• Categories of aircraft

    UK registered aircraft fall into one of two groupings: Part 21 aircraft and Non-Part 21 aircraft.

    UK Part 21 aircraft

    Aircraft in this category are those that were previously managed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and were considered as EASA types.

    Non-UK Part 21 aircraft

    Aircraft in this category are those that were previously defined in Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 (known as the basic regulation) and known as Annex 1 aircraft, which were managed nationally. UK aircraft therefore fall under the provisions of British Civil Airworthiness Requirements (BCAR).
    To be classified as Non-UK Part 21 (or Annex I) an aircraft has to meet one or more of the following criteria:

    1. For manned aircraft:
       a. Historic aircraft meeting the following criteria:
           i. Aircraft whose:
              — initial design was established before 1 January 1955, and
              — production has been stopped before 1 January 1975;
           ii. Aircraft having a clear historical relevance, related to:
              — A participation in a noteworthy historical event,
              — A major step in the development of aviation, or,
              — A major role played into the armed forces of a State;
       b. Aircraft specifically designed or modified for research, experimental or scientific purposes, and likely to be produced in very limited numbers;
       c. Aircraft, including those supplied in kit form, where at least 51% of the fabrication and assembly tasks are performed by an amateur, or a non-profit making association of amateurs, for         their own purposes and without any commercial objective;
       d. Aircraft that have been in the service of military forces, unless the aircraft is of a type for which a design standard has been adopted by the UK CAA;
       e. Aeroplanes having measurable stall speed or the minimum steady flight speed in landing configuration not exceeding 35 knots calibrated air speed (CAS), helicopters, powered                       parachutes, sailplanes and powered sailplanes, having no more than two seats and a Maximum Take-Off Mass (MTOM) of no more than:

       Aeroplane/Helicopter/Powered parachute/powered sailplanes  Sailplanes Amphibian or floatplane/ helicopter  Airframe mounted total recovery parachute 
     Single-seater  300 kg MTOM  250 kg MTOM  Additional 30 kg MTOM  Additional 15 kg MTOM
     Two-seater  450 kg MTOM  400 kg MTOM  Additional 45 kg MTOM  Additional 25 kg MTOM

    When an amphibian or a floatplane/helicopter is operating both as a floatplane/helicopter and as a land plane/helicopter, it must fall below the applicable MTOM limit.

       f. Single and two-seater gyroplanes with a MTOM not exceeding 600 kg;
       g. Replicas of aircraft meeting the criteria of points (a) or (d), for which the structural design is similar to the original aircraft;
       h. Balloons and airships having a single or double occupancy and a maximum design volume of, in the case of hot air not more than 1,200 m³, and in the case of other lifting gas not more         than 400 m³;
        i. Any other manned aircraft which has a maximum empty mass, including fuel, of no more than 70 kg.

    2. Furthermore:
       a. Tethered aircraft with no propulsion system, where the maximum length of the tether is 50 m, and where:
           i. The MTOM of the aircraft, including its payload, is less than 25 kg, or
           ii. In the case of a lighter-than-air aircraft, the maximum design volume of the aircraft is less than 40 m³;
       b. Tethered aircraft with a MTOM of no more than 1 kg.