The Department for Transport (DfT) issued updated guidance on recreational flying on 15th May 2020.
GA flying (not training) “is now allowed”:
• From English airfields
• If social distancing measures are strictly observed.
GAAC and some of its member organisations, such as AOPA, are working to have Check Flights and Flight Training allowed as quickly as possible having regard to the safety implications of pilots flying solo when not current; they still must be ‘licensed to fly’.
Separately, AOPA has confirmed the CAA (which comes under the DfT) is to allow training for CPL and association ratings (e.g. IR) to start again. This does not include non-commercial, e.g. PPL, IR(R) training.
In practice the recreational flying now allowed is solo flights and flights with members of the same household. “Therefore this excludes most training flights,” the DfT states.
The guidance also stresses the need to enter into a dialogue with local communities to ensure the easing of restrictions on GA activity are “explained and understood not just to the GA community, but also by the general public — particularly those living near to airfields.”
And the guidance also calls on pilots to be mindful that ATC services may still be limited. This is because services to recreational GA are viewed by NATS as non-essential.
Meanwhile, it also clarifies: “The question of whether an individual aerodrome should open (or reopen) remains a business decision for aerodrome operators to take.”
Finally, the DfT has underlined its commitment to helping aviation, as an important STEM sector, get back on its feet after restrictions are lifted.
For the full current guidance on recreational GA, please click HERE.
GAAC will update its Airfield Status LIST on this website as it learns of airfields opening or partially opening.