We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We'd also like to use optional analytics cookies to help us improve it.
For more information, please read our cookie policy.

Service update

We are currently experiencing issues with some of the information services on our website (e.g. Aviation statistics) and are working with our service providers to resolve these as quickly as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience this is causing for some of our website users.

Before you apply for an AOC it is essential that you understand what type of AOC you need.

You should consider:

  • the types of aircraft you intend to operate
  • what area and routes you wish to fly
  • whether you need an all weather operation or one which is limited to flights by day, or by night only

Types of Air Operator Certificate (AOC)

A to B AOC

Also referred to as a "full" AOC, it enables operators to fly from point A to point B. The conditions attached to a full AOC will be determined by the competence and ambitions of the organisation.

  • The AOC operating area may restrict flights to remain within the UK, or may permit operations to the near continent or be fully global.
  • Operations may be conducted in all weather, or may be restricted to day only, day and night under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
  • Flights may be run as scheduled services, or as ad hoc charter.
  • An operating licence is required.

Also see: cost sharing flights

Close A to B AOC

Restricted A to B AOC

An AOC with a deliberately limited scope that allows operators to conduct flights from point A to point B. It has the following conditions:

  • Flights must be day VFR only.
  • Only single-engine piston aircraft under 2,000 kg Maximum Total Weight Authorised (MTWA) to operate on AOC.
  • A to B operations restricted to points within mainland UK.
  • The AOC may be issued with a limited but seasonal validity period depending upon the requirement.
  • An operating licence is required.

Also see: cost sharing flights

Close Restricted A to B AOC

A to A AOC

An AOC with a deliberately limited scope that allows operators to conduct flights that depart from and arrive at the same aerodrome. It has the following conditions:

  • Flights must be day VFR only.
  • Only applicable to aircraft not exceeding 5,000 kg Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW).
  • Flights are restricted in radius of operation of not more than 50 nautical miles (aeroplanes) or 25 nautical miles (helicopters) from the aerodrome. Application to operate outside of this area may be considered and is likely to incur additional costs.
  • The AOC may be issued with a limited but seasonal validity period depending upon the requirement.
  • A to A operators are not required to hold an Operating Licence.

Also see: cost sharing flights

Close A to A AOC

PAOC - Police Air Operator's Certificate

A specialist National AOC granted to organisations operating in the Service of a Chief of Police.

This AOC requires similar procedures to those of the full AOC; however the very nature of police operations necessitates the provision of 'easements' from the standard regulations.

Close PAOC - Police Air Operator's Certificate

List of UK AOC holders

An AOC will be granted only to operators that demonstrate conformity to all set requirements.

Note: Aeroplane and helicopter AOC holders can change the website address or e-mail address given as the contact in the above lists by contacting apply@caa.co.uk.

AOC charges

The CAA charges for an AOC. The cost of an AOC is based upon the type and weight of aircraft you intend to operate.

The charge for the initial issue of an AOC is determined by the planned scope and scale of the operation.
See the CAA Scheme of Charges – Air Operator and Police Air Operator Certificates for more details.

There is no charge for the AOC Application pre-meeting.

Provide page feedback

Please enter your comments below, or use our usual service contacts if a specific matter requires an answer.

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Latest from UK Civil Aviation Authority

  1. Continued focus on change for GA Team
  2. Virtual aviation work experience partnership with Springpod
  3. Helicopter pilot sentenced for forging licence

View all latest news