Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
Steve Slater posted this informative message earlier in another thread, following an approach by the LAA to the DfT. Thanks, Steve and the LAA.

I think it's worthy of breaking out into its own thread and making into a 'sticky' so that more people see it and we can update as things inevitably change over the coming period. I'll plan to amend the date in the thread title as information progresses.

Stephen Slater wrote:A number of members have contacted the LAA with concerns regarding the continuation of GA flying as COVID precautions are increasing.

We are in daily contact with the CAA and DfT on this and have made the case against any prevention of GA flying, unless there is clear and pressing evidence of a health or safety case. There are a number of potentially adverse aviation safety implications of such action, in restricting pilot currency and continuity flying, which would outweigh the theoretical benefits to public health as things stand at the moment.

The latest response from the DfT, on WEDNESDAY 18th MARCH 2020,
"There are no plans to ban VFR flights. There may be some pressures on controlled airspace further down the line (e.g. if air traffic controllers are unable to go into work), but the current message from NATS and others is that demand is reducing faster than the ability to service that demand. (Obviously this pressure would not impact on uncontrolled airspace)".

We believe is that there is minimal likely risk to a pilot flying solo, providing pre- and post-flight social contact is minimised. There is clearly a greater risk of virus transmission if two or more people share a cockpit, but this risk is no greater than if they were sharing a car on the highway.

Currently countries including Belgium, Norway and Italy have closed their airspace to VFR flights. I understand too that other Baltic states including Lithuania may have similar restrictions. Sweden and Denmark appear to have no blanket closures, although one or two airports have been closed, again due to staffing issues. VFR flights in Spain and France are not specifically banned, but are impacted by the overall curfew on non-essential movements outside individuals’ homes. (ie. You can’t get to an airfield anyway).

Here in the UK, many airfields have closed cafes and flying clubs and restricted contact between pilots and airfield staff. Many flying clubs, schools and gliding clubs are now restricting dual instruction training, which may have a future impact on PPL revalidation and licence renewal flights.

We would also advise owners whose aircraft may shortly require a CofV renewal check flight, to consider carry out such a flight sooner rather than later, in case increased precautions do restrict flying in the future.
Hi Steve,

I have written to you directly on approaching the DfT and CAA about helping DTOs and ATOs survive a downturn in business by seeking ways to assist in reducing their outgoings in the short term: clearly annual fees for approval of training organisation and airfields represent a huge outgoing which can only be recovered if people are visiting and receiving training.

We should be lobbying the UK CAA and DfT to preferably waive, or alternatively reduce or offer more flexible provision for, ATO/DTO payment of upcoming approval fees along with those paid by airfields. These are typically annual fees due for payment at the beginning of April by ATO/DTO for CAA approval. There is also an increase in CAA fees due 01st April which might be suppressed for this year. ... il&id=9033

More recently, Flight Instructor seminars have been delayed due to COVID-19, so many instructors would benefit from a one-off extension to their instructor certificate to allow for revalidation instead of a more expensive and involved renewal process. Maybe initially seek exemption for those instructors and examiners with expiry between March 2020 and August 2020 visit an FIE/Senior Examiner to get a 3 or 6 month extension to the validity period?

Clearly the industry is seeing unprecedented challenges and will welcome any assistance we can provide.

Kind regards,

Flying_john liked this
Stephen and Cookie,

From the CAA earlier today:

I can give you assurance the CAA is currently working up a number of different interventions and alternative approaches across all domains and activities to help address the extraordinary challenge we all face.

Our priority is to address those of a critical and urgent nature impacting the National interest.

We have already published a number of ORS4 exemptions.

We expect more interventions to be published in due course and meeting the needs of GA is part of this.

The CAA is working hard to mitigate the impact of the current situation and from the conversations I've had recently, are acutely aware of the problems facing GA.

Might I suggest, therefore, that lobbying at this time is unreasonable. The Authority knows the problems facing GA, but other issues hold higher priority and the Authority does not have infinite staff numbers.

So pestering them with unnecessary e-mails would be totally nugatory. Just let them do their best to resolve matters expeditiously.

Yes. Thanks for the mail. I've added it to a number of items we are discussing with the CAA at the moment.

They are prioritising commercial licence and medical mitigations first, but will be looking (I hope) at private pilots licences, revalidation and medical requirements in the coming week and then other areas as their time allows. I'll keep you informed as things progress.
Everyone, I've split some several posts off and merged them with the main COVID-19 GA discussion topic.

Can we keep this one for discussion of any emerging restrictions on flying and associated mitigations for the problems caused to maintaining validations etc? Thanks.
A quick update. We've dropped both CAA and DfT colleagues messages today regarding adjusting licence and medical validity requirements, but have yet to have a response. Perhaps not surprising is they, like us, are likely making contingency plans based on what is announced by the Prime Minister tonight. Bear with the CAA, they've got a heck of a lot on their plates at the moment.
Everyone, I've split some several posts off again which were general discussion rather than factual updates on the regulatory position.

We'd like to keep this thread solely for those in the know to update us on any changes in regulation only.

Please do not use this thread for discussion of those information postings: Instead, do that in the main thread.