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Details on Article 232 Authorisations (formerly known as Article 144 Authorisations) and how to apply.

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Any persons who are not CAA employees but who are employed at an aerodrome can apply for authorisation by the CAA under Article 232 of the Air Navigation Order 2009 (ANO) to prevent aircraft flying.

Please Note: An Article 232 authorisation should not be confused with another CAA authorised power granted to certain aerodromes under The Civil Aviation (Chargeable Air Services) (Detention and Sale of Aircraft) Regulations 2001, and The Civil Aviation (Detention and Sale of Aircraft for Eurocontrol) Regulations 2001. It is very important that the correct Aerodrome staff, holding an in date authorisation, use the correct power when the need arises. The Aerodrome Manual should include those persons issued with a 232 authorisation.

Article 232 of the Air Navigation Order 2009 provides as follows:

If it appears to an Authorised Person that any aircraft is intended or likely to be flown while in a condition unfit for the flight, that Authorised Person may direct the operator or the commander of the aircraft that he is not to permit the aircraft to fly until the direction has been revoked by the CAA or by an Authorised Person and the CAA or that Authorised Person may take such steps as are necessary to detain the aircraft.

Where an authorisation is issued to a person other than a CAA employee, the authorisation may be used only to detain aircraft for reasons of safety and until such time as an appropriately qualified CAA employee has been summoned and has taken control of the situation. 

CAA policy is to limit an Article 232 Authorisation issued to a person who is not a CAA employee to the power to prevent aircraft from flying for valid specified reasons. Authorised Persons must have the means and the procedures in place to quickly obtain CAA assistance when required. Authorisations are usually held by experienced personnel responsible for operations at aerodromes, and are valid only for a named individual in a particular post at a stated aerodrome. The CAA can revoke an Authorisation at any time that it sees fit to do so. 

Authorisations will be issued only to personnel holding an appropriate position within the aerodrome Licence Holder’s organisation who are competent to exercise judgement regarding aircraft airworthiness or other flight safety issues.

An Authorised Person acting under Article 232 is not carrying out a function of the CAA or acting on its behalf. Their authority to perform the function derives from their appointment by the CAA under the ANO as an Authorised Person and they are responsible for their own actions. Liability for the use of Authorisations under Article 232 by non-CAA personnel lies solely with them and their employer, and not with the CAA.

The CAA will specify in any Authorisation granted to a non-CAA employee that it is restricted to the circumstances set out in Article 232, and authorise people to detain an aircraft only where the Authorised Person has grounds to suspect that it is intended to be flown in such circumstances as to be a cause of danger or while in a condition unfit for flight. This is specified clearly in the conditions on the Authorisation Card issued to each such Authorised Person.

The Authorised Person may direct the operator or the commander of an aircraft that they are not to permit the aircraft to make the particular flight or any other flight of such description as may be specified in the direction, until the CAA is able to take such steps as are necessary to detain the aircraft further, pending further investigation. 

A person nominated by an Aerodrome Licence Holder will be authorised to act only under Article 232 and therefore will not be authorised to enter and inspect an aircraft, nor will that person be authorised to exercise powers under any other ANO Articles to demand, inspect and copy documents and records. 

In practice this power is very rarely used by non-CAA personnel and should only be used in circumstances where immediate action is necessary, and until such time as the CAA can arrive and inspect the aircraft, and form its own view.

A Sample Authorisation showing the format is available to view.

Application forms, incorporating Guidance Notes, are available to download from Publications area of the CAA website, via The completed form, and a passport-sized photograph, must be submitted by post to the following address:

Business Support Team
Aerodrome Standards
Civil Aviation Authority
Aviation House
Gatwick Airport South
West Sussex RH6 0YR

Should you have any queries, please contact the Business Support Team via