Britain Weighs Ban Against Basing Non-UK Aircraft

 - April 18, 2007, 7:21 AM

The days might soon be over for the basing of non-UK-registered general aviation aircraft in the UK. The country’s Department for Transportation (DFT) is considering a plan to prohibit non-commercial foreign-registered aircraft from being permanently based in Britain. A comment period on the plan is expected shortly. According to the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA), if European authorities addressed the factors that lead operators to register offshore–in its view, excessively burdensome regulation and bureaucracy–then many aircraft would in fact return to EU national registers. According to a DFT spokesman, the comment period will begin before the end of August. Full details of the process will be posted under the consultations section of the department’s Web site at www.dft.gov.uk. French civil aviation authorities have been considering similar changes over the past two years, but do not yet appear to have made a firm decision. They too have become concerned by the dwindling number of non-commercial aircraft on the French register. But like the BBGA, the French chapter of the European Business Aviation Association has essentially argued that operators are being driven away from their national registers by excessively complex and costly regulations.