Virtually all aircraft will have an initial safety certificate. The aircraft will then need to complete ongoing airworthiness checks and approvals. Aircraft with a single seat and microlight aircraft under 300kg are exempt from airworthiness rules.
The standard and type of certification varies depending on how the aircraft was built and what it is used for. Most recreational aircraft have either a Certificate of Airworthiness (this is most common for factory built aircraft) or a Permit to Fly (commonly for; microlights, amateur built aircraft or ex military aircraft).
Occasionally aircraft can move from a Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) to a Permit to Fly (P to F). This normally happens when the manufacturer of the aircraft no longer exists and there is no other body to support it.
Before an aircraft can be awarded a UK certificate of airworthiness or permit to fly it must be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority.
UK registered aircraft with a fitted radio will need a licence for the radio equipment. For further information please visit our radio licensing section.
We also publish guidance on the restoration and rebuild of ex military aircraft.