CAA’s CAP793

CAA CAP 793 Safe Operating Practices at Unlicensed Aerodromes

CAP 793 deals with “Safe Operating Practices at Unlicensed Aerodromes” and although produced back in 2010 is still available on the CAA’s website and regularly referred to on other parts of their site.

The CAA is responsible for safety in all areas of civil aviation within the UK.  However, it does not regulate unlicensed airfields or helicopter operating sites regardless of whether any activity taking place there is commercial or otherwise.  Nevertheless, they would take an interest in the safety of any activity taking place at such a site.  When operating into Helipaddy sites the aircraft commander is ultimately responsible for the safety of the aircraft, its occupants and third parties and for ensuring that he is operating in accordance with the applicable regulations.  However, if the owner of the site has granted permission for an aircraft to land then inevitably they incur some duty of care as well – please for more on how to approach compliance.
The document is produced by the Safety Regulation Group and is Advisory and not law and not mandatory.  It provides guidance on the recommended layout, physical characteristics and visual aids appropriate to safe operating practices at unlicensed aerodromes.

Appendix D in CAP 793 is of particular importance as it applies to the typical private site that might be in Helipaddy e.g. a hotel.

We clarify some of the points in Appendix D as follows:

D2. ANO 2009 and the RoAR 2007 are not current any more.  ANO was superceded by the Standardised European Rules of the Air at SERA.3105, SERA.5001 and SERA.5005.  Here is the link on the EASA website where you will find both SERA and the Air Operations Regulation:

D3. Helicopter Landing Sites (HLS) are unlicensed aerodromes which are used exclusively by helicopters (ICAO Annex 14 uses the term ‘heliport’ – that is an aerodrome or defined area on a structure used wholly or in part for the arrival, departure and surface movement of helicopters.). Thus a private site in a field to the rear of a domestic property is an aerodrome (but not a training aerodrome) whilst a helicopter is using it. The content of this CAP, therefore, applies to such HLS.

D5. The links provided have gone and there are now various leaflets around but they tend to be more for pilots e.g. CAA Safety Sense Leaflet 17 and EHEST Training Leaflet HE 3.

D7. Following the introduction of the Standardised European Rules of the Area (SERA), the Rules of the Air 2015 (effectively a national supplement to SERA) were amended to include a specific requirement – Rule 5(1)(b) – that permission to land in a congested area must be obtained from the CAA (it costs around £250 and usually lasts for a whole year).  Incidentally, permission is no longer required to land in the vicinity of a crowd – the requirements for such landings are now set out in the AIP at GEN 1.6-5.

D8. This updated link to the form on which applications must be made is SRG 1843 whilst the link to the associated payment form is FCS 1500.

D9.  HLS Operators are now advised to list their site here in Helipaddy where they can also provide information about their risk assessment and any surveys they have done.

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