Safety of UK Aircraft (Air Operator Certificates)

Your safety is the number one priority of the whole aviation industry. Learn about what measures make flying as safe as it is.

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Companies or individuals wishing to carry fare-paying passengers have to by law complete a thorough process by which they satisfy the Civil Aviation Authority that they are 'competent to secure the safe operation of aircraft'. The CAA reviews the applicant’s operations manual, and audits such areas as management and organisational competence, crew training, aircraft maintenance, aircraft loading, flight planning and fuel planning amongst many other matters. If this set of stringent requirements is met, an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) will be granted.

Once an AOC is granted, the operation is subject to a programme of continuing surveillance to ensure it continues to meet all requirements.

Passengers can check that a UK operator holds an AOC by viewing the lists of UK AOC holders.  This link also provides technical information on what an operator must do to obtain an AOC.