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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.

Processing times for aircraft certification applications

We are seeing an increase in aircraft certification applications (Certificate of Airworthiness, Temporary Permit to Fly (PtF) and Flight Conditions), due to EU exit and Covid-19 pandemic business continuity planning.

This has presented challenges with meeting the service level agreement of twenty days (five days for Temporary PtF applications) for processing each application, before it is passed on to an available airworthiness surveyor to carry out any required oversight, and the certificate can be issued to the applicant.

We have allocated additional resource to process the application backlog as quickly as possible.

As a result of this increase in overall volumes, we have recently withdrawn the same day/fast track application process for all applications other than:

  • Temporary Permit to Fly – for an AOC AOG aircraft or a State aircraft only
  • Overflight Permission – for operational aircraft only

Applications are being processed in the order that they are received and we are unable to accommodate expedite requests.

While we aim to meet or improve on our service level agreement, however this depends on applications containing all of the required information.

Incomplete applications will result in the possible rejection or the application being put ‘on hold’ due to missing data. This will result in additional time to process the application and the issuing of the required licence or approval certificate.

Application guidance

When required by the importing state, you need a Certificate of Airworthiness for Export (here after referred to as an Export CofA or E C of A) to certify that your aircraft conforms to the described type certificate data sheet (TCDS) and is in a condition for safe operation.

The Export C of A does not mean you can fly. You still need a valid C of A, Permit to Fly, or other airworthiness document.

Who can apply?

The following persons can apply: 

  • Aircraft owners
  • Operators
  • Pilots
  • Licensed Engineers
  • Approved Organisations
  • Any other un-approved applicants
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How do I apply?

Please follow the below steps to apply:

Please quote the Application Submission Number provided at the end of the C of A for Export online application form, on the compliance report and recommendation form.

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What do I need to include with my application?

The below lists the information that you need to include with your application:

  • completed C of A for Export Online Form
  • aircraft details
  • registration
  • serial number
  • engine type
  • propeller type (if applicable)
  • weights etc.
  • details of the organisation supporting the application
    (They may be the applicant/presenter or support the organisation/individual presenting the aircraft)
  • confirmation of the certification status applicable to the aircraft
  • details of the applicable TCDS reference or AAN approval reference to which the aircraft is being exported
  • confirmation of the place of survey
  • confirmation of the aircraft TCDS or AAN compliance
  • details of any exceptions or derogations against the importing country requirements (if applicable)

A Satisfactory Airworthiness Review in accordance with Annex I (Part M) or Annex Vb (Part-ML) of Regulation (EU) No.1321/2014 as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 or BCAR Section A (A8-25 para 10 or A8-15 para 3) must be completed and a 'Recommendation for the issue of an Export Certificate of Airworthiness' is made for all aircraft exported from the UK before the Export Certificate of Airworthiness can be issued. This should be provided to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) before any survey.

Close What do I need to include with my application?

How much does it cost?

The below information advises on the cost:

In the event of a discrepancy between the information here and the Official Record Series 5, CAA Scheme of Charges (Airworthiness, Noise Certification and Aircraft and Aircraft Engine Emissions), the Scheme of Charges takes precedence.

Additional Charges: Where the cost of the CAA investigations exceeds the application charge payable, the applicant shall pay additional charges to recover those excess costs incurred by the CAA in accordance with the Scheme of Charges.

Payments can be made by credit or debit card or by bank transfer made payable to the Civil Aviation Authority. When making a bank transfer, please instruct your bankers to quote the Application Submission Number, provided at the end of the C of A for Export online form, in the description field.

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How long does it take?

The application will be reviewed to determine if Airworthiness Surveyor involvement is required.

The Service Standard for the processing of instructions for your application to our Resource Scheduling Team is 15 working days from receipt of your correctly completed application and clearance of the required fee.

Please note, the application should include all required supporting documents, accepted exceptions, validations and qualifying data.

The applicant will be contacted by our Resource Scheduling Team to arrange date(s) for survey of the aircraft and the associated aircraft records. An Export C of A will be issued when the aircraft has been shown to meet the applicable requirements (including acceptance of any Exceptions or Derogations) and is deemed airworthy.

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What happens next?

  • Your application will be passed to the Technical Section for review.
  • Further information to substantiate the application may be required, the Maintenance Organisation or CAMO will usually be the contact for this information.
  • The Resource Scheduling team will arrange for the Regional Office Surveyor to survey the aircraft.
  • A Certificate of Airworthiness for Export will be issued when:
    • The physical survey is completed.
    • All necessary paperwork is in order.
    • The aircraft is airworthy (taking into account any Exceptions or Derogations).
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Export of a UK registered Part-21 aircraft to the European Union, the United States of America, Canada or Brazil

For those countries where the UK has a Bi-lateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), or the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has a Working Arrangement (WA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the aircraft usually needs to comply with the requirements of the importing authority.

These include:

  • the EASA / FAA / TCCA / ANAC Type Certificate Data Sheet (TDCS)
  • any additional Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) approved by EASA / FAA / TCCA / ANAC
  • all applicable EASA / FAA / TCCA / ANAC Airworthiness Directives

You need to provide a statement to confirm any differences in design build standards between the UK and the EU / US / Canada / Brazil. The aircraft manufacturer (Type Certificate holder) is the best source of this information.

If your aircraft doesn't meet these requirements, the CAA will need to contact the EU importing Competent Authority / FAA / TCCA / ANAC for written confirmation that all 'Exceptions' are acceptable. Without this we can't issue your Export C of A.

The International Cooperation page provides further information. 

Close Export of a UK registered Part-21 aircraft to the European Union, the United States of America, Canada or Brazil

Exporting a UK registered aircraft to any other state

When exporting an aircraft to a state which the UK does not have a bi-lateral agreement or working arrangement with, the Export CofA will attest to compliance with the UK Type Design standard.

If the applicant wishes the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to declare compliance with the importing state requirements, the application for the Export CofA should provide details of the requirements of the importing state as well as provide the necessary supporting information and documents.

The applicant will need to agree in advance any special requirements and derogations and notify the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Any exceptions must be agreed in writing by the importing authority.

Close Exporting a UK registered aircraft to any other state