The A8-26 Approval means that the BMAA meets the new standards required by the CAA for approving initial airworthiness and managing the oversight of the continued airworthiness of microlights and VLA aircraft.

The BMAA CEO Geoff Weighell says the confidence shown in the organisation by the Approval was a major shot in the arm for the sport.

“We are extremely proud to be the first organisation to be approved to the new standard,” he says. “It will allow us the potential to expand our areas of activity, particularly in respect to working with the microlight manufacturing industry to help them reduce the cost of regulatory oversight and strengthen the viability of British microlight aircraft design and production.”

The standards for the A8-26 approval were developed as a joint project between the CAA, BMAA and the LAA and the crucial approval document was handed over to Geoff by Tony Rapson, Head of the CAA General Aviation Unit, on Tuesday 4 August.

“The final requirements are tailored to meet the needs of sporting organisations without imposing the restrictions and working practices designed for commercial air transport,” says Geoff. “Developing the requirements in conjunction with the CAA, rather than just having the CAA impose them on us, is one example of how the BMAA has been working with the CAA in partnership to ensure that regulation is proportionate to our activity and risk.

“The BMAA team of Ben Syson, Rob Mott and David Simpson has been meticulous in drafting the new company exposition and technical procedures to demonstrate compliance with the new standards. It has been a lengthy task but has also proved to be valuable, giving the opportunity to refresh legacy practices, bring them up to date and, we hope, make them more user and BMAA member-friendly.”

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