New UK – French Recreational Agreement

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on the 15 March 2012 that following agreement with the French regulator, the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), pilots of UK-registered amateur built aircraft and other listed types flying to France can now do so for up to 28 days through a general exemption. Previously pilots were required to make individual applications to the DGAC and also inform the CAA prior to each flight to France.

The UK Light Aircraft Association and the French Recreational and Sport Building Association were also involved in the discussions, which offer reciprocal arrangements for French pilots. The agreement comes into effect immediately.

Access is subject to compliance with a small number of conditions, such as the aircraft being registered and having a valid airworthiness certificate. Some non-ICAO compliant aircraft, such as ex-military aircraft types, remain excluded from the agreement and aircraft that do not qualify will continue to need to apply for an individual exemption as will aircraft seeking to stay beyond 28 days.

The CAA has also taken the opportunity to complete a wider review of the agreement which is detailed in Generic Concession No.6 (GC6, previously Airworthiness Notice 52), specifically the need to notify the CAA prior to making a trip via a web address with the aircraft details. This requirement has now been removed further simplifying the process for pilots.

GC6 provides a general exemption for certain amateur built aircraft in line with the 1980 European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) recommendation which sought to establish free movement of amateur built aircraft across Europe. It addresses the policy for foreign (non-UK) registered non-ICAO compliant aircraft to access UK airspace and the document has been revised to include details of the new agreement.

DGAC France has issued a document on the agreement under the ‘Arrêté du 20 Février 2012’ and this has been published in the French ‘Journal Officiel’ reference NOR: DEVA1201924A.

Source: UK CAA Newsroom