Consultation on cost sharing regulations for private pilots

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today published a consultation on proposed changes to the current cost sharing regulations for private pilots. 

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 only between the pilot and others onboard the aircraft. These costs are the ‘direct costs’ which are directly incurred in relation to a specific flight e.g. fuel, airfield charges, rental fees for aircraft. 

In 2021, the CAA established an internal working group to review the cost sharing regulations*. The working group was established to focus on reviewing the rules of cost sharing flights and whether those current rules are fit for purpose for the dynamic and evolving GA community in accordance with the CAA’s regulatory principals of:

  • Understanding and addressing the risk
  • Delivering unique value
  • Acting proportionately
  • Engaging proactively and transparently 
  • Acting on our combined insight

The CAA’s primary obligation is to ensure the safety of consumers and other members of the public. The working group decided that there should be a strengthening of the cost sharing regulations to minimise the potential for both misunderstanding and abuse. This consultation document concentrates on the output of the working group and their recommendations to update the cost sharing flights regulations whilst considering the above principles, which are an articulation of the CAA’s regulatory approach and are designed to improve safety and consumer protection outcomes.

Some of the proposed changes to the cost sharing regulations include:

  • Direct costs: a definition of ‘direct costs’ to be amended where applicable or inserted into both the ANO Article 13 and the Air Operations derogation (Article 6a) 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 the destination (A to B), other than the payment and receipt of remuneration or other valuable consideration.
  • Equal shares: The total direct costs of the flight must be shared equally between all occupants of the aircraft (including the pilot).
  • Maximum of six occupants (including pilot): No more than six occupants (including the pilot) are to be carried on a cost sharing flight.

The consultation will be open for six weeks and will close at 11.59pm on 12 January 2022.

Responses to this consultation should be submitted via our online consultation: UK Cost Shared Flights

Any enquiries regarding this consultation should be submitted via email to ga@caa.co.uk

Notes to Editors

*The cost sharing rules are contained in a derogation within the Air Operations Regulation (EU) 965/2012 as retained (and amended in UK domestic law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (hereafter referred to as Air Operations regulation), the UK Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO) Article 13 and subsequent Official Record Series (ORS) 4 exemptions which aligns those aircraft which were subject at the time to the Air operations regulation to that derogation.

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