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UK – EU Transition, and UK Civil Aviation Regulations

To access current UK civil aviation regulations, including AMC and GM, CAA regulatory documents, please use this link to UK Regulation. Please note, if you use information and guidance under the Headings below, the references to EU regulations or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate information or description of your obligations under UK law. These pages are undergoing reviews and updates.

Licence requirements

The type of licence required for the operation of a balloon is dependent on the purpose of intended operations:

Private activity

Either a UK Private Pilot’s Licence for balloons, UK PPL(BA), or an EASA Part-BFCL BPL is required.

Commercial activity (without paying passengers)

Either a UK Commercial Pilot’s Licence for balloons, UK CPL(B) (restricted or full), or an EASA Part-BFCL BPL with commercial operation rating is required.

Commercial activity (with paying passengers)

Either a UK Commercial Pilot’s Licence for balloons, UK CPL(B) (full), or an EASA part-BFCL BPL with commercial operation rating is required.

Operator requirements

In accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/395, balloon flight for certain Commercial Operations, including Commercial Passenger Ballooning (CPB), requires the operator to declare to the competent authority of the Member State where the operator has its principal place of business (or where the operator has no principal place of business, the place where the operator is established or resides).

Declared Balloon Operator (DBO)

Annex II of Regulation (EU) 2018/395, “Balloon Air Operations (Part-BOP), Subpart ADD – Additional Requirements for Commercial Operations”, contains the regulations, acceptable means of compliance and guidance material relevant for balloon operators. Further guidance is available in CAP 1741 - Declared Balloon Operator Guidance.

List of Declared Balloon Operators

Initial Declaration as a balloon operator

CAA Form SRG 2146 should be completed and sent to CAA. Details of costs can be found in the CAA Scheme of Charges – Air Operator and Police Air Operator Certificates. (Note that once declared, there is no “renewal” process, the declaration continues to be valid unless it is varied (because of a change to the information in the previous declaration) or ceased.)

Variation of Declaration as a balloon operator

CAA Form SRG 2146 should be completed and sent to CAA. Details of costs can be found in the CAA Scheme of Charges – Air Operator and Police Air Operator Certificates.

Airspace notification

Guidance on the airspace notification requirements for balloon events/activities is detailed on the Balloons page.

Unmanned balloons

Guidance on the permission requirements for unmanned captive/tethered and free balloons is detailed on the Balloons page.

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