Other highlights include:
- New approval system for Gyroplane Commercial Pilot Licence training
- More electronic conspicuity devices approved for use
- Paid flights in historic aircraft expanded
Over the last three months, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has continued to make considerable progress in its aim to radically improve the regulation of General Aviation (GA) in the UK.
This work includes:
- Launching two related consultations on proposals to expand the types of aircraft available for initial paid flight training
- Allowing GA operators to take fee paying participants in ex-military multi-engine piston aeroplanes.
- Increasing the use of electronic conspicuity devices on GA aircraft by allowing existing transponders to use the ADS-B out function.
- Reducing the processing time for the issue of Private Pilot licences from 20 days in early 2019 to consistently under 10 days since last May.
- Removing some restrictions for historic and ex-military permit aircraft that prohibited them from overflying settlements.
- Launching an update to our Experimental Conditions guidance which helps UK companies (such as aircraft manufacturers, entrepreneurs or inventors) progress innovation of their prototype aircraft with minimum regulatory burden.
- Providing the first update to our GA Policy Framework which puts in place guidelines to help us fulfil statutory duties as we continue to deregulate, delegate and introduce proportionate regulation.
- Running workshops across the country for stakeholders including:
- briefing flying schools on the new private pilot theoretical knowledge online exam system which we will launch in the Spring
- helping GA Continued Airworthiness Management Organisations understand their responsibilities for aircraft and operations as we introduce more proportionate rules for GA as part of the EASA GA Roadmap 2.0
- Launching the approval system for training organisations to offer courses for the Commercial Pilot Licence and Flying Instructor Certificates for Gyroplanes
- Sywell aerodrome gained approval for a GNSS approach procedure in December 2019
- Running a joint post-display symposium with the Military Aviation Authority for the air display community which saw the highest number of attendees ever.
- Consulting on an update to the parachuting rules, regulations and guidance around operations and displays.
This work is in addition to the GA Unit's day-to-day activities which included over 600 site audits in 2019.
Throughout this work we have sought to deliver on our top-level principles for better GA regulation to help create a vibrant and dynamic GA sector in the UK. These principles are:
- Only regulate directly when necessary and do so proportionately
- Deregulate where we can
- Delegate where appropriate
- Do not gold-plate, and quickly and efficiently remove gold-plating that already exists
Rachel Gardner-Poole, Head of the CAA's GA Unit, said: “The end of 2019 saw us make several significant changes and start consultations on others that should deliver considerable benefits to the UK GA community.
“Through our change programme and linked projects, such as electronic conspicuity, we have some exciting opportunities coming up in 2020 that will continue to benefit GA in the UK.”