Following several meetings and much discussion, initiated by the Light Aircraft Association and the European Federation for Light, Experimental and Vintage Aircraft with support from our colleagues at RSA in France; the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the French Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile have reached agreement on allowing the other’s nationally approved amateur build, factory built light aircraft and microlights, to operate freely and without prior permission, within each other’s airspace for a period of up to 28 consecutive days.
Excluded from the authorisation are ex-military aircraft, gyroplanes and aircraft whose airworthiness documents carry endorsements of temporary validity or for test flying, such as " temporary permit to fly" or " permit to fly for test". An application must be made to the appropriate airworthiness authority for permission to operate within its airspace for these aircraft. Likewise, aircraft owners wishing to stay for longer 28 days in a single visit will also need to seek prior permission.
LAA Chairman, Roger Hopkinson, commented “I am delighted that the CAA and the DGAC have demonstrated a proportional and pragmatic approach, simplifying requirements where it is demonstrably safe to do so. This has resulted in a wholly satisfactory conclusion. It is particularly notable that all discussions have been positive and constructive, and I would like to thank those involved at both Authorities.”
“The original approval for UK Permit to Fly aircraft to operate freely in France excluded factory built types, which needed special permission and a fee to be paid for each visiting period. This severely restricted easy access to France for a significantly large, and growing, number of our members. French aviators visiting the UK required pre-registration for amateur built aircraft and application with an associated fee for ex-factory (orphan) types and factory Microlights; and a standard visit was only 28 days in a year. Now, subject to what is in essence standard cross border conditions and for agreed orphan types (an agreed list of aircraft types) the sky has opened. I am particularly happy that these arrangement have been concluded in time for the coming season and hope it will encourage not only more of our members to venture into France, but also encourage more French pilots to come to British events such as the LAA/RSA 65th Celebration at Duxford in June, and the LAA Rally at Sywell on the first weekend of September.”
All UK owners of LAA and CAA Permit to Fly aircraft should check that their particular aircraft is approved as part of this agreement before flying to France and ensure they understand the conditions associated with the cross border arrangement. We also urge all members to ensure they fully comply with the word and spirit of this arrangement. Full details can be found here.
13th April 2012