ABOVE: Although EASA legacy rules allow private pilots to advertising their cost sharing flights online, the CAA notes that this arrangement may be ‘problematic’.

The Civil Aviation Authority is launching a second consultation on what it calls ‘additional measures on proposed changes to the regulations of advertising cost sharing flights by private pilots’, acknowledging that the rules governing cost sharing flights can be “a contentious issue”.

These measures follow on from the regulator’s consultation on initial proposals, ‘aimed at reducing confusion and the opportunities for abuse of cost sharing privileges’. These include a number of new requirements pilots must now take into consideration, such as the need to clearly state the start and end locations for each flight as part of its advertisement, and only allowing pilots to advertise flights they intend to take on a specific day.

In addition to the findings of the initial consultation, which ‘highlighted that some cost sharing advertisements are misleading to the public and not in keeping with the spirit in which rules were created,’ a number of further measures are also being proposed. These could include the need for pilots to declare the type of license and medical certificate they hold, and their total flying hours, in any flight-sharing advertisement.

The ’cost sharing’ element remains pertinent to the costs of the specific flight (such as fuel, landing fees or rental fees), which can only be shared between the pilot and passengers onboard the aircraft.

“We understand that the rules governing advertising cost sharing flights online can be a contentious issue in the General Aviation community,” explained Michael Macdonald, Co-Head of General Aviation and RPAS at the CAA. “We are committed to striking the right balance between protecting the public and allowing pilots to reap the benefits of sharing flight costs.”

The consultation will be open for four weeks before closing on 30 November 2023, and more information can be found here.