The Civil Aviation Authority has published the scheme of charges for Air Displays that will be in force from the 1st April following the recent consultation period. (Ref ORS5 No. 307). These form only part of the overall costs of putting flying displays together or in the operation of a display act. While it is welcome that some reduction over the intial proposals has been achieved within the new Polst Event Charges, overall they could still have an impact on future air displays, particularly as increases will be phased in over a period of three years.
Below is a summary of the headline charges that will come into force on 1st April. There are further charges outlined in ORS5 No 307 that may also have a further bearing on Air Displays.
CAA Press Release
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today announced the outcome of its consultation on charges for air displays. The regulator has reaffirmed its commitment to the air show industry and highlighted the importance of new safety enhancements being introduced. The CAA is not funded by the tax payer and therefore these charges must be met by the industry. However, the CAA has recognised the possible and immediate impact these increased charges could have on air show organisers and has therefore implemented a phased introduction of the new fees over the next three years.
An extensive review of airshow safety has been carried out by the CAA, following the tragic accident at the Shoreham Air Show in August 2015. As part of the review a series of additional safety measures have been introduced that air shows must now meet in order to go ahead, including carrying out enhanced risk assessments. Tougher checks and training requirements for pilots and display directors are also being introduced.
The CAA launched a consultation in February on the proposed increases to fees to fund its airshow work. This also recognised the historic under-recovery of costs for our regulatory oversight of air displays, although these increases do not seek to recover any historic under-recovery.
While needing to ensure that the new charges are in place, to enable us to introduce these important new safety measures this year, we recognise it may be difficult for some airshows to absorb these additional charges in 2016/17.
Therefore, to reduce the impact on the air display community, the CAA has decided to phase in the introduction of the new air display post event charges. The 2016/17 charges will now be set to recover £100,000 of the expected £200,000 of additional costs, with the remaining £100,000 being absorbed by the CAA.
Andrew Haines, CEO of the CAA, said, “We understand that people care passionately about air shows and we want all events to be a success. We are also very clear that we will not compromise on safety. Enhancing the safety of air shows is essential and this extra work must be funded.
“However, we have listened to the responses and recognise that some shows could face challenges in absorbing the full cost of these changes into this display season. In making our final decision on fees we have therefore decided to phase in the new charges, recovering only half of our costs for the current year.”
“We welcome the opportunity to address with air show organisers any questions or concerns they have around their planned activity for 2016, but safety must be the priority and we are committed to doing all that we can to make air shows even safer in the years to come.”
“In addition to the phased introduction of new fees, we will also review any further requests for assistance from smaller and charitable air show organisers who are concerned about not being able to afford the new charges.”
The CAA’s air display review work continues and we expect to publish our final report in the coming weeks.
The Consultation Response document is available at www.caa.co.uk/cap1388
Charges for Events
As proposed in the Consultation, for event there will now be an “Application Charge” (as in previous years) and a “Post-Event Charge” (which is new for 2016 and beyond)
The Application Charge increases remain as proposed in the consulation document (ie. These will rise by 100%)
The Post Event Charges remain, but have been reduced by 50%. However, ORS5 No.307 does clearify that these charges are per day. These however relate to the items that actually flew each day so if weather cancels part or all of the display, the cost is reduced as is appropriate.
Charges for Pilots
ORS5 No 307 states the following charges for Pilot Display Authorisations:-
Exemptions and permissions in relation to Low Flying
Addtionally, Section 3.4 of ORS5 No. 307 will also have an impact of air display costs.