The UK has entered its second ‘lockdown’ of 2020 with renewed restrictions on General Aviation and flight training.
Following the UK government announcement on Saturday 31st October that a new national lockdown was required, the fresh movement restrictions came into force on Thursday 5th November. Shortly before the new restrictions were imposed, the government published its new guidance on General Aviation flying.
The key points of the guidance are:
- Private pilots should not undertake any sport or leisure flying, in line with the requirement to stay at home without reasonable excuse [sic].
- General Aviation (GA) flying for the purposes of work, where it is not reasonably possible to work or provide those services at home, is permitted. Social distancing measures should be in place and observed at all times.
- [We] recommend that flight training for private pilots not continue while the national restrictions are in place.
- Flying training organisations providing training for professional pilots may continue to do so, and students undertaking such activity may continue to attend for these purposes. Social distancing measures should be in place and observed at all times.
- Engine health and maintenance check flights and flights to maintain currency only, that would otherwise lapse during the planned lockdown period, should only be conducted where there is an urgent requirement to do so, and alternative options are not available.
The early indications are that the reaction of the flight training industry is more nuanced than during the first lockdown, when virtually all
some schools and clubs have announced that they will cease all flying
GA flying activity stopped. This time around, whilst some schools and clubs have announced that they will cease all flying, others have indicated that apart from not conducting ‘trial lessons’, they expect to continue most other forms of flight training. So far, there is no word on whether the UK CAA will extend the various licencing exemptions it put in place earlier this year, several of which expire on the 22nd November.
This is a developing story, updates will be posted as new information becomes available. The full UK government guidance can be found here: