CAA proposed 'cost sharing' regulation sparks fury

Following a consultation on cost sharing and cost sharing platforms, the CAA has announced that it will be changing the regulation to make things more restrictive in the UK than they are in EASA states. 

The proposed changes, the full details of which are yet to be made public, are very likely to focus on equal part cost sharing and advertising, along with a requirement that the cost-shared flight would need to be a flight that will take place regardless of any cost sharing element. 

While the apparent simplicity has some appeal for some members of the pilot population, the devil is, of course, in the detail, and it’s clearly challenging to create legislation in this area without unintended consequences. 

The cost sharing platform, Wingly, has weighed in and recently organised a webinar: ‘A regulation that would make Wingly shut down in the UK’.

There were presentations from Martin Robinson, CEO of AOPA UK and Julian Scarfe, Deputy Chairman at PPL-IR. During the webinars, Wingly announced that the CAA will run a new public consultation looking at the possibility for private pilots advertising a flight on multiple dates, which is what the current proposed wording prevents.

The webinar was the occasion for Julian Scarfe from PPL/IR Europe to point out during a very interesting legal analysis that, “The holding-out and advertising aspect is an embellishment that the CAA has put on the current regulation.

“The main criteria of the current ANO Art 104 restriction on ‘holding out’ being simply whether the flight be offered would be commercial air transport or not. And cost-sharing flights are clearly not commercial air transport as they are conducted under a derogation from the regulations for commercial air transport.”

Martin Robinson from AOPA UK added, “Cost-sharing is a way that enables pilots to reduce the costs of flying by sharing flights with individuals in a safe and proportionate way. Wingly type platforms enable flights to be advertised to interested parties. These platforms offer many advantages as flights become part of a known environment.” 

Watch the Wingly webinar

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