The first gyroplane to benefit from new airworthiness rules has been unveiled at Europe's biggest annual general aviation event. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it had today issued a type certificate for the Rotorsport Cavalon Pro, which will now allow each of these gyroplanes to have a Certificates of Airworthiness (C of A), rather than a Permit to Fly, if the owner so chooses. This brings the benefit of aircraft on 'C of As' being able to be used for commercial operations.

The move follows a regulatory change earlier in the year allowing type-certificated, factory-built non-EASA gyroplanes to qualify for C of As rather than permits. The decision is part of the CAA's overall GA strategy to create a vibrant GA sector, which will potentially open new markets for sales and operations.

The type certificate was presented to Rotorsport's Managing Director, Gerry Speich, by Tony Rapson, Head of the CAA's General Aviation Unit at the AERO 2015 show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The CAA welcomes similar applications from other manufacturers if their gyroplanes meet the revised requirements.

Tony Rapson said: “We're very pleased to issue this type certificate to Rotorsport UK Ltd. A little over a year since the launch of the General Aviation Unit within the CAA industry is seeing the benefits through the development of a more proportionate set of airworthiness and flight operations rules. We will continue doing all we can to ensure the UK GA sector is given every opportunity to succeed.”

Gerry Speich said: "It is testament to the teamwork between RotorSport, AutoGyro (who manufacture the aircraft), and the UK CAA that it has been possible to establish the airworthiness requirements for a certified gyroplane, and then to demonstrate compliance for the Cavalon Pro. Certification recognizes a higher degree of safety, quality and reliability for operators as well as reducing insurance risk and enabling fleet financing.

“This certification represents years of development, and demonstrates that gyroplanes are serious, useful aircraft that can now take their rightful place in the aviation industry, flying by day or night VFR and with the low fuel burn and lower noise than other rotary aircraft, gyroplanes offer a green alternative not currently available elsewhere. I am absolutely delighted that a new era for gyroplanes has begun.”

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Notes to Editors:

In the absence of published standards in Europe for type-certificated gyroplanes, the CAA said it had been necessary to develop an appropriate set of requirements. A working group made up of CAA specialists and colleagues from industry - including European manufacturers - subsequently developed a set of special conditions which supplemented the contents of the British Civil Airworthiness Requirements (BCAR) Section T and will enable type-certified gyroplanes to meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements and be issued with individual C of As.

The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy.