Flight cost sharing: the CAA spells out what’s legal, what’s not
The CAA has issued guidance on the circumstances in which the direct costs of a private flight may be shared.
The flight must be cost-shared by private individuals. The direct costs of the flight must be shared between all of the occupants of the aircraft, including the pilot, up to a maximum of six persons. The cost-sharing arrangements apply to any non-complex, powered EASA aircraft including those registered outside of the EASA area but flown by an operator established or residing in the EC. Cost sharing is also permitted in NON-EASA (Annex II of the Basic Regulation) aircraft registered in the UK. ‘Direct costs means the costs directly incurred in relation to a flight (e.g. fuel, airfield charges, rental fee for an aircraft)’, explains the CAA. ‘Annual costs that cannot be included in the cost sharing are the costs of keeping, maintaining, insuring and operating the aircraft over a period of one calendar year. There can be no element of profit. In the case of a jointly owned aircraft, the hourly rate, normally payable by a joint owner for the use of their aircraft, is considered to be a “direct cost”.
‘Cost shared flights can be advertised, including the use of online “flight sharing” platforms… [but] it is recommended that any advertising or promotion of cost sharing flights makes it clear that they are private arrangements and not conducted in accordance with commercial air transport or, where appropriate, public transport rules. Passengers should be made aware that the pilot may amend or cancel the flight for any reason, including at short notice. The proportion of the costs that must be shared by the pilot is not specified in the regulations, however the pilot must make a contribution to the direct costs of the flight that he is conducting.’
For more information visit: caa.co.uk/ cap1590