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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

Making an application

Please note that it is not possible to provide detailed information on the likely requirements for the grant of a licence, as each application is different.

Our fees for making an application detailed in the table below. A full list of ATOL charges can be found in the Official Record Series 5 - Scheme of Charges.

New Application Type Fixed Charge Per Passenger Charge
Standard ATOL £2,386 14.97 pence
Small Business ATOL (SBA) £1,408 N/A
Franchise Member <1,001 passengers £898 N/A
Franchise Member >1,000 passengers £2,386 14.97 pence
Trade ATOL £2,386 14.97 pence

ATOL Protection Contribution (APC)

Licence holders are required to provide reports of their ATOL sales and the frequency ranges from monthly to quarterly based on the level of licensable revenue authorised on the licence.

The key points to note are as follows:-

  • APC is payable at £2.50 per licensable passenger booked.
  • Small business ATOL holders are required to make an APC deposit payment of £1,250 (held until such time as a licence is no longer valid, subject to the business not failing and payment of all contributions due), thereafter £2.50 per licensable passenger booked is payable after the end of each licence period.

Further information on APC can be found here

General fitness and financial requirements

Legally, the CAA must be satisfied that the people who own/control the business are fit and competent to hold a licence. It will request details of the history of the people in a position of influence within an applicant and consider if they are likely to operate in a proper manner if granted a licence. If its preliminary view is that the people are unfit or not competent to hold a licence, it will issue a proposal to refuse the licence application, setting out the reasons for reaching the view and giving the applicant an opportunity to make representations against the proposal.

The CAA has issued a policy note which sets out the personal fitness and competence criteria.

The CAA's financial requirements can also be found here along with the ATOL Self Assessment Tool (ASAT) where you can check if your accounts meet the CAAs financial criteria. 

Application process

1. Create a Portal Account

To apply for an ATOL you will need to create an online account, please check ATOL Online for more information how to do this.

2. Submit an Application

An online application should be completed and submitted to us, together with the applicable application fee and upload the applicable supporting documents. Please note application fees are non-refundable.

We have produced a guide to assist in the completion of the application form.

Standard Application Guide
Small Business ATOL Application Guide

3. Provide financial information

The application process includes an assessment of your financial projections.

In the case of a start-up business we will require a certified opening balance sheet in our format. Please email the opening balance sheet and projections to atolonline@caa.co.uk referencing name of applicant.

In the case of a trading business, the latest accounts and financial projections. (Sole Traders/Partnerships will also be required to provide a certified Statement of Personal Assets and Liabilities as at the same date as their accounts or the opening balance sheet). These will need to be completed for a minimum period of 12 months. If you are unsure of how to complete the projections please talk to your accountants / auditors.

4. Initial Assessment

During the assessment stage of the process, one of the Directors/Partners will be invited to complete the ATOL Accountable Persons online course. Once this has been completed the application will be assessed. The CAA will contact the applicant to request any additional information. No further progress can be made until the online course is completed and any requested additional information is provided by the applicant.

Once all requested information has been received, the case will be considered.

5. Formal Meeting

A formal meeting with the CAA is normally required. At the meeting, we will go through the financial aspects of the case in detail, set against our published criteria, and set out any necessary cash injections. We will also outline any fitness and competence aspects relevant to the case. Finally, we will briefly run through the administration requirements to maintain the licence, and give the applicant the opportunity to raise any queries.

In most cases, a decision on the application will be concluded at or very soon after the meeting.

6. Offer Letter

Provided the applicant accepts the decision proposed at or following the meeting, a formal decision letter is issued, listing all the requirements necessary to grant a licence. The decision letter allows the applicant up to two months to meet the requirements. The ATOL number will be given to the applicant once the licence is granted.

Whilst we cannot give you an individual estimate on how long this process may take, as each case varies. On average a licence application takes around 12 weeks for the CAA to reach a decision on the application.

Withdrawing an application

The CAA considers applications on a case by case basis, however it will generally deem an application withdrawn if an applicant has not actively pursued the application (e.g. by not providing information requested in writing by the CAA) within a reasonable period of time, or by going out of communication entirely for 2 months or more.

An applicant can also request in writing that its application be considered as withdrawn.

Where an application is withdrawn or deemed to be withdrawn, no refund will be due.

If a business subsequently wishes to 're-activate' its application, a new application will need to be made, with the payment of a further application fee and the submission of a new application form and supporting documents.