lessee on the foreign operator;
  • Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and/or Operating Licence and/or Certificate of Competency issued by the aeronautical authority of the State of Operator; (The AOC information should detail the aircraft type(s) and registration(s) to be used by the UK air carrier and the AOC areas and types of operation.)
  • Certificate of Registration issued by the aeronautical authority of the State of Registry for all the aircraft to be used on services to the UK;
  • Certificate of Airworthiness issued by the aeronautical authority of the State of Registry for all the aircraft to be used on services to the UK. A copy of the last annual maintenance inspection report should be included to validate the certificate;
  • Noise Certificates issued by the aeronautical authority of the State of Registry for all the aircraft to be used on services to the UK. Or a copy of a noise exemption obtained from the Regulatory Policy Group of the UK Civil Aviation Authority. (All aircraft operating scheduled/charter passenger/cargo services must be Chapter 3 compliant).
  • Certificate of Insurance - liability for passenger and third party risks for aircraft to be used. The level of insurance must meet the minimum requirements of insurance for passenger and third party liability set out in Article 6 and 7 of EC Regulation No. 785/2004.
  • Dangerous Goods and Munitions of War – confirmation as to whether any Dangerous Goods (DG) or Munitions of War (MoW) will be carried. For MoWso, provide letter of exemption issued by UK CAA.

Wet Lease-out of a UK registered aircraft on behalf of another operator (Community and Third Country)

Article 13(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 does not require lease approval. However, In order to wet lease-out a ‘G’ registered aircraft to any operator (Community or Third Country), the following requirements apply:

  • Before the aircraft is wet leased-out, the UK Operator must notify the UK CAA in accordance with ORO.AOC.110(f) and AMC1 ORO.AOC.110(f) of the Air Operations Regulation. Notifications should forwarded to the CAA Leasing Co-ordinator and the UK Operator’s assigned Flight Operations Inspector;
  • The UK Operator’s AOC must cover the areas of operation.

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  +44 (0)1293 57 3422
E-mail Aircraft.Leasing@caa.co.uk