GA flying to restart from 29 March

General Aviation flying can restart in England on 29 March for pilots flying solo or with a member of their family or bubble.

Flight training with an instructor for private pilots can restart from 12 April. Flight training for professional pilots will continue as it is now.

These key steps are part of the government’s ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ in England. Click on these links for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

The Department for Transport has summarised what this will mean for General Aviation in England:

Step 1 – from 29 March

People will no longer be required to stay at home.

This will allow the safe restart of GA flying for non-professional purposes for solo pilots, or individuals flying with a member of their household or bubble.

Training for professional pilots, or those in training to be professional pilots, will be able to continue.

Training for leisure or recreational purposes should not take place.

GA activities should take place in line with the wider restrictions. Travel should be minimised as far as possible.

Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April

Flight training for all pilots, and flights with an instructor, can resume.

GA businesses will be able to open following COVID-secure guidance, for example commercial balloon operators. The rules on social contact will apply in these settings. Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to 6 people or 2 households, and no indoor mixing will be allowed.

GA activities should take place in line with the wider restrictions. Travel should be minimised as far as possible.

Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May

Some large events will be permitted. These will be:

  • in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is a lower number
  • in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full, whichever is a lower number
  • in the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend or a quarter-full, whichever is lower.

COVID-secure guidance will remain in place and businesses must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.

The government will lift most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors, but gatherings of more than 30 people outdoors will remain illegal. Indoors, people will be able to meet socially in a group of 6, or with 1 other household, though it may be possible to go further than this at Step 3 depending on the data.

GA activities should take place in line with the wider restrictions.

Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June

The government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, and reopen any remaining closed settings.

International travel

The government will determine when international travel should resume based on recommendations from the Global Travel Taskforce – this will be no earlier than Step 3.

International GA flying

All international GA flying should follow the wider rules regarding international travel.

Everyone arriving in the UK must:

  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test before travel
  • complete a passenger locator form
  • quarantine for 10 days on arrival
  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine
  • follow the national lockdown rules.

Travel ban red list countries

Anyone who has been in a travel ban red list country in the previous 10 days must arrive in England via an approved entry point.

Approved entry points are Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham and Farnborough airports.

If you have been in a red list country and you arrive in England via an entry point that is not approved, you will face a fine of £10,000.

Department for Transport

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