Renting out your Aircraft

Aviation Law is contantly changing and you should verify that any information given below is still valid. Fortunately the underlying principles tend to remain constant even if the paragraph and section numbering changes.

Can I rent out my aircraft?

The legislation covering non-EASA National Permit to Fly Aircraft is the Air Navigation Order (ANO)

The ANO 2016 Chapter 4, Section 41 states that a National Permit to Fly aircraft may not be hired out without the permission of ther CAA.

EASA Aircraft  must have either a Certificate of Airworthiness or be a type approved permit to fly aircraft which is already permitted to be used for self fly hire within the terms of the relevant exemptions. EASA EU Regulation applies.

What about Groups?

The Air Navigation Order 2016 27(1) covers the registration requirements, which no longer restricts the number of people who can own a single aircraft. See our other item on Group Ownership.

What are Non-Equity Groups?

A non-equity group is a group that operates an aircraft that the group members do not own (i.e. members do not own shares in the aircraft). The aircraft will have to be maintained to PT standards in order to allow group members to hire it.

Cost sharing by private persons

The maximum number of people who can share the direct costs of a flight has been increased from four to six, including the pilot. Direct costs include fuel, airfield charges and any aircraft rental fee. Any other costs not directly related to the flight, for example the annual cost of keeping, maintaining and operating an aircraft, cannot be shared and no profit can be made.

The requirement for those costs to be shared equally has been removed. How much each individual person pays is not prescribed, but the pilot must pay something.

A flight can now be advertised in advance, but it should be made clear that it is a cost sharing flight, and not commercial air transport under an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), since it is an offence to advertise the sale of a public or commercial air transport flight without being in possession of an AOC.

A flight that is advertised must be on the basis that the Pilot would be conducting the flight, subject to suitable conditions for the flight, regardless of whether there are any cost sharing passengers or not.

Both EASA and non-EASA aircraft, including those on a permit to fly may be used, although if the aircraft is being hired for the flight, it must have either a Certificate of Airworthiness or be a type approved permit to fly aircraft which is already permitted to be used for self fly hire within the terms of the relevant exemptions.

Guidance for private pilots offering charity flights

More UK private pilots will be able to offer flights for charity following a simplification of the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) requirements. New guidance replaces the Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC W 104/201) on Charity Flights.

A blanket permission will now be available for pilots if they meet certain basic requirements. This removes any need for pilots to have to apply to the CAA to carry out individual flights. The changes place more emphasis on pilots providing a thorough explanation to passengers of the level of safety and risks prior to the flight taking place.

As well as simplifying the requirements, other changes include:

  • Extending the types of aircraft that can be used to include permit aircraft such as hang gliders, paragliders, microlights, gyroplanes and powered parachutes, and
  • Allowing flights to take place from unlicensed airfields.

To use the permission, pilots must ensure that they receive no payment for the flight. All money must be paid by the passenger directly to the registered charity and the charity cannot be the operator of the aircraft.

Pilots should also check that their insurance cover is adequate and ask the passenger to check that their own life and any private health insurance covers the intended flight.

The permission is available at ORS4 No. 1122

Flying Displays

Before you can perform at an approved flying display you will need a display authorisation. This requires you to undertake an approval flight for a display evaluator. 

CAP 403 has guidance for the organisers of these events and others that do not require CAA permission.

The CAA  also publish guidance for organisers of events where there may be a significant number of helicopter flights:

Parachute Dropping

All parachute dropping from civil registered aircraft over the UK is regulated by the CAA and must be conducted in accordance with the requirements set in the Air Navigation Order.

CAP 660 "Parachuting" is a comprehensive source of information. It collates the rules and regulations and provides guidance on the following topics:

  • Legal requirements
  • Parachuting operations
  • Parachuting displays
  • Monitoring and audit
  • Safety management systems and risk assessment
  • Relevant legislation

CAP 403 "Flying Displays and Special Events" includes further information in relation to parachuting as part of a flying display.

The BPA (British Parachute Association) has compiled an Operations Manual, adherence to which will ensure an acceptable operating standard.


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