• The CAA and Military Aviation Authority (MAA) have developed an accreditation scheme for Flying Display Directors at civilian and military flying displays.

    With the exception of single item displays with an airborne Flying Display Director (FDD), permissions for flying displays happening after 1 May 2017 will only be granted if the FDD has been appropriately accredited under the CAA/MAA accreditation scheme.

    FDD competency

    The accreditation scheme is based on the applicant's ability to demonstrate their suitability to act as an FDD. Knowledge, experience and capability are measured against a number of FDD competencies.

    • Regulatory compliance
    • Planning and organising safe flying displays
    • Displaying risk assessment, management and review
    • Obtaining necessary permissions and planning display in accordance with regulatory rules
    • Coordination with Event Organisers and Heads of Establishment
    • Air traffic control and radio communication at displays
    • Maintaining flying discipline
    • Briefing and debriefing of participating aircrew
    • Safe coordination of Flying Displays and Flying Display programmes
    • Cancellation or modification to the programme in the case of adverse weather or other conditions
    • Flying display monitoring and warning calls
    • Flying Control Committee & FDD coordination
    • Dealing with contingencies
    • Post-display briefing
    • Flight Safety Reporting (Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR)/Defence Aviation Safety Occurrence Reports (DASOR)
    • Post-event reporting
    • Learning from what happens
    • Understanding the human factor influences on the safety of flying displays and how to address them
    • Accident and incident response and management
    • Knowledge of AAIB and display accident investigation
  • Accreditation process

    Applicants for FDD accreditation will apply to the CAA or MAA on Form SRG1326. All applicants will be required to attend one of two 2-day training and assessment centres. The first will be held at Shrivenham, Swindon on 21/22 March and the second at Warton Aerodrome (8-miles west of Preston) on 5/6 May.

    Applicants who attend the training and pass the associated assessment process and behavioural and attitudinal fitness assessment will be accredited to one of three competency tiers and their accreditation will enable them to manage displays of different of complexity.

    The tier that the applicant is initially accredited to will be based on an assessment of the applicant's past relevant experience and their past performance as an FDD.

  • Experience   Accreditation level
    No experience as an FDD in the past 18 months Tier 1 with restrictions (able to direct at one item events only in 1st year of accreditation) 
    At least two displays directed at Tier 1 level in the past 18 months* Tier 1
    At least two displays directed at Tier 2 level in the past 18 months* Tier 2 
    At least two displays directed at Tier 3 level in the past 18 months* Tier 3

    * Displays directed overseas are acceptable for the experiential requirements where the host country's regulation is based on CAP 403 guidance.

  • Flying display categorisation

    Flying display applications will be assessed by the CAA/MAA to determine which tier of FDD they will need to be granted. The assessment is based on analysis of a number of factors. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

  •  No. of participants   Low complexity High complexity   
    Low energy High energy Low energy High energy 
    1  Tier 1 Tier 1  Tier 1  Tier 1 
    2-3*  Tier 1 Tier 2  Tier 1  Tier 2 
    4-7 Tier 1 Tier 2  Tier 2  Tier 2
    8-12 Tier 2 Tier 2  Tier 2  Tier 3 
    13+  Tier 3 Tier 3  Tier 3  Tier 3 

    *If the event consists of Flypast Displays only (civil) or Flypasts (military) it can be considered Tier 1.

    Note: Any Flying Display with a High Energy display team consisting of two or more aircraft (e.g. RAF Aerobatics Team (RAFAT)) should be categorised as a minimum Tier 2 Flying Display.

    High energy: Displays should be considered as high energy if they contain aircraft >1200kg MTOM or >150kts. All other displays should be considered as low energy.

    Complexity: EOs and FDDs should consider the following when making the judgement on whether an event is High or Low complexity:

    1. Airspace - consider the complexity of the airspace surrounding the display venue, including proximity to controlled airspace or areas with specific limitations that may affect the type of aircraft displaying
    2. Geography - consider the difficulty of the terrain in addition to crowd and event layout
    3. Built up areas - consider the proximity, density and size of adjacent built up and congested areas
    4. Third part spectators/people - consider the likelihood and ability to control secondary spectators and any affect the display may have on uninvolved third party members of the public; consider the proximity of major roads, railway lines and local infrastructure and how busy they are
    5. Display length - consider the effect of the flying display window on de-confliction issues, e.g. three items over two hours is less complex than three items over 15 minutes
    6. Display team size - consider the number and type of aircraft in a display team with respect to the size and nature of the display venue 
  • Who needs to apply and when?

    Any FDD who wants to be named on applications for Flying Displays happening after 1 May 2017 that involve a ground based FDD. Applications will be invited from 1 February 2017.

    How do I apply?

    Apply by submitting Form SRG1326 by e-mail to the CAA at ga@caa.co.uk. Please use the subject line 'FDD accreditation application'.

    Is there a charge for FDD accreditation applications?

    There will be no charge for FDD accreditation this year. The CAA will establish the basis for future cost recovery during 2017/18.

    How long do accreditations last and are there any currency requirements?

    Accreditation will be for a period of three years, subject to ongoing fitness for the role. To maintain currency, the FDD must act as FDD at least once every two years.

    How do I obtain accreditation at a higher tier of complexity?

    Progression upwards in accreditation level will depend on demonstrable further experience and capability at the higher tier of complexity.

    Further information

    Please contact the GA Unit: ga@caa.co.uk