UK-wide lockdown: the GA effect

Leisure flying is not permitted under the latest lockdown rules in England. The Department for Transport has updated its guidance to General Aviation and it says national lockdown rules apply – you must not leave your home except for essential reasons.

However, GA flying is permitted for the purposes of work, where it is not reasonably possible to work or provide those services at home. Social distancing measures must be in place and observed at all times, says the DfT guidance.

The DfT goes on to say, “Flying training organisations providing training for professional pilots, for the purposes of work, may continue to do so. Individuals undertaking such activity may continue to attend for these purposes. Social distancing measures must be in place and observed at all times.

“Engine health and maintenance check flights can only take place where there is a critical safety requirement to do so, and alternative options are not available.

“Such flights, where conducted, must be kept to the minimum duration possible and should land at the same airfield from which they departed, except where this is outside the reasonable control of the pilot.”

The CAA has updated its Covid-19 guidance for commercial and General Aviation. Click here for the CAA pages.

The CAA advice on medicals is:

“Medical examinations with an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) should only take place where there is an urgent need for a pilot to renew their medical certificate (for instance, if the pilot needs to continue flying for the purposes of work), and there are no alternative options available.

“For example, pilots may be able to maintain their medical currency using other mechanisms such as Pilot Medical Declarations (if they meet the required criteria), or through the extension of their current medical certificate under relevant Exemptions issued for that purpose by the CAA.”

The DfT has issued advice on protective measures for those businesses that are allowed to operate in England. That advice is here.

Advice for other nations in the UK can be found at these links:

Northern Ireland


  1. Will we expect there to be any extensions for expiry of medical certificates or licence requirements based on currency for PPL licences?

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