Foreign Carrier Permits

Guidance for Foreign Carriers

Where a permit is required

Except where outlined below before operating to, from or within the United Kingdom all users of non-UK registered aircraft must be in possession of an operating permit (permission) issued under the Air Navigation Order 2009.

This requirement extends to all scheduled and non-scheduled passenger and cargo charters that are not covered by the provisions of the European Market Access Regulation.

A permit is also required for flights undertaking aerial work (for example: photography, parachuting or flight training) where the operator is using aircraft registered outside of the European Economic Area.

With effect from 6 April 2014 the CAA will take over the function of issuing such permits from the Department for Transport. Subject to any enforcement action or restriction that may be placed on a permit in the interim any permit granted prior to the transfer to the CAA will remain in force until expiry. 

Non-UK registered aircraft undertaking commercial services also require a permit before being able to operate to the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and the UK overseas territories. If you require a permit to operate to any of these jurisdictions you should contact the Department for Transport directly.

Telephone 00 44 (0) 207 944 5847 or E-mail

Where a permit is NOT required

Certain flights using non-UK registered aircraft do not require any additional approval namely:

  • Private flights;
  • Overflights of the UK;
  • Flights exercising traffic rights permitted by Chapter III of the European Market Access Regulation;
  • State flights undertaken on behalf of a foreign Government (for example flights carrying Heads of State/Government Ministers;
  • Flights by military-registered aircraft (‘State’ not ‘Civil’ flights)

    Note you will need to contact the UK Ministry of Defence before undertaking such a flight

    Diplomatic Flight Clearance, Ministry of Defence,
    Telephone 00 44 (0) 207 218 2723
    or E-mail

  • Positioning flights, ferry flights or, delivery flights;
  • A flight for the purposes of undertaking repairs, alterations, maintenance, or salvage;
  • Test flights

Flights by an aircraft without a full Certificate of Airworthiness

Flights by an aircraft without a full Certificate of Airworthiness, including any test, positioning, delivery or over flight that do not require a permit, may however need a separate exemption from the CAA before they can be undertaken.

See our information on whether you require an exemption or please contact the CAA at for advice.

Note you should establish whether such an exemption is required before submitting an application for a permit.

List of airlines banned from operating within the EU

A permit will not be granted to an air carrier prohibited from operating within the boundaries of the EU in accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EC) 2111/2005.

Application Forms


The Foreign Registered Aircraft Permits Department is staffed weekdays between 09:00 and 17:00 Local (excluding public holidays). 


Fax: 00 44 (0) 207 453 6622

Telephone:00 44 (0) 207 453 6436 (office hours only)


Outside of office hours the CAA will only consider applications for urgent permission in emergency situations, for example air ambulance or humanitarian flights.   Applications that need to be submitted outside of office hours should be made to the CAA Duty Office 00 44 (0) 207 379 7311


Applications are subject to a fee of £75 (GBP) that must be received by the CAA before the application will be processed.  The CAA can only receive payment for this application by credit or debit card and will contact the Applicant during UK office hours (09:00 – 17:00 local) to take credit or debit card information.  Please note that payment of the £75 fee is to process the application only. It is not a fee for the Permit itself, which, if granted, is provided free of charge.