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 from a Community Member State (EEA and Switzerland)
Recent changes to European Regulations (EASA Air Operations Regulation) and the changing business models of UK operators, has led the CAA to develop a new UK policy and process to assist in the wet leasing-in of aircraft registered and operated from within the Community.
This new policy reflects the CAA’s new strategic approach, including Performance Based Oversight (PBO), and provides UK AOC holders with greater flexibility when wet leasing-in aircraft from within the Community.
The new process caters for the four principal scenarios foreseen by UK AOC holders: long term WLI and short term WLI – either planned or unplanned. At the heart of process is recognition that the UK AOC holder remains accountable for the safety of its operations when using WLI services and that it must oversee WLI aircraft as part of its own Safety Management System (SMS) to assure the safety of these operations.
UK AOC holders must notify the CAA of the use of the general approval paragraph 3 using online form below. This notification must be sent at least 30 minutes before the wet lease of the specified aircraft.
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 see our guidance on how to apply for a Permit and the associated Permit application fee.
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
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
Shared Services Centre
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority
1W, Aviation House
Gatwick Airport South
West Sussex. RH6 0YR
Tel +44 (0)1293 57 3422