CAA consultation on cost sharing

To enable GA pilots to share the direct costs of flying and thereby develop more experience and become safer pilots, there is an existing derogation from rules in both the ANO and the UK Air Operations Regulations that would otherwise deem the activity to be commercial. The UK Air Operations Regulations are the UK-retained version of the EASA Air Operations Regulations.

A CAA internal working group has decided that there should be some strengthening of the cost sharing derogation in the ANO and the UK Air Operations Regulation to minimise the potential for both misunderstanding and abuse. Proposed changes aim to provide, among other detail, clarity re direct costs, a requirement for common purpose aiming to stop illegal charter, equal shares or the pilot pays more, and acceptance of safety standards via written declaration.

The BGA notes that the acceptance of safety standards prior to a cost shared flight in a recreational GA aircraft via written declaration documents is wholly disproportionate. A verbal declaration should be sufficient.

Separately, there are additional derogations in the ANO and UK Air Operations Regulations that are published alongside the cost sharing derogation that permit introductory flying, towing and competition flights that would otherwise be deemed to be commercial activity.  The CAA has confirmed to the BGA that there is no intention to change those derogations in the ANO and Air Operations Regulations. The BGA notes that there will be a need to monitor the CAA’s opinion* on revised cost sharing rules to ensure that drafting errors do not result in unintended outcomes.

The CAA consultation which closes on 12th Jan 2022 can be viewed here.

*Note: post-Brexit, a new UK aviation rule-making process has emerged within which the CAA develops new regulation, the CAA provide an opinion to the DfT, and the DfT present the draft regulation to parliament for approval.