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UK – EU Transition, and UK Civil Aviation Regulations

To access current UK civil aviation regulations, including AMC and GM, CAA regulatory documents, please use this link to UK Regulation. Please note, if you use information and guidance under the Headings below, the references to EU regulations or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate information or description of your obligations under UK law. These pages are undergoing reviews and updates.

The main purpose of the CAA’s enforcement role is to protect consumers and the public by encouraging compliance with rules applicable to civil aviation and to deter non-compliance.

As outlined in our Regulatory Enforcement Policy, some enforcement actions will be published, primarily to provide a transparent mechanism by which consumers and the public can be informed about the actions we have taken, and to provide a wider deterrent for non-compliance. The general principles for the types of actions we will publish are contained within the Appendix to the Policy.

Consumer enforcement action

The CAA has civil powers to take enforcement action in relation to a range of passenger rights legislation and general consumer law. These powers come from Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002, and the CAA can seek undertakings from businesses that require them to comply with the law. If undertakings are not provided, or are breached, the CAA can seek an Enforcement Order from the Court.

Our approach to prioritising our work is set out in our Prioritisation Principles.

We provide more detailed information on our consumer enforcement policy in our Guidance on Consumer Enforcement document.

Prosecutions

The Civil Aviation Authority is tasked by the Department for Transport to investigate and prosecute breaches of aviation safety rules and some aviation related consumer protection and health and safety requirements.

It is in the public interest that those who comply with aviation rules have confidence that those rules are enforced.

Prosecution is one means by which the CAA ensures that the aviation rules for which it is responsible are properly observed and appropriately enforced.

The CAA prosecutes both companies and individuals for breaches of the legislation it is tasked with enforcing. Investigations into alleged breaches of the law are carried out by the Investigations & Enforcement Team, in accordance with our Code of Practice.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 (as amended)

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 (as amended) ("the Regulations") introduced a series of obligations on airline operators to undertake checks of passenger’s health documentation and ensure that passengers had appropriate evidence to support declarations which they made on their Passenger Locator Form (“PLF”). They also placed a requirement on airline operators to have appropriate systems and processes in place.

The Regulations were revoked at 4am on Friday 18th March 2022.

The CAA was the enforcement body for airline operators in England and failure of airline operators to make the relevant checks or have in place effective systems and processes was a criminal offence. The CAA had the power to impose either a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £2,000 or £4,000 or consider enforcement action through the criminal courts.  CAA used evidence provided by UK Border Force, conducted spot checks at airports and undertook audits on airline operator’s systems and processes for ensuring that adequate systems and processes were in place and to identify violations of the Regulations.

Airlines were required to pay or contest the FPN within 28 days. Where evidence was provided to demonstrate that the appropriate checks had been undertaken by the airline operator, the CAA would rescind the FPN.

Overview of FPNs served under The Regulations

Monthly breakdown of FPNs for all types of offences up to 18 March 2022

2021

Month

FPNs served

FPNs rescinded

FPNs paid

February

30

0

0

March

447

11

7

April

387

9

232

May

531

78

118

June

224

70

310

July

83

44

237

August

94

13

243

September

172

108

111

October

5

51

148

November

100

6

97

December

102

5

40

Total

2175

396

1543

 

 

2022

Month

FPNs served

FPNs rescinded

FPNs paid

January

45

5

91

February

32

5

33

March

4

1

16

Total

81

11

140

 

Notes:

  • The number of FPNs paid illustrates the number paid within that month.
  • The Civil Aviation Authority is not the relevant authority for enforcement against operators for passengers arriving on flights into Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • In Q1 2022, on average, it took around 16.8 days for an FPN to be served on an operator from the date the non-compliant passenger arrived on their flight into the UK.
Close The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 (as amended)

Prosecution Case for The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 (as amended) breach

Romanian airline Blue Air received a number of fixed penalty notices for the breaches of Covid-19 requirements, which they did not pay or seek to resolve with the CAA.  Blue Air Aviation was brought to court for six offences under the Covid Enforcement Regulations and fined £40,000 after pleading guilty in a hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court.

  • Five of the offences concerned Blue Air failing to ensure passengers arriving at Heathrow had completed the required PLF.
  • The sixth offence concerned a failure to ensure an arriving passenger had evidence of a completed pre-departure Covid test.

UK Civil Aviation Authority prosecutes Blue Air Aviation over Covid-19 offences 

Links

Data on fixed penalty notices by operator 18 January 2021 – 31 July 2021

CAA press release on FPN data 

Letter from CAA to airline operators 21 July 2021

Letter from CAA to airline operators 23 February 2022

 

Close Prosecution Case for The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 (as amended) breach

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