CAA launches additional cost sharing consultation


The CAA today (2 November) launched a consultation on the advertising aspects of proposed changes to the cost sharing regulation. 

The authority is proposing that cost sharing flights may be advertised, saying, “The advertisement must be placed by the pilot intending to operate the flight and it must relate to a specific flight that the pilot intends to take place, regardless of whether passengers are available for carriage.

“The advertisement must include the start and end locations, as well as the dates when the pilot intends to conduct the flight.”

The CAA is also careful to gently deflect any blame for the final exact wording. The authority points out that the Department for Transport (DfT) is responsible for drafting the actual regulation wording.

The consultation gives examples of advertising that it considers acceptable or unacceptable under its proposed changes. One of the main areas the CAA is concerned about is pilots advertising multiple flights across multiple days, sometimes without a destination being specified.

Adverts ‘not in keeping’

The following advertisement is one which the CAA considers is not in keeping with the original intent of cost sharing flights:

‘If you’re interested in experiencing the thrill of flying with me, I invite you to browse through the flights I have available. However, I understand that everyone is unique and may have different preferences or scheduling constraints. Therefore, if you’re looking for something slightly different or a specific date that is not listed, please don’t hesitate to send me a message. I’ll do my best to accommodate your needs and provide you with an unforgettable flying experience.’

The CAA said, “This advertisement is inviting the passenger to dictate the destination or date / time of the flight in the same way a passenger would do for a commercial service. While it is accepted that a pilot can advertise their availability for flights they plan to take, and ask for passengers to join them to share the direct costs, we do not believe that flights which are solely arranged at the passenger’s request, are in keeping with the original intent of cost sharing flights.”

The CAA is at pains to explain that its changes will not make cost sharing sites like Wingly illegal, while Wingly has previously pointed out that changes along these lines would likely mean an end to its operations in the UK. 

The consultation runs from today until 30 November 2023 and is in the form of an online survey with multiple questions. Click here to take part.

Further reading

We write about the initial CAA consultation here:

Ian Seager’s FLYER June 2023 column on the subject here:

Ed Bellamy’s Instant Expert column on cost sharing here:

Reaction to Wingly’s webinar here:

You can download the CAA’s consultation here.

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