Information about airline operating licences
Air Transport Licences are similar both in their scope and their effect to Route Licences, but are granted to air carriers that are either registered or based in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, both of which are outside the EEA. These companies are unable to hold Operating Licences and are therefore also excluded from holding Route Licences, which may only be granted to holders of Operating Licences. Air carriers in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which operate UK registered aircraft, are therefore required to hold Air Transport Licences.
Holders of Air Transport Licences are required to meet specific nationality requirements in that they must be controlled by UK nationals.
There are statutory procedures for the processing of Air Transport Licence applications, set out in The Civil Aviation Authority Regulations 1991. These allow for the publication of an application and give an opportunity for objections to be made by licence holders or other interested parties. In normal circumstances the CAA will publish an application in its weekly Licensing Notices as soon as possible after receipt, allowing 21 days for objections to be made. If a valid objection is made, the matter has to be decided at a public hearing at which the applicant and objector are present. The CAA will reach a decision after the hearing and publish a written decision. Although it aims to deliver decisions as quickly as possible, if a public hearing is required the process will normally take at least two months after the end of the objection period. Unopposed applications may however be dealt with very quickly after the end of the objection period.
Further details on what is required for the grant and retention of an Air Transport Licence are set out in Licensing Airlines in the UK.