LAA critical of proposal on Airworthiness Requirements

light aircraft in field at fair

Some of the aircraft types covered by LAA Permits are seen here at a recent LAA Rally in Sywell - Credit: Jenny Ross/Pilot Magazine

Changes sought by the CAA would mean that additional paperwork would be needed when revalidating a Permit to Fly 

The Light Aircraft Association (LAA) is encouraging its members to take part in the CAA’s public consultation on changes to British Civil Airworthiness Requirements (BCAR). The CAA is seeking to change the framework that it currently uses to delegate oversight of aviation activities to organisations such as the LAA, but the latter believes that the proposal would simply increase bureaucratic burdens with no positive effects. 

In a document sent to Pilot, the CEO of the LAA Steve Slater says that the proposal would “significantly increase bureaucracy and the cost of providing an airworthiness service with no improvement in safety. If these changes are passed, the costs of the additional bureaucracy will inevitably have to be passed on through higher fees to [our] members”. 

At the moment the LAA can, for instance, re-validate Permits to Fly through a relatively straightforward process. If the CAA proposal gets approved, however, this may change and there may be additional requirements to be met for a Permit to Fly to be re-validated. 

In the document sent to Pilot, the LAA says that it provided the Authority with ‘AAIB incident data which clearly demonstrate a steady reduction in the rate of incidents over the last ten years’ - ie the timeframe over which the LAA had been given oversight of airworthiness for Permit to Fly aircraft. 

However, responding to a request for comment by Pilot, a CAA spokesman said that the changes would involve ‘Documentation to provide more assurance to the CAA the fleet [under LAA oversight] is being managed proportionately and safety’ and that the changes would ‘accommodate the increased scope of activity the LAA aspire to as they evolve their delegated privileges’.  

The CAA is seeking to enact the changes even though a 2020 review of the General Aviation sector carried out by the Department for Transport concluded that ‘the current safety level of recreational General Aviation in the UK is acceptable’ and that ‘additional regulation is unlikely to significantly improve safety’. 

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Interested parties and individuals can send their comments on the proposal to the CAA by emailing ga@caa.co.uk, but must do so by 27 May 2021. The full statement issued by the LAA can be found at www.lightaircraftassociation.co.uk/2021/News/Consultation.html  

[Updated 24 May 2021 with comments from the CAA]