Pilots, passengers and aircraft arriving at five UK airfields were recently subject to on-the-spot checks in a multi-agency initiative led by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Border Force.
In total, 12 aircraft, 18 pilots and 12 passengers were inspected, during the enforcement operation that took place in August 2017. The five airports targeted were Blackbushe; London Oxford; Firs Farm airstrip in Berkshire; White Waltham; and Wycombe Airpark.
The CAA's Investigations and Enforcement Team checked that aircraft were being operated legally and were in possession of either a valid certificate of airworthiness or permit to fly. The aircraft's insurance details were also checked. Pilots' licences were inspected to ensure they were current, and that the licence holder had the necessary ratings needed for the aircraft operation.
Passengers were also asked about their arrangements for booking and paying for flights, to ensure that these flights were legal and in compliance with EASA regulations.
Border Force officers checked the immigration status of pilots and passengers, as well as ensuring there were no breaches of customs regulations.
The CAA said the operation was part of a planned programme of activity aimed at checking aircraft were being operated in compliance with all aviation law, which is critical to ensuring the safety of passengers, pilots and the general public.
Alison Slater, Head of the CAA's Investigation and Enforcement Team, said: “Pilots flying into the UK need to ensure they comply with aviation rules and regulations. Our recent work with Border Force colleagues had the simple aim of ensuring private flights arriving from overseas were being conducted safely. The general aviation community at large has every right to expect us to carry out this kind of activity.”
Although no major breaches of aviation regulations were uncovered during this operation, the CAA will continue to undertake routine activity with the UK Border Force and other agencies to ensure legal safety standards are applied.