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caa logoThe Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have launched two consultations on proposed increases to the fees it charges.

The first consultation details changes to the 'CAA Schemes of Charges' effective from 1st June 2016 which affects every aspect of aviation in the UK. This consultation started on 1st February 2016 and is due to end on the 4th April 2016.

The second consultation contains a new charge and a 100% increase in fees charged for Flying Displays, Display Authorisations (for pilots) and Low Flying Permissions.

For more and links to the CAA consultations click 'Read More'

CAA Schemes of Charges

The CAA have said their proposed charges are to meet the anticipated operating costs 2016-2017 at the same level budgeted in 2015-2106. This would mean no increases in income the CAA raise from charges overall however falling numbers of maintenance facilities, aircraft, pilots, operators, owners and registered training facilities could potentially mean increaseses in some areas to meet any shortfall.

It would be prudent of anyone involved in aviation to have a look at the proposals to see how it affects them.


100% increase for Air Display charges

The proposals also include a new “Post-event Charge” based on the number of aircraft which flew at an event.

The CAA plans to introduce the new charges in time for the 2016 air display season, so they will be effective from 1st April 2016. As such the consultation period is very brief indeed with the start date of the 1st of February 2016 and a finish date, only 28 days later, on the 29th of February.

The CAA explain the increases are due to a failure to recover their expenditure in this sector in 2014-2015, combined with the impact of the costs resulting from the crash at the Shoreham Airshow in 2015.

Many aviation enthusiasts are unhappy because they believe the proposed increases are likely to passed on to the public through increased ticket prices which will reduce public attendance and compromise their economic viability. Smaller display organisers, unable to pass these charges on in the same way, will be unable to continue to hold air displays at all.

Air displays are an important source of revenue for any small airfield, promoting the local operation and aviation as a whole. They create an interest and an understanding of flying which ultimately supports the entire industry. Almost all those involved in aviation, past and present - famous and unknown, were inspired to be a part of it as a direct result of visiting an air display.

Should the CAA consider being more supportive of this specific area of aviation, if not be actively protecting it, by applying a 'global budget' approach rather than segmenting out and attempting to equate the costs and income of Air Displays?


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