Light Aircraft Association: Introduction

14th June 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Introductions

Light Aircraft Association

The Light Aircraft Association (LAA) is the representative body in the United Kingdom for amateur aircraft construction, recreational and sport flying. It oversees the construction and maintenance of homebuilt aircraft, under an approval from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

LAA Permit Regime

The regime for approving amateur-built aircraft in the United Kingdom differs from that in many other countries.

Instead of the FAA’s Experimental airworthiness category, under which an amateur may design, build and operate (and is ultimately responsible for) an aircraft ‘for experimental purposes’, the UK CAA is required to investigate any such aircraft’s ‘fitness to fly’ and to issue a ‘Permit to Fly’ when satisfied.

The LAA is approved by the CAA to make recommendations for and to revalidate such Permits. Aircraft on a LAA Permit may not be operated commercially and are at present limited to Day / VFR operation. There are also nominal limits on the number of seats (four) and on maximum take-off weight (2500 lbs), power (260HP) and stalling speed (70 mph).

The Permit is valid only in UK airspace unless by agreement with another State, which is normally obtainable for countries in the European Union and many outside it. The Permit has to be renewed annually after the aircraft has been inspected by an inspector appointed by the LAA.

The LAA’s remit extends to homebuilt autogyros but not to helicopters.

Factory-built classic and vintage aircraft that are no longer supported by their manufacturer or have difficulty obtaining a Certificate of Airworthiness, may transfer the type to LAA Permit.


Light Aircraft Association