• What is a foreign aircraft exemption?

    A foreign aircraft exemption is an exemption specifically for owners and operators of foreign registered aircraft. It permits them to fly in UK airspace.

    The UK CAA cannot issue permissions for operators of foreign registered aircraft to fly in Channel Islands or Isle of Man airspace. Operators will need to approach the relevant Aviation Authority for this.

    Do I need one?

    You will need to apply for an exemption from us if:

    • you are the owner or operate a foreign registered aircraft with a temporary registration
    • you do not have an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A)

    What are general exemptions?

    General exemptions are exemptions that have already been pre-agreed by the CAA. You do not need to apply for an exemption as long as your aircraft meets certain requirements.

    You must be able to prove you meet these requirements as you could be asked to show your documents at any time during your visit.

    You can only fly in UK airspace under one of these exemptions for a maximum of 28 consecutive days.

    ECAC agreement

    If you are flying a home-built aircraft and you are from an ECAC member state you do not need to apply for an exemption.

    You must have a permit to fly or equivalent.

    Official Records Series 4: General Exemption for Foreign Registered Home-built Aircraft

    Agreement between the UK CAA and DGAC France

    If you’re flying a French registered aircraft you do not need to apply for an exemption unless your aircraft is ex-military or a factory-built gyroplane.

    You must have a permit to fly or equivalent.

    Official Records Series 4: Exemption for Certain French Registered Aircraft not possessing ICAO Compliant Certificates of Airworthiness

    Agreement between the UK CAA and the Irish Aviation Authority

    If you’re flying an Irish registered aircraft you do not need to apply for an exemption unless your aircraft is ex-military or a factory-built gyroplane.

    You must have a permit to fly or equivalent.

    Official Records Series 4: Exemption for Certain Irish Registered Aircraft not possessing ICAO Compliant Certificates of Airworthiness

    Air displays

    Any CAA Exemption issued will be valid only for the transit flights to and from the UK. If you’re flying in the UK and participating in an air display, you will need other permissions from us as well as any permission in relation to the Airworthiness Certification.

    For further information see Flying displays and special events.

    Insurance

    Your insurance must be in line with the requirements set out by Regulation (EC) 785/2004.

    You may be required to show insurance documentation when you apply for an exemption, as we are monitoring this on behalf of the UK Department for Transport.

    If your documentation shows you have not complied with this regulation it will be forwarded to the Aircraft Registration Department for review.