We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We'd also like to use optional cookies to understand how you use it, and to help us improve it.

For more information, please read our cookie policy.

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.

The Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 has now been amended by the Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2017.  Please use the following link on the legislation.gov.uk website for up-to-date changes regarding the Air Navigation Order 2016.

The ANO provides the foundation for a simpler and more proportionate approach to the regulation of many GA activities that fall under national (and not European) regulation.

You'll notice a substantially different structure to that of the ANO 2009. The different drivers for change, most importantly the General Aviation ANO review, have prompted us to take a new approach to its layout. We believe that this will result in a clearer and easier to understand document and hope the new structure will help pilots (and others involved in the operation of non-EASA aircraft - the vast majority of them being involved in GA) find the information that they need more easily.

Scope, applicability and key definitions are now set out at the front. Derogations, or exceptions as they are known in UK law, that apply to a number of GA activities have also been moved close to the front. Previously many of these provisions were towards the back.

Some terms have also been changed to match those used by EASA and help make rules clearer to understand while sections of the Order have been organised to follow regulatory functions, like airworthiness, operations and licensing.

GA pilots and those involved in the operation of non-EASA aircraft might care to review the following sections: 

Key definitions and exceptions

Part 1 includes key definitions and exceptions including those that cover cost sharing, charity flights and glider towing. The cost sharing provision continues to be aligned with EASA rules (up to six people sharing the cost rather than four) although this will be addressed in the future. The term 'aerial work' has been replaced with 'commercial operation' throughout the ANO to make it easier to distinguish between non-commercial GA operations and commercial or public transport.


Part 4 sets out the legal basis for the airworthiness of non-EASA aircraft.

Most of the continuing airworthiness requirements in the ANO in this area apply to non-EASA aircraft that hold a certificate of airworthiness. Some airworthiness procedures have been aligned with Part-M, so pilot owners conducting maintenance on aircraft with a certificate of airworthiness must now sign a certificate of release to service (CRS). 

The legal provision to maintain a non-EASA aircraft up to 2,730 kgs with a certificate of airworthiness in accordance with a 'self-declared' maintenance programme has also been incorporated, in line with EASA's Part-M Light, which is expected next year.

Aircraft on national permits to fly must continue to comply with the policy and requirements of the organisation that issued the certificate of validity (whether that is the CAA or an approved sporting organisation). Article 42 (Limitations of permits to fly) has been simplified. Going forward the CAA will publish standardised policy via general permission under the article which addresses the use of permit aircraft for commercial operations and/or for hire.

E conditions, a major GA policy initiative to allow flight by experimental aircraft, has been incorporated into the new ANO. A conditions has also been updated such that it can be used by aircraft on a national permit to fly in some circumstances.

Operational requirements

Part 5 includes a new chapter that covers the basic operational requirements for all non-EASA aircraft and sets out the responsibilities and obligations of the pilot in command. It contains requirements for all flights under the ANO, except public transport operations which are now covered in Chapter 7 of Part 5. Although there is nothing to make life substantially different for a GA pilot an understanding of their legal responsibilities is essential, and this separation of requirements should make them easier to understand.

National flight crew licensing

Part 6 covers the legal basis for national (rather than EASA) flight crew licensing, including the medical self-declaration system for flying non-EASA aircraft. Detailed licensing requirements are included in Schedule 8.

Document and records

Part 9 addresses documents and records. There are a few articles at the start, for example pilot and aircraft logbooks, technical logs etc, which GA pilots should be familiar with. Document carriage requirements are in Schedule 10.

More definitions

Schedule 1 sets out definitions other than 'in-flight', 'operator', 'aerodrome traffic zone', 'public transport' and 'commercial operation' which are included in Part 1, Chapter 1.

Special conditions

Schedule 3 includes A, B and E conditions, the special conditions that aircraft may fly under without necessarily having a valid national permit to fly or certificate of airworthiness.  

Operational equipage

Schedule 5 covers the new operational equipage requirements for non-EASA aircraft on operations other than public transport. There has not been any increase in actual requirements over the ANO 2009 but they are set out in a simpler six page format. The use of the term 'flying machine' is used as shorthand for 'aeroplane, helicopter, gyroplane or SLMG'. 

Airworthiness records

Schedule 7 sets out the specifications for airworthiness records like aircraft, engine logbooks. They have been written with some of the Part-M wording, but there is also a 'grandfathering provision' such that any existing logbooks that complied with article 34 and Schedule 6 of the ANO 2009 may continue to be used.

The specifications for the 'operator's technical log' only applies to aircraft with a certificate of airworthiness used for commercial or public transport operations.

Licence privileges

Schedule 8 is important for GA pilots flying non-EASA aircraft as it sets out the licence privileges of non-EASA licences, the ratings that may be attached to them and the means of revalidating them. GA pilots with non-EASA licences should look at this schedule in detail:

  • Revalidation and renewal of licences other than the NPPL is set out in a clearer format in Part C. For the NPPL (A), the existing table remains the same. One change that holders of older UK licences may notice is the removal of the terms 'certificate of test/experience'. Generally speaking this concept is being removed from the ANO, however an exemption has been issued in ORS4 such that holders of a UK PPL with a microlight or SLMG class rating that was issued before 1st February 2008 may continue to use the old '5 hours in 13 months' arrangement if they wish. 
  • Revalidation of ratings have aligned with the Part-FCL approach. If a rating is  revalidated within the last three months of its validity period, the next validity period begins from the end of the existing one. When revalidating single engine piston class ratings by experience, the revalidation sign-off may be done as soon as the relevant experience has been gained.
  • The previous UK PPL and NPPL visibility minima have been removed. These licence holders are now permitted to fly under VFR or Special VFR minima, as permitted by the European rules of the Air. The minimum visibility for take-off or landing for IMC rating holders has been reduced from 1800 m to 1500 m.
  • National instructor ratings are now referred to as 'Flight instructor' and 'Flight instructor (restricted)' certificates. They are all valid for 36 months, which aligns with EASA. This replaces the terminology 'flying instructor' and 'assistant flying instructor'. Although the terms and validity periods have changed, the privileges and requirements to obtain them remain the same.

Document carriage

Schedule 10 covers document carriage requirements. For non-EASA aircraft on operations other than public transport, there are no document carriage requirements within the UK. A list has been included for those flying outside the UK.


Exemptions from the new ANO have been issued to correct the definition of controlled airspace and the requirement to consult an aero medical examiner if incapacitated by illness or injury for more than 21 days.