LAA COVID update 11th May


 

The current situation remains unchanged. Government advice remains that recreational flying is not deemed an 'essential activity' under the COVID control regulations and we recommend that members do not attend airfields unless it is essential for maintenance or security reasons. We are pleased that almost all members have used their discretion in carrying out maintenance-related flights only - and this communal responsibility has put us in a stronger position in discussions with DfT and the CAA.

 

It is noted that some airfield operators are resisting allowing aircraft owners or visiting engineers access to airfields, based on their current interpretation of DfT COVID guidelines. Remember they face a likely financial penalty if they recall furloughed staff and restart paying wages while operational income is minimal. Airfield owners also have a duty of care to both airfield users and their staff, therefore they'll need time to put in place appropriate guidelines for 'social distancing' and cross-contamination precautions to allow their operations to recommence.

 

In these discussions we have made the case that prolonged aircraft storage and lack of pilot currency will increasingly present greater risk when returning to flight than that presented by COVID-19 transfer provided sensible precautions are taken. We have specifically recommended that the DfT advice be amended along the lines of "It is recognised that a phased return to general aviation flying and pilot training is now appropriate, commencing with essential maintenance and inspection work, and pilot continuity flights".

 

However, until DfT and the CAA offer official guidance, we continue to recommend you minimise any flights or travel to airfields at this time. As soon as there is clarification we will respond immediately to circulate appropriate guidance via the LAA website, Facebook page and other forums.

 

 

 

Steve Slater

CEO

11th May 2020