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Different regulations apply to aerodromes based on their size and the type of flying that takes place there. Airfields that have commercial flights with fare paying passengers, or where there is flying training using large aircraft, need to have a safety licence from us.

Most airfields used for recreational GA have a choice of getting a CAA licence or being an unlicensed airfield. Most types of recreational aviation flying training can take place at an unlicensed airfield.

  • CAP 793 contains guidance for unlicensed aerodromes

If a recreational GA airfield does want to be licensed then this is normally overseen by our GA unit using a more proportionate system than our regulation of larger airports.

The licence covers all the physical aspects of the airfield that relate to airside safety, from the standard of the runways, to signs and emergency facilities.

If an airfield meets our requirements then it's granted a licence. It will then have inspections from us to make sure that the required standards of safety are being maintained

There are safety issues that apply to all airfields, regardless of their size these include: