“Also, the mandate for the CAA should be considered. Safety is of course important but the CAA should have a responsibility for the encouragement of a strong GA industry.”

Malcolm Bird

“The role of promoting General Aviation would surely be better given to the CAA than the DfT.”

RS Bristowe

General Aviation (GA) is a crucial part of the UK’s aviation sector: it trains the next generation of pilots and engineers; supports highly-skilled jobs; provides essential services; and forms a key part of our cultural heritage.

Around 95% of the aircraft registered in the UK are engaged in general aviation activity, and the sector is estimated to be worth approximately £1.4bn.The UK enjoys an enviable reputation as a place of excellence in aviation. However, in order to flourish the sector needs a proportionate and supportive regulatory environment.

The theme sought general comments rather than presenting specific regulations for reform.

Outcomes of the General Aviation Red Tape Challenge

Major Reforms

1) The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will set up, by April 2014, a self-contained General Aviation unit dedicated entirely to the GA sector. The Unit will be committed to eliminating unnecessary regulation and reducing costs and burdens wherever possible, without compromising safety.

Other Implemented Reforms

1) An independent Challenge Panel has been set up to test and critique the CAA’s reform programme, advise on further areas for deregulation and suggest projects to promote growth and innovation in the sector. The Panel will provide Ministers with an interim report due in late January and a final report in April.

2) Department for Transport/CAA identification of projects to fund to support investment, jobs and growth of the GA sector. Potential projects could include those which support vibrant GA training or maintenance sectors, business jets or the development of new technologies for general aviation operations.

3) Deregulating single seat microlights for airworthiness purposes following consultation with the General Aviation sector.

Further Measures

1) Through the CAA’s deregulation initiative identify what within the GA sector might be removed from EASA oversight.

2) Through the CAA’s IT upgrade programme, make it possible to apply for licences and approvals online, making it faster and more convenient for applicants.

3) Through the Future Airspace Strategy, use the UK’s airspace more efficiently, including that used by the GA community. The Strategy envisages that future airspace designs will take full advantage of better aircraft performance and technology available today. The CAA expects, wherever possible, that with maximum use of Continuous Climb and Descent Operations lower levels of Controlled Airspace will be freed up and in places released back to Class G.

You can see the regulations that were crowd-sourced and read the comments received by clicking through to the following sub-category pages.

General Aviation Pilots

General Aviation Pilots

This theme concerns licensing, medicals, approvals and any other rules and requirements that specifically affect general aviation pilots.

General Aviation Airfields

General Aviation Airfields

We are seeking views on any regulations that affect airfields. We are primarily interested in the regulation and licensing of airfield operations.



What are your views on the maintenance requirements for aircraft – do they strike a balance between ensuring safety and imposing costs?

The Civil Aviation Authority

The Civil Aviation Authority

How effective are Civil Aviation Authority regulations and practices that affect general aviation – can the CAA reduce burdens and be more accountable?

Airspace Management

Covering flight and airspace issues, including outdated or disproportionate Rules of the Air and Air Navigation Order requirements.

Training and Instruction

Training and Instruction

What changes should be made to the rules for flight training for students, instructors and flight training organisations?

Historic Aircraft

Historic Aircraft

Should changes be made to the historic aircraft regulations, including ex-military aircraft, and measures which may unnecessarily prevent historic aircrafts from flying.


Innovation / Other

What changes should we make to aviation regulations to promote innovation and development in the general aviation sector?

This site is designed to promote open discussion of ways in which the aims of existing regulation can be fulfilled in the least burdensome way possible. The presence of a particular regulation or law on this website should not be read as implying any intention on the part of the Government to remove that regulation or law from the statute book. The purpose of this exercise is to open government up to the public.

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