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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.

Flying displays are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) General Aviation Unit (GAU) and the Military Aviation Authority (MAA). In the first instance, please refer to our guidelines for flying display organisers and display pilots.

This page provides guidance on the airspace notification aspects of displays and flypasts.

Notification to CAA Airspace Regulation

Please refer to our guidelines for flying display organisers and display pilots. CAA Airspace Regulation will receive the event/activity information via the notification processes detailed in those guidelines.

In addition to the link above, CAA Airspace Regulation must be notified about any event that includes military aircraft displays and/or flypasts by completing the online form Airspace Co-ordination and Obstacle Management (caa.co.uk).

For flypasts by civil aircraft only, please complete and submit this notification form. After you submit the notification form, you will receive an automated email confirmation that the details have been received.

If a Restricted Area (Temporary) (RA(T)) needs to be established for a display or flypast, a minimum of 90 days’ notice is required. Please refer to the Airspace restrictions page for further guidance. For any event that includes military aircraft displays, a minimum of 42 days’ notice is required. For activities requiring an Airspace Co-ordination Notice (ACN), a minimum of 28 days’ notice should be given. For flypasts that do not require a RA(T) or ACN, a minimum of 14 days’ notice should be given. During periods of high workload, we may be unable to process notifications made with less than the stated minimum notice.

If it is a recurring event/activity, please quote the previous CAA activity reference number (if known) when completing the relevant form/s.

When the notification is received by CAA Airspace Regulation, the details are checked to ensure all required information has been provided in line with regulatory/policy requirements. The event/activity is then compared against other known activity where we would support the co-ordination and deconfliction of any conflicting activities. If clarification of the details is required, we will contact you via the email address that was provided in the notification form.

CAA Airspace Regulation output

Our output is likely to consist of one or more of the following:

  • Establishment of Restricted Airspace

    When the event/activity size or nature (and/or the local airspace environment) warrant it, the CAA may establish a RA(T). Please refer to the Airspace restrictions page for further guidance.
  • Airspace Co-ordination Notices (ACNs)

    For certain activities, we publish ACNs which detail the co-ordination arrangements that have been agreed with air traffic control to accommodate the flight/s. ACNs are also used to alert other airspace users about the activity. Please note that the issue of an ACN does not necessarily constitute permission to undertake an activity or grant access to Prohibited, Restricted or Danger Areas. Short-term ACNs are generally distributed directly to the relevant stakeholders but may also be listed on the Short-term Airspace Co-ordination Notices page. Long-term ACNs are published in the list of Long-term Airspace Co-ordination Notices.
  • Notice to Aviation (NOTAM)

    For most activities of this type, we issue NOTAM to notify other airspace users. NOTAM are notices containing information concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel concerned with flight operations. Further details of the NOTAM system are in the UK Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) section GEN 3.1 (available on the NATS Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) website) and in the UK NOTAM Guidance Material.
  • Flight Priorities

    For some activities of this type, we may grant an enhanced priority or status to the flight/s. Please refer to the Flight priorities page for further guidance.

Please ensure that you also refer to our guidelines for flying display organisers and display pilots.

CAA Airspace Regulation will endeavour to respond at least 14 days prior to the proposed start of the event/activity. When enquiring about the status of an outstanding notification, please always quote the reference number that you received in the automated email confirmation. We will respond by email to the address that was provided in the notification form. The email will explain whether or not the notification has been successfully processed. Additional advice/guidance may be included. If an ACN has been issued, it will be attached to the email message.

CAA Airspace Regulation do not currently charge for this work. For air display related charges, please refer to our guidelines for flying display organisers and display pilots and the Scheme of Charges.

Changes and cancellations

If your event/activity is changed or cancelled, please inform Airspace Regulation as soon as possible. If Airspace Regulation have already completed the assessment of the event/activity and provided you with a detailed response, please quote the activity reference number that was used in our email to you.

For changes, appropriate re-assessment and notification action will be undertaken. For cancellations, we will take action to cancel any output already published.

However, please bear in mind that, during periods of high workload, we may be unable to action changes/cancellations made at short notice.

Close Changes and cancellations

Responsibilities of the event/activity sponsor/operator

Please refer to our guidelines for flying display organisers and display pilots.

The event/activity sponsor/operator is ultimately responsible for flight safety and must comply with the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 (as amended) articles relating to endangerment:

  • Article 240 - Endangering safety of an aircraft

    A person must not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person in an aircraft.
  • Article 241 - Endangering safety of any person or property

    A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.

ANO Article 265 provides that it is a criminal offence to contravene EU Regulations as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the ANO or Regulations made under the Order. Further information can be found in CAP 1422: Code of Practice for the Investigations and Enforcement Team.

The sponsor/operator is responsible for the event/activity complying with all relevant national regulations.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact Airspace Regulation between the hours of 08:30 and 16:30 Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays).  It may not be possible to action messages/notifications submitted after 16:00 until the next working day.

Planned periods of extended closure of the Airspace Regulation section will be notified here: