Exemptions will not be granted for aircraft to fly with UK nationality and registration marks smaller than those specified in Schedule 4 Part 2 of the Air Navigation Order 2016. Exemptions will also not be granted for aircraft to fly with foreign registration marks even if the UK nationality and registration marks are properly displayed. However, there are two highly specific exemptions from the requirement to bear nationality and registration marks:
Exemptions may be granted by the CAA for aircraft to fly with non-standard markings (e.g. fictitious markings) for prescribed limited periods of time at specific locations.
Historically accurate military liveries
To fly in the UK, all aircraft must display their registration and nationality markings.
The only exceptions are aircraft which display historically accurate military liveries and marks, which must be relevant to the aircraft type in question.
Permission from the Ministry of Defence
If an aircraft is to bear military markings, permission must be obtained from the Ministry of Defence or the appropriate foreign government and sent to the CAA.
One exception to this is aircraft wearing United States Air Force markings as the US Embassy have granted permission for UK registered aircraft to wear their authentic markings as long as the aircraft type is no longer in USAF use or in their service inventory.
You will also need to apply for an exemption from the requirement to display standard registration and nationality markings. Details on how to do this are to be found on the Registration Marks page.
Permission of the UK MOD should be sought from the contact details shown below:
RAF Events Team
Bentley Priory Building
West End Road
Ruislip HA4 6NG
Telephone: (020) 8833 8769
Fax: (020) 8833 8763
Please note that the normal letter of permission issued by the UK MOD excludes flights outside of UK airspace and gives permission to the applicant rather than the aircraft, should the aircraft change ownership in the future the exemption does not automatically transfer. Therefore, a new owner of an exempted aircraft should re-apply to the MOD for their permission to maintain these markings under new ownership.
Applying for an exemption
Please complete and return the Exemption application form.
There is a fee for applying for an exemption, details of which can be found Forms and Fees.
Upon receipt of the application we will either issue the requested exemption or advise the applicant of any further actions required in accordance with our Service Standards.
Once an exemption has been granted, any changes to the markings displayed on the aircraft must be notified immediately in writing to the Aircraft Registration section.
Once an exemption is issued by the CAA it should also be noted that this allows the flying of the aircraft in UK airspace only, if the aircraft is to be flown outside the UK then extra permission must be sought from the authorities of the countries visited or over flown.
You will also need to supply the following information with your application:
- A current colour photograph or photographs clearly showing the livery and marks carried by the aircraft concerned, or a colour diagram showing the intended livery and marks to be carried by the aircraft concerned;
- Literature (which includes diagrams or pictures) on the aircraft which would allow the Aircraft Registration Section to verify the authenticity of the livery carried by the aircraft.