Aviation permits

Plane at airport

The permit regime explained

Before operating to, from or within the United Kingdom, all foreign registered aircraft must be in possession of an operating permit issued by the Department for Transport’s International Aviation and Safety Division (IASD) under the 2009 Air Navigation Order. This requirement extends to all scheduled and non-scheduled passenger and cargo charters that are not covered by the provisions of the European market access regulations, and to flights carrying out aerial work (e.g. photography, parachuting, flight training). Foreign aircraft require also permits under the appropriate air navigation orders before operating to the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and the UK overseas territories.

Before granting any operating permits for scheduled flights, IASD ensures that the services are operating in conformity with the traffic rights and conditions provided under the UK’s bilateral air services arrangements negotiated with the airlines’ States. In the case of non-scheduled flights we seek reciprocity to ensure that UK airlines are allowed similar opportunities from the respective foreign authorities.

IASD also ensures that a number of administrative arrangements are completed before an operating permit is granted. These require airlines to provide valid certificates that are recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on competency (ie air operators certificate), insurance, registration, aircraft airworthiness and noise and that aircraft are fitted with a recognised enhanced ground proximity warning system, airborne collision avoidance system and crews are aware of the UK Approach Ban requirements and comply with aerodrome operating minima requirements.

Application forms

Departmental contacts

Applications to the Secretary of State for airline operating permits should be sent using the appropriate form to the Department for Transport at the address below at least 48 hours in advance of the first flight:

Office Hours

1/27 Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR

Email (office hours): airlineoperatingpermits@dft.gov.uk

Fax: +44 (0)20 7944 2194

Contact for airlines registered in Russia and other former Soviet Union States (except Baltic States), countries in Asia, including the Indian sub-continent, and the Far East, Australasia

Tel: +44 (0)20 7944 5804 or +44 (0)20 7944 5848

Contact for airlines registered in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean

Tel: +44 (0)20 7944 5849 or +44 (0)20 7944 5848

Contact for airlines registered in Europe (including the Baltic States and Turkey), Africa and the Middle East

Tel: +44 (0)20 7944 5806 or +44 (0)20 7944 5848

Out of Office Hours (Emergency Only)

Applications for urgent emergency ad-hoc flights or last minute substitution flights that need to be made out of office hours, weekends and public holidays should be submitted to the Department for Transport Duty Office:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7944 5999

Fax: +44 (0)20 7944 5369

NB: The out of hour’s service is to be used for emergency situations only. Any request for permits to operate series or seasonal programmes of flights will be considered only during office hours. It would be helpful if applicants provide more than one means of contact, in case difficulties arise.