• Skywriting and skytyping has been permitted in the UK since May 2020 following changes to the Civil Aviation Aerial Advertising Regulations.

    Requirements for Conducting Commercial or Non-Commercial Operations

    Non-commercial

    • Whether flying an UK Part-21 Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) aircraft or a UK permit to fly aircraft, a pilot with the appropriate licence and/or ratings for the type of aircraft flown, can conduct skytyping and skywriting operations without the need for a specific skytyping/skywriting permission from the CAA.
    • The appropriate considerations should be made to other users and the potential for a NOTAM must be regarded. For further information on NOTAMs contact AROps@caa.co.uk. Permissions must be gained from air traffic control should the need for such activity to take place within controlled airspace.

    Air Displays

    • If conducting skytyping or skywriting as part of an ANO Article 86 air display, the pilots are required to hold applicable Display Authorisations (DA) in accordance with CAP1724.


    Commercial

    Operating UK Part-21 Certificate of Airworthiness

    • If the operator wishes to conduct skytyping or skywriting in a UK Part-21 aircraft, as well as needing the appropriate ratings to fly the aircraft, the operator must ensure they hold a valid UK Part-FCL Commercial Pilots Licence.
    • Aerial Advertising is listed as a Specialised Operation (SPO) in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, Air Operations, Annex VIII Part-SPO as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
    • Skytyping and skywriting as a form of aerial advertisement and is categorised as a Specialised Operation which means that the operator conducting commercial operations on an UK Part-21 aircraft must do so in compliance with UK (EU) 965/2012, Air Operations, Annex VIII Part-SPO regulation. This requires the operators to submit a SPO declaration to the CAA ahead of operations being conducted. 

    Operating National Permit to Fly aircraft

    • If an operator would like to conduct commercial operations on a UK Permit to Fly aircraft, a request will need to be made to the CAA for an Article 42 permission. Article 42 of the ANO 2016 stipulates the limitations of National Permit to Fly aircraft on the UK register, including the requirement to have written permission from the CAA or the operator of such aircraft to be remunerated.

    Operating National Certificate of Airworthiness aircraft

    • If an operator uses a UK National C of A aircraft, a permission or a declaration to the CAA will not be necessary. The operator must ensure that the pilot holds a valid UK Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) if remuneration is taking place.
    Activity Aircraft Type Required Minimum Licence Applicable Regulation
    Skytyping UK Part-21 Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) UK Part-FCL Commercial Pilots Licence current class rating & Class 1 Medical. UK (EU) 965/2012 Annex VIII Part-Specialised Operations (SPO)
    UK National Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) UK Commercial Pilots Licence & Class 1 Medical. UK Air Navigation Order
    UK National Permit to Fly (PtF) Commercial Pilots Licence & Class 1 Medical. UK ANO permission required (Article 42)
    Skywriting UK Part-21 Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) UK Part-FCL Commercial Pilots Licence current class and aerobatic rating & Class 1 Medical. UK (EU) 965/2012 Annex VIII Part-Specialised Operations (SPO)
    UK National Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) UK Commercial Pilots Licence current class and aerobatic rating[1] & Class 1 Medical. UK Air Navigation Order
    UK National Permit to Fly (PtF) Commercial Pilots Licence current class and aerobatic rating[2] & Class 1 Medical. UK ANO permission required (Article 42)

     


    [1] An Aerobatic rating will only be required when operating under a UK Part-FCL pilots’ licence.

    [2] An Aerobatic rating will only be required when operating under a UK Part-FCL pilots’ licence.