• The UK Civil Aviation Authority understands that the spread of Coronavirus is concerning for the industry and those with upcoming travel plans. We are providing the below information for passengers, holidaymakers and the industry.

    Please check this page regularly for any changes in our advice.

    Before you are due to travel or before booking any travel, we recommend checking the Government’s travel advice as well as reviewing your travel company’s terms and conditions. It is important that you consider taking out travel insurance as soon as possible, however make sure you are aware whether your policy will cover any potential impact to your travel as a result of COVID-19.

    Travel advice from the Government is available at gov.uk.

    Passenger rights

  • New airline partnership to fly back more tourists 

    On 30 March 2020, the UK Government announced a partnership between airlines to fly British travellers back to the United Kingdom. 

    British tourists stranded abroad who want to return to the UK should first check if there are commercial routes available by visiting the airline websites, Foreign & Commonwealth Travel Advice pages for the country they are in and British Embassy social media.  

    If there are no commercial options, they should visit the Travel Advice pages and sign up to alerts for their location and follow local Embassy social media and email updates.  When special return flights become available, these will be advertised by the local Embassy and British nationals on Travel Advice Pages and Embassy social media and those who have registered for updates will be contacted via email.

    For more information, visit: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice 

    Please be advised that the UK Civil Aviation Authority is not able to offer individual travel advice.  

    If your flight has been delayed or cancelled, then you are protected by a European regulation, referred to as EC261. 

    Under EC261, your airline has a duty of care for you if you were flying out of a UK airport or if you were flying back to a UK airport with a UK or EU airline. If you faced a delay of over two hours, you may be entitled to assistance, potentially including the provision of food and drink, as well as accommodation if a delay continues overnight. 

    If your flight has been cancelled, then your airline should offer you the choice of a full refund or alternative flights. Under the current situation, alternative flights may not be practical to organise, for example where government advice is to avoid travel to particular destinations. A refund may therefore be the only option available for you. 

    Speak to your airline for further assistance. Please be aware that airlines will likely be dealing with more queries than usual and some may be prioritising consumers that are currently abroad or due to travel imminently.

    If the Government has advised against all but essential travel to your destination, your airline will likely cancel your flight and offer a full refund. If you are due to travel imminently and your flight has not been cancelled, check the airline website before contacting the airline. If the airline has confirmed that your flight will go ahead, they may still be able to offer a refund, allow you to change your booking to a later date, or your travel insurance may be able to provide assistance.

    If you believe you are entitled to receive a refund from your airline but they are refusing, you may wish to open a complaint with the airline.

    A number of airlines have published advice on their website for their customers.

    Advice from UK airlines can be found below:

    British Airways  
    Virgin Atlantic 
    Easyjet 
    Jet2 
    TUI 

    Advice from non-UK airlines, which are not regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, can be found below:

    Ryanair 
    Qatar 
    Emirates 
    Aerlingus  
    Singapore Airlines 
    Norwegian Airlines

    Under EC261, consumers can receive compensation for cancellations made within 14 days of your booking date. However, this regulation does not apply where the cancellation is an 'extraordinary circumstance', outside of your airline's control.  

    Where the Government is advising against travel to a destination we consider that this would be viewed as an 'extraordinary circumstance' and compensation would not be payable. Cancellations related to coronavirus in other circumstances (e.g. where there is no advice against travel) would need to be considered on their merits and facts.  However, decisions by authorities to close airspace, restrict airline operations or place restrictions on passengers are likely to be an extraordinary circumstances.  Cancellations due to the economic and environmental consequences of operating flights with only a few passengers on-board may also be considered to be an extraordinary circumstance. 

    Please note that If your flight is cancelled, you will always be due a refund and to be provided with assistance, even if you are not due further compensation.

    If you are booked on a package holiday or cruise package, where you have paid for flights and accommodation or cruise (potentially including other elements such as car hire), then your holiday is protected under the Package Travel Regulations (PTRs).

    Under the PTRs, if any element of your package holiday or cruise package is cancelled or significantly changed, then you have the right to request a full refund of any payments made towards your holiday. Your travel company may offer you vouchers to be redeemed against a future booking, however you are entitled to request a full cash refund if you do not wish to accept vouchers. Alternatively, you can speak to your travel agent to try and organise alternative travel, though this may be difficult in the current circumstances.

    If you are due to leave for a package holiday imminently to a destination where the Foreign Office has advised against travel, then under the Package Travel Regulations you have the right to request the cancellation of your booking and choose an alternative package or receive a full refund of any payments you have made to date.  

    If your booking is ATOL protected, please be aware that the company named on your ATOL certificate, under the “Who is protecting your trip?” section of your ATOL certificate, is responsible for your booking, including any refunds or amendments. Please speak to your travel agent or package provider for further assistance as ATOL is only able to offer assistance if your travel company ceases trading.

    If you are concerned about travelling, please speak to your travel company and regularly monitor the Government's travel advice. 

    If you choose not to travel and the FCO has not advised against all but essential travel to your destination, you may be subject to your travel company's terms and conditions. An exception to this may be if your doctor has advised you not to travel, in which case you should contact your travel insurance provider. You may be required to provide a note from your doctor to confirm this. 

    Advice on travel insurance is available from The Association of British Insurers

    You can find further advice for passengers on our website.

  • How the UK Civil Aviation Authority is preparing

    The CAA has been working closely with the industry and supporting passengers during the initial phase of the virus’s spread, and we will play a full role in facilitating the industry’s recovery. Where possible and appropriate, we have already issued exemptions and alleviations so that licences and approvals can be maintained by those in the industry during this period. More information about these can be found below.  In addition, we have been looking closely at how we manage our internal costs.  You can read more about CAA finances below.

    Industry advice

    Extension of validity periods

    In response to the exceptional circumstances caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and in line with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidance, the Civil Aviation Authority exempts all operators, aircrew, instructors, examiners engaged in commercial air transport, along with aircraft maintenance licence holders and air traffic controllers for whom the CAA is the Competent Authority, and wherever normal revalidation facilities are not available from the normal validity periods for licences, certificates and ratings that expire before the 31 October 2020 subject to the conditions in the exemption.

    Please see ORS4 No 1354 for details.

    Details of all published exemptions relating to COVID-19

    In case of any queries relating to aviation security training requirements under the National Aviation Security Programme (NASP), please contact avsec.training@avsec.caa.co.uk.

    CAA Finances

    The CAA is acutely aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on the aviation, aerospace and travel industries, and we are doing everything we can to provide our support. This includes deferring any increases to our charges for three months to 1 July 2020, which we are keeping under continuous review. 

    However, like some other regulators in the UK, the CAA is funded by levying charges on the individuals and organisations we regulate to retain the capacity and capabilities we require to fulfil our functions. This principle is underpinned by statute and is one of our legal obligations. Despite these unprecedented times, this means we are unable to waive or defer payment plans, and we are still required to issue invoices. 

    We are, however, constantly looking at ways we can support the industry and manage our internal costs. The CAA Board and Executive Committee have taken collective pay cuts, we have frozen all recruitment, and we are pausing all capital-intensive projects.  Where possible and appropriate, we have also issued exemptions and alleviations so that licences and approvals can be maintained by those in the industry during this period. 

  • Airworthiness and maintenance

    We have published an exemption to allow operators the ability to carry a copy of the Airworthiness Review Certificate (ARC) onboard the aircraft for a period of up to 30-days after issue or extension of the ARC to allow the original certificate to be put onboard the aircraft.

    Please see ORS4 No 1355 for details.

    Further guidance for airworthiness organisations and licensed engineers is available on this page.

    Cabin crew

    Guidance for operators regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and cabin crew proficiency checks as required by Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October 2012 is available in ORS4 No 1349.

    Consumer law

    We have published guidance for airlines on the application of Regulation EC261/2004 in the context of the developing situation with Covid-19. 

    For health guidance, please contact Public Health England for further advice.

    EASA has published further guidance for airlines, which is available on the EASA website

    Training

    Candidates who have already started their Flight Crew Theoretical Knowledge Examination, will be permitted an additional 6 months. See ORS4 1353 for details.

    Public Health England has produced guidance for health and safety procedures for UK airports. This guidance has been sent to all major UK airports.

    If you are working at an airport and require this guidance, please contact Public Health England.

    We are unable to offer a legal advice on the obligations a tour operator has under the Package Travel Regulations. We suggest operators contact their trade association for advice and/or seek independent legal advice.

    Information for organisations with Airworthiness Approvals and Licensed Engineers on COVID-19

    Exemptions

    The CAA has published the following exemptions to support the industry through the COVID-19 outbreak:

    • ORS4 No 1352 - Part 147 Exemption for Basic Training Schools against the 90% Attendance Requirement
    • ORS4 No 1354 - Extension of Validity Periods for Licences, Ratings and Certificates of Aircrew, Instructors, Examiners, Aircraft Maintenance Licence Holders and Air Traffic Controllers
    • ORS4 No 1355 - Exemption in respect of the requirement to carry the original EASA Airworthiness Review Certificate onboard the aircraft during all flights
    • ORS4 No 1356 - BCAR Section L Licence validity extension
    • ORS4 No 1371 - Installation of a Temporary Separation Barrier between the Cockpit and Cabin area of Aircraft used to Transport Key Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • ORS4 No 1372 - Exemption from the requirement for rigid outer packaging for biological substances, Category B, UN3373 samples

    Details of all COVID-19 related exemptions.  


    Following the recent and unprecedented COVID-19 developments, this update details how our airworthiness team and the wider organisation are working under these circumstances. Given the measures recently announced by the Government, our airworthiness team is now working remotely until further notice. Our team in the Shared Service Centre are also working remotely, however we still have the ability to support the industry through the normal routes. During the period, we wish to advise we will be working in the following way:

    Oversight and audits

    It is our intention, where possible, to continue to maintain our onsite oversight activities as per our current scheduled programme.  However, recognising guidelines for social distancing we will be utilising remote methods such as video conferencing and telephone calls. In advance of any planned audits, you will be contacted by your allocated surveyor who will advise you of the information required in advance of the audit.  This will require the organisation to answer several questions and provide information. This will relate to the organisations Safety and Quality Management Systems.

    Assessments of initial, renewal and variation applications

    Our Shared Services Centre's (SSC) Airworthiness and Technical Standards teams will continue to process your applications in the usual way and you should not notice a difference in service.  If for any reason our capacity and therefore time to process is impacted, we will let you all know. 

    We are presently working on the provision of providing electronic versions of certificates, that will be sent with an accompanying email that proves the validity.  These certificates may not look like the normal versions you receive. Electronic versions of certificates will be recorded by our Shared Service Centre and will be replaced in the future once we re-establish our normal services.

    C of A's, Export C of A's and Permits to Fly 

    Our team in Airworthiness and Shared Service Centre are available to support these activities and we would not expect there to be any impact with regard to the issuing of Permits to Fly. We expect an impact in our ability to conduct C of A's and Export C of A's due to the current travel restrictions and advice from Public Health England.  Please contact your allocated surveyor in the case that these services are required, and we will advise of the preferred route to conduct the activity.  

    Licence applications, variations and renewals

    Licence applications, renewals and the addition of type ratings will continue to be processed through our Shared Service Centre in the usual way.  New licence applications may take longer to process due to our ability to access our office at Gatwick. We do not anticipate, currently, any impact on our renewal and variations (adding of type ratings).

    Reporting of safety related events 

    During these unprecedented times, we would kindly request your support to our teams carrying out their oversight activities.  This will be aided by the reporting of all safety significant events, as defined in EU.Reg 376 / 2014 via the Mandatory Reporting System (MOR).  

     


    Quality system independent auditing during COVID-19

    To enable organisations flexibility with regard to their internal Quality Audit plan, the below listed guidance has been provided to enable organisations to understand the various scenarios which exist when delaying any internal audit; its possible ramifications and where required seek CAA agreement.

    Regulations requiring audit plan acceptance by competent authority (Part M, Part 145, 147, BCAR )

    Delaying an audit within the prescribed regulation time scales

    Delaying an audit (or multiple audits) for a period of time but still completing the audit plan within the specified time periods as required by the regulation should be managed by the organisations internal Quality/SMS System with an updated Quality Audit plan provided to the CAA along with substantiation why the audits cannot be completed as scheduled. In this case the CAA will not issue any documentation but merely acknowledge the submission.

    Unable to Complete the Audit Plan within the prescribed regulation time scales

    Provided that there are no safety related findings or significant MORs in the last 12 months, the organisations independent audit time periods specified within the applicable regulation and associated AMC/GM material may be increased subject to agreement by the CAA. A revised audit plan should be submitted along with substantiation why the audits cannot be completed as scheduled and within the specified periods of the regulation. Once agreed the CAA will issue a Temporary Arrangement document where necessary confirming acceptance of such arrangements and any caveats which may be required in a specific instance.

    Regulations not requiring audit plan acceptance by competent authority (Part 21G) 

    As Part 21 does not require audit plans to be submitted to the CAA, the organisation should use its procedure as identified in the Exposition for amending and controlling the internal audit and supplier audit plan including the approval of changes by appropriate management personnel.

    When approving changes, management personnel for production organisations should consider the following:

    While in the current situation it is understandable for an organisation to consider postponement of planned audits as part of a mitigation strategy to reduce contact between personnel, the level of audit should not be reduced below that needed to ensure continued production conformity (such as product audits or other evaluations such as First Time Pass Rate/other KPI reviews) or to a level that creates a backlog of QMS audits that cannot be anticipated to be recovered during the audit period. Consideration could also be given to alternative methods of oversight or evaluation, such as independent desktop evaluation of recorded operator self-audits or of supplier/subcontractor declarations.

    When planning appropriate resource to maintain production, organisations should remember the need to plan for appropriate supervision and production conformity oversight (by inspection/evaluation/audit) as well as the direct production activity. Where reduced production volume or risk/performance based assessment of an internal area or supplier is used as a justification for reducing planned audit activity, this should be recorded as part of the approval of the amended audit plan.

    As we continue to support industry through the Covid-19 pandemic, we are aware of a potential demand to support the carriage of patients who are symptomatic of the virus, where there is benefit in the provision of installing a bio-containment system to protect the crews operating both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.  Information has been provided to the CAA from both regulatory bodies and approved organisations, which has enabled us to develop a route to permit these installations.

    While we have made contact with critical service providers, we would like to advise industry on the most expedient way to obtain approval for the carriage of bio-containment systems.  We will provide alleviations in relation to the manufacturing of parts, in order that there are no delays to operations when the requests are made by health care providers to provide this service.  We ask that these steps are followed by organisations seeking approval to use such systems:

    1. Where a Design Organisation (Part 21J) is involved - An application is made to the competent authority (EASA) for the change.  At the time of application, or retrospectively the CAA are contacted at peter.moule@caa.co.uk to advise of the proposed change.

     

    • i.      complete an exemption application , for the purposes of containment systems / crew protection these will be processed free of charge,  and;
    • ii.      complete a safety case / risk assessment for the proposed change - the applicant will be forwarded the detail when you contact us

     

    1. Where no Design Organisation (Part 21J) is involved - The operator should make contact with an approved Part 21J organisation to support the change, however recognising the operational urgency, and the potential delay in getting the approval of such a system please contact peter.moule@caa.co.uk to advise of the pending change in advance of the following.

     

    • i.      complete an exemption application, for the purposes of containment systems / crew protection these will be processed free of charge and;
    • ii.      complete a safety case / risk assessment for the proposed change - the applicant will be forwarded the detail at time of contacting us.
    • iii.      After the exemption has been granted, it is likely that you will need to engage the services of a suitably approved design organisation (Part 21J), to complete a detailed review of the design. Further mitigations, or exemptions may subsequently be required as a result.

     

  • We have implemented the following temporary changes to our personnel licensing service: 

    • The over-the-counter licensing service at Aviation House is currently closed until further notice. This includes any applications, certification of documents, surrendering licenses or document drop-off and collection.

       

    • All applicants are now required to apply via our electronic application methods (CAA online platform, eLicensing or email documents to licenceapplications@caa.co.uk), and submit certified copies of documents. Submitting a postal application or original documentation will result in delays in both processing and despatching your documents. 

       

    • During this period, please note that the time to process applications may take longer than usual while we adjust our processes and deal with a large number of requests at the same time.

       

    • Applicants who have misplaced or invalidated their licence are reminded that they are not covered by ORS4 No.1354 and will therefore be required to apply for a replacement licence. 

    Please note that this advice may be revised at short notice. Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.

    Exemptions

    The CAA has published the following exemptions to support the industry through the COVID-19 outbreak:

    • ORS4 No 1352 - Part 147 Exemption for Basic Training Schools against the 90% Attendance Requirement
    •  

    • ORS4 No 1353 - Theoretical Knowledge Examination Completion Period as required by Commission Regulation (EU) 1178/2011 as amended
    •  

    • ORS4 No 1354 - Extension of Validity Periods for Licences, Ratings and Certificates of Aircrew, Instructors, Examiners, Aircraft Maintenance Licence Holders and Air Traffic Controllers. We have published further guidance on our website. 
    •  

    • ORS4 No 1355 - Exemption in respect of the requirement to carry the original EASA Airworthiness Review Certificate onboard the aircraft during all flights
    •  

    • ORS4 No 1356 - BCAR Section L Licence validity extension
  • Exams

  • Advice for all CAA examination candidates and Approved Training Organisations (ATOs)

    All UK CAA Exam sessions will be cancelled up to and including 1 May 2020. 

    Candidates/ATO's will receive an automated notification of cancellation and monies will be returned to their respective accounts.

    The CAA has been closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to regularly check and act accordingly upon UK Government restrictions and Public Health England guidance to protect public safety.

    Exam sessions from 2 May 2020 onwards remain scheduled, however further cancellations may be required in response to any extension or furthering of restrictions. Such cancellations will be at the sole discretion of the CAA.

    Any travel and related expenses incurred by the candidate to attend any CAA examination will not be refundable by the CAA in the event that the CAA cancels an examination due to Covid-19 restrictions.

    For a period of three months, from 16 March 2020 to 16 June 2020, the CAA will waive any fees normally incurred for late cancellation and/or transfer to a future CAA examination sitting. 

    Extension of FCL Exam Completion Period from 18 to 24 months

    Because Covid-19 has resulted in cancellations and delays to exams, candidates who have already started their Flight Crew Theoretical Knowledge Examinations will be permitted an additional 6 months to complete their exam series extending it from 18 to 24 months.

    Details on the conditions of this exemption and how to request are detailed in ORS 4 NO 1353.

  • Legal matters

  • To ensure concerns are dealt with as efficiently as possible during the current coronavirus situation, the Civil Aviation Authority will accept service of legal proceedings by email until 31 August 2020 on condition that the total size of the email, including any attachments, does not exceed 50 megabytes. Electronic documents should be in PDF, Word or Excel format.

    Our email address for service of legal proceedings is: OGCMailbox@caa.co.uk

    No other CAA email address should be used or will be accepted for service of legal proceedings by email.

    The CAA will continue to accept service of legal proceedings sent by post to Legal Department, Aviation House, Beehive Ring Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH6 0YR

    However, due to changing work patterns during the current coronavirus situation, where legal proceedings are served by post rather than by email, please also send copies of the relevant documents to the following email address at the same time as they are served on the CAA by post: OGCMailbox@caa.co.uk 

    You are responsible for the security of the information you are sending and therefore you must assess its sensitivity and whether email is a secure enough method of communication.

     

    The Air Travel Trust will accept service of legal proceedings by email until 31 August 2020 on condition that the total size of the email, including any attachments, does not exceed 50 megabytes.

    The email address for service of legal proceedings is: OGCMailbox@caa.co.uk

    No other email address should be used or will be accepted for service of legal proceedings

    You are responsible for the security of the information you are sending and therefore you must assess its sensitivity and whether email is a secure enough method of communication.

  • Contacting the CAA

    We are currently experiencing an increase in correspondence and are working hard to continue operations as normal. However, to protect the health, wellbeing and safety of our employees, and to continue to deliver our core regulatory services, a proportion of our staff are working remotely on a rotational basis. These measures have been introduced following advice from the Government and to reduce the likelihood of a number of staff becoming unavailable at once, however this will mean there could be service delays or delays in responding to calls or enquiries. We would like to thank you for bearing with us during this time.
     
    As we continue to monitor the development of this situation, the number of remote working staff may increase. We would therefore strongly recommend you contact us by email rather than post. If your preferred means of contact is by post, please be aware that responses may take considerably longer than during normal conditions.

  • Links

    For advice on travel destinations, please visit: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

    For further European airline advice, please visit: www.easa.europa.eu/

    For further information for cruise passengers, please visit: www.cruiseexperts.org/

    For further information on package holidays and cruise packages, please visit:

    For updates from the UK Civil Aviation Authority and ATOL, follow us on Twitter at: