BACA calls for review of private flight cost sharing


The rise in private flight cost-sharing platforms has prompted calls for an urgent review of the rules.

The practice of enabling people to book flights on private jets, for less than a similar flight would cost on a commercial aircraft, is growing.

Now the Worldwide Association of Air Charter Professionals (BACA) says the regulations governing this should be “urgently” reviewed, to ensure that people’s safety and security aren’t being put at risk.

“The Association is suggesting that global regulatory authorities should work together with the industry to deliver a set of standards that maximise safety and security on all flights operated on this basis,” said a spokesman for BACA – the world’s largest air charter organisation.

BACA says that, while it “fully embraces innovation in the market” and tools that make it easier and more attractive for people to fly, it’s illegal to fly commercial charter flights on a private licence. “[We are] concerned that, without proper regulation, commercial flights will be flown without an Air Operator Certificate, thus compromising flight legality and safety,” said the spokesman.

Commercial charter flights had to be undertaken by an air carrier with an Air Operator Certificate. AOC holders had to abide by “enhanced” flight maintenance, safety and crew experience rules, designed to protect customers and the public.

“If these rules can simply be circumvented by characterising flights as private cost-shares, then that calls into question the integrity of the regulatory regime,” said the BACA spokesman.

BACA is calling for an industry-wide review to clarify the regulations, which it acknowledges are currently unclear and are creating a market for flight sharing, to make passenger safety and security the top priority.

It has approached industry organisations and regulatory bodies to review private flight cost-sharing.

Chairman Richard Mumford (pictured) said: “A number of our members have approached us and raised concerns about the market developments in this area. We believe that safety and security are paramount and wish to open a debate on the subject, with the ultimate aim of delivering clear and binding regulations that meet the highest levels of safety and security for passengers and crew.

“We would like the Civil Aviation Authority and other competent authorities to consult and work with the industry to ensure that we clarify the interface between private and commercial flying as much as possible. This helps all market participants to know where the distinctions are drawn, and then the flying public can be made aware too.”