New CAA Notice for Hot Air Balloon Flights

14th November 2007    News

New CAA campaign to publicise the dangers of illegal flights. The CAA is launching a campaign to publicise the dangers for air passengers who pay for hot air balloon flights with operators that do not hold the necessary safety approvals.

Most flights that involve a passenger making some form of payment should be operated by companies that hold an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) which is granted by the operator’s national aviation authority – in the UK, the CAA. This is an approval that is granted to show that the company meets the high levels of safety required.

David Chapman, CAA Head of Flight Operations, said: “Most companies planning to undertake work that legally requires an AOC abide by the law and hold the certificate. However, as in all walks of life, there are some companies and individuals who choose to ignore the requirements and operate illegal public transport flights.

“Not only is this a safety issue, in that extra procedures, training and checks required for an AOC may not have taken place, but also passengers’ life insurances may be invalidated.”

To help publicise the requirement the CAA has produced a leaflet, aimed at passengers, which explains when and why an AOC is required and the risks of taking a flight with a company that does not hold the required approvals.

Passengers are also able to access the CAA’s database of AOC holders online at http://www.caa.co.uk/aocholders to check whether a company is approved.

David Chapman added: “As well as alerting passengers, the CAA will continue to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute companies and individuals that fail to follow the requirements.”

Aerosaurus hot air balloons is registered CAA AOC holder BL209. To read about our Air Operators Certificate please view the flight page.