The UK CAA is considering changes to regulations on cost-sharing flights and has launched a consultation on its proposals. The consultation launched today (1 December) and will run until 12 January 2022.
The proposed changes:
- Direct costs: a definition of ‘direct costs’ to be amended to provide clarity on what this includes.
- Common purpose: If a flight does not start and end at the same site (A to A), the pilot and passengers must have a common purpose for travel to that destination (A to B), other than the payment and receipt of remuneration or other valuable consideration. This proposed change is intended to stop charter flights operating under the guise of cost-shared flights.
- Equal shares: The total direct costs of the flight must be shared equally between all occupants of the aircraft (including the pilot). However, the pilot can opt to pay more than the equal share if they choose. We hope that this proposed change will provide clarity to both passengers, and the pilot/operator and ensure no profit is made from the flight.
- Maximum of 6 occupants (including pilot): No more than 6 occupants (including the pilot) are to be carried on a cost sharing flight. The ANO at Article 13 currently only provides for a maximum of 4 occupants (including the pilot). In order to align this with the Air Operations Regulation and the current General Exemption ORS4 1406 we are proposing an amendment to the ANO to allow for a maximum of 6 occupants (including the pilot).
- Safety standards identified: It will be a requirement on the pilot/operator to identify unequivocally that the flight is a cost sharing rather than public transport flight. It is intended that this proposed change will ensure passengers have sufficient information to make an informed decision whether they will undertake the flight.
- Acceptance of standards and risks: In order for passengers to be fully informed, a record must be kept for each passenger undertaking a cost shared flight in which they must confirm that they understand the flight is not being operated as a CAT or PT flight. This record must be completed prior to flight, retained for 6 months from the date of the flight and is to be produced when requested by an Authorised Person.
- Advertising: Removal of the restriction on advertising cost sharing flights from the ANO. This proposed change will align the ANO with the Air Operations Regulation.
- Age limits: The removal of age limits from ANO Article 13. This proposed change will align the ANO with the Air Operations Regulation.
Follow discussion on these proposals on the FLYER Forum here
A statement from the CAA said, “Cost-sharing flights are flights shared by private individuals. The ‘cost-share’ element refers to the costs of the specific flight which can be shared between the pilot and others onboard the aircraft. These costs are the ‘direct costs’ which are directly incurred in relation to a specific flight such as fuel, airfield charges, or aircraft rental fees.
“One of the problems with cost sharing flights is where pilots and passengers of Illegal Commercial Air Transport collude to present illegal flights as legal cost shared flights.
“In 2021 we reviewed the cost sharing regulations. This consultation is focused on our proposals to update the regulations.”
The full Cost-Sharing Consultation document (CAP 2270) can be downloaded here.
As part of the consulation, the CAA is carrying out an online survey here.