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CAA’s General Aviation Unit releases update on work completed this year

CAA’s General Aviation Unit releases update on work completed this year:

  • British Microlight Aircraft Association able to issue initial pilot licences
  • Light Aircraft Association take on airworthiness responsibility for YAK aircraft
  • Removal of microlight noise certificates
  • Rachel Gardner-Poole in post as new head of CAA GA Unit

In the past six months the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s General Aviation Unit has made considerable progress in its aim to radically improve the regulation of the General Aviation (GA) sector in the UK. This is the first of a series of updates which we plan to release on a regular basis to keep everyone informed of the progress we are making.

Changes include:

  • Allowing the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) to issue initial pilot licences
  • Consulting on moving some new aircraft types to national rather than European regulation
  • Allowing the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) to undertake airworthiness oversight of YAK aircraft
  • Easing the restrictions on some permit aircraft, allowing them to overfly congested areas in the same way as other aircraft;
  • Removing the need for two-seat microlight aircraft to have a noise certificate;
  • Transferring Registered Training Facilities to Declared Training Organisations, resulting in a much simpler oversight regime;
  • Giving the BMAA the first UK permission to directly issue Permits to Fly;
  • Extending the UK’s exemption from complying with SERA in Class D airspace
  • Updating and launching a new version of the Skyway Code
  • Maintaining the Instrument Metrological Conditions (IMC) rating on European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) pilot licences until April 2021;
  • Publishing simplified rules for EASA sailplanes

We have also renewed the following exemptions and authorisations to continue to allow:

  • Glider towing with Permit Type approved microlights
  • Use of type-approved microlights for flight training and self-fly hire
  • Aerotowing of hang gliders by type-approved microlights

As part of our collaborative approach to improve consistency across the industry, we have given organisations the opportunity to attend Continuing Airworthiness Management workshops at locations throughout the UK from December.

In all of this work we have sought to deliver on our top-level principles for better GA regulation.

These are:

  • Only regulate directly when necessary and do so proportionately
  • Deregulate where we can;
  • Delegate where appropriate;
  • Do not gold-plate, and quickly and efficiently remove gold-plating that already exists;
  • Help create a vibrant and dynamic GA sector in the UK.

Rachel Gardner-Poole, who took over as head of the CAA’s GA Unit in June, explained:

“Over the past few months we’ve been working closely with the Department for Transport to deliver change for the GA sector, maximising delegation and deregulating where we can; moving from an oversight approach based largely on regulatory compliance towards one based around risk and safety performance.

We still have a lot to achieve through our new change programme, but I think the past few months have delivered some real positives for GA.”

In the coming weeks we plan to release more detailed information on the future projects contained in our ongoing change programme.

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