Britain Proposes Ban Against Basing Non-UK Aircraft

 - April 16, 2007, 6:24 AM

The UK's Department of Transport (DOT) last week issued its official proposal to prevent foreign-registered aircraft from being based in the UK “by limiting the time (e.g. 90 days) such an aircraft may spend in the UK in any 12 months.” While the DOT said that “no significant safety issues have come to light” in relation to aircraft registered in the U.S., Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, the agency does not know what other registers are involved or the safety risks associated with those registers. The DOT believes that many private and corporate aircraft based in the UK have been placed on foreign registers “to take advantage of what are perceived as less onerous regulatory requirements.” The use of foreign-registered aircraft to “opt out of the UK regulatory system undermines the harmonized European standards.” There are some “significant differences” even between the U.S. and the UK regulations, according to the DOT. Moreover, aviation authorities in countries at some distance from the UK “can face practical difficulties in ensuring that aircraft on their register but based in the UK comply with their requirements.” The proposal would also require pilots of foreign-registered aircraft to obtain a UK license and type ratings for operating under IFR. Comments on the proposal are due October 28.