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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.

A Route Licence allows you to fly on routes either wholly or partly outside the United Kingdom or associated territories.

You must already hold an air operator certificate and an operating licence to apply for a route licence.

Apply for a Route Licence

To apply for a route licence complete form CPG 2901.

You will need to send the completed form to:


Route Licences are granted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Full details of requirements to qualify for a Route Licence are available in the publication Official Record Series 1 – Licensing UK Airlines.

If you have any queries or to discuss your application, please contact the CAA.

Area covered by a Route Licence

Despite their name, Route Licences do not normally cover just a single route.

Usually, a Route Licence will permit any operations that are within the area permitted by the holder’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC), though there may be specific restrictions placed in specific circumstances.

Designation by the Secretary of State

Flights between the UK and third countries are limited by bilateral Air Service Agreements.

To operate scheduled commercial flights to a given country, an air carrier will need to be designated by the Secretary of State under the terms of the Air Service Agreement in place between the UK and the destination country, in addition to holding a Route Licence.

The grant of a Route Licence does not guarantee designation by the Secretary of State.

Statutory publication of applications and objections procedure

There are statutory procedures for the processing of Route Licence applications, set out in The Civil Aviation Authority Regulations 1991 (as amended from time to time). These allow for the publication of an application and give an opportunity for objections to be made by licence holders or other interested parties.

In normal circumstances we will publish an application in its weekly Licensing Notices as soon as possible after receipt, allowing 21 days for objections to be made.

If a valid objection is made, we will publish a decision in writing following a public hearing at which the applicant and objector may make representations.

Previous decisions are available on the Decisions page.

We aim to make and publish decisions promptly if a public hearing is required. The process will normally take two months from the end of the objection period.