Application and guidance information associated with CAA Permits to Fly
In order for the required Aircraft Certification to be granted, we require accurate and timely information and payment from you, and you require easily understood information and clear and reasonable processes from us. We are committed to continually improving our application processes and welcome feedback. You can also comment on the clarity of information on the ‘provide feedback on this page’ button on the bottom of this page.
There are four key steps to applying:
Understand what you need to submit for your application
National Permit to Fly Permit to Fly (permanent) Permit to Fly (temporary) detail what is required for the various Aircraft Certification types, including descriptions of documents needed for Certificates and Permit applications and how to send them to us in the right format.
Complete your application
Via our online application form for the relevant permit.
Pay for your application
Payment must be made at the time of application. This can be done online.
Submit your application
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is committed to the timely processing of applications where all required information has been submitted correctly.
Our turnaround time service standard for processing aircraft certification applications is 15 working days (five working days for Temporary Permit to Fly applications) and begins from receipt of your completed application.
Reasons for delay may include:
- Payment has not been made / payment is not in full.
- The application is incomplete as there are outstanding supporting documents/validations, qualifying data, unapproved exceptions (including subsequent changes to data provided).
- It doesn’t meet the requirements of the Civil Aviation Act or associated regulations.
- We are experiencing unusually large volume of applications.
If you have any questions about this topic, please refer to our contact details.
If you would like to complain or request a review of a decision, please refer to our complaints process for further information.
A permit to fly may be issued to aircraft that do not meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) certification standards required for the issue of a Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) subject to satisfying certain requirements.
A permit to fly will not be issued to an aircraft that is eligible for the issue of a C of A, but may be issued in the event of a C of A becoming temporarily invalid.
A National permit to fly is granted, in accordance with British Civil Airworthiness Requirements (BCAR), Section A3-7 (CAP 553). Aircraft in this category are generally ex-military, amateur built, microlight, gyroplanes or without a valid Type Certificate.
"Permit to Fly Aircraft" (CAP 733) is a comprehensive source of information regarding Permits to Fly and provides guidance on the following topics:
- qualifying for the initial issue of a permit to fly
- criteria for the issue of a permit to fly
- modifying or repairing a permit to fly aircraft
- maintenance inspection and revalidation of an aircraft issued with a permit to fly
- operation of a permit to fly aircraft
- a permit to fly issue refers to the validation of an aircraft's first permit to fly
- a permit to fly renewal is applicable when the permit to fly expires
A permit to fly issue refers to the first issue of an aircraft's permit to fly.
A permit to fly renewal is applicable when the permit to fly certificate of validity expires.
Make an application
The below information offers advice on how to make an application:
A permanent permit to fly may be issued in accordance with Subpart P of UK Regulation (EU) No. 748/2012 for non-commercial flying activity on individual, non-complex Part 21 aircraft types for which a Certificate of Airworthiness or Restricted Certificate of Airworthiness is not appropriate.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) may issue a National permit to fly for non-Part 21 aircraft types in accordance with BCAR A3-7, only to aircraft that are not eligible for a National Certificate of Airworthiness.
A temporary permit to fly is issued in accordance with Subpart P of UK Regulation (EU) No. 748/2012 when a Part-21 aircraft is temporarily unable to comply with the regulations set for the issue of a Certificate of Airworthiness or Restricted Certificate of Airworthiness but is still capable of safe flight under defined conditions. They may also be issued to a Part-21 aircraft that usually holds a permanent permit to fly, but this has expired and the aircraft requires either a check flight or a positioning flight.
A temporary National permit to fly is issued in accordance with BCAR to a non-Part 21 aircraft type to allow the aircraft to complete a check flight or positioning flight (when ‘A Conditions’ are not applicable).
The standard permit to fly issued by the CAA includes a condition prohibiting flight over the congested area of a city, town or settlement. The CAA has, after careful consideration of the levels of safety achieved for certain categories of permit to fly aircraft, decided that this condition should be withdrawn for aeroplanes in certain categories.