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New GA friendly cost sharing rules (and what can and cannot be cost-shared)

EU Commission Regulation 379/2014 valid from July 1st, 2014 now brings us very user friendly cost sharing rules, following a rather rude initiative from Germany (which always had the most liberal rules in that regard).

In short:

  • cost sharing allowed for all private flights with up to 6 people (including pilot)
  • flying clubs and flying schools may generate a profit from “introductory flights”
  • competition flights and display flights can be made for money
  • limited to non complex aircraft (in the EASA definition, i.e. twin turboprop)

Not bad, but “cost sharing allowed for all private flights with up to 6 people (including pilot)” now means that also the pilot has to pay his share of the cost. That was different under German national regulation, where the pilot was allowed to fly for free. Now, pilots doing sightseeing flights for flying clubs will have to pay for their seat.

EDDS - Stuttgart

Now, pilots doing sightseeing flights for flying clubs will have to pay for their seat.

No, that will be covered under “introductory flight” which allows for a profit.

“Introductory flight” means any flight against remuneration or other valuable consideration consisting of an air tour of short duration, offered by an approved training organisation or an organisation created with the aim of promoting aerial sport or leisure aviation, for the purpose of attracting new trainees or new members.

If you do sightseeing flights for a living, you need an AOC anyway (and always have).

No, that will be covered under “introductory flight” which allows for a profit.

Yes, but a profit for the flying club. For me, that means that if their cost for a four seater is 150 Euros/hour, they can sell it for 200 or 50 Euros per seat. Still the pilot has to pay his 50 Euros.

EDDS - Stuttgart

Still the pilot has to pay his 50 Euros.

I’m not so sure.

How does the regulation explicitly state that the cost has to be shared equally?

In fact, the CAA has just revoked their old “pro rata” requirement based on exactly this EU regulation…

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/InformationNotice2014093.pdf

The maximum number of private persons who must share the direct costs (and only the direct costs) of the flight is increased from four to six (including the pilot), and the requirement for those costs to be shared equally and for the flight not to be published or advertised is removed.

I’d say, the pilot could also chip in a Euro or two only.

Hungriger Wolf (EDHF), Germany

This is big news.

The previous rules here required advertising to be within a flying club (see page 4 of that PDF) and there was much web discussion over the years of whether a website (e.g. a forum) could amount to a “club”. I am sure the CAA never wanted to test that one in a court because of they lost, it would open the floodgates to marginal public transport ops.

For this reason, people would advertise on the web “seat sharing” but not cost sharing – even though everybody knew that very few people are going to take a stranger on a flight unless they are getting some money for it. Most of the adverts are from renters who will not do a flight at all unless they can cost share it.

Now the CAA has lost anyway, more or less.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

How do these regulations work with National law? Does National Law have to be changed to reflect this, or does this somehow automatically apply even if National law says different?

I’m always confused by these regulations!

EIKH Kilrush

It is EU law that is directly and immediately applicable in all member countries. No implementation required. This is because it is a EU directive. A EU regulation would require implementation in national law.

There was always a work-around for somebody who wanted to take the piss:

The plane is owned by a company.
I own the company.
I do a cost shared flight, where I carry 3 others in my TB20 and all four of us pay 1/4 each.
The company sets the rental at €1000/hr.
Each of us four pay €250/hr.

So the company receives €1000/hr. BUT I own the company, and I draw the €1000 as a salary (or better still a dividend, for a slight tax efficiency gain). After tax, I end up with maybe €600/hr. But I had to pay out the €250 so I end up with €350/hr after tax.

It’s a big waste of income tax, but €350/hr is not bad for a flight in a TB20

Now, you might think that nobody would pay €250/hr for flying in a TB20 but actually loads would if it means being taken directly from Shoreham to say Le Mans. Or the IOM TT.

I wrote to the CAA about this in 2003, though obviously not using the above outrageous figures, and they said it is legal. It had to be legal otherwise anybody employed by say a flying school (a secretary, perhaps) and thus benefitting from the rental could not participate in a cost shared flight.

Last Edited by Peter at 24 Jul 15:46
Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

limited to non complex aircraft (in the EASA definition, i.e. twin turboprop)

What’s the EASA definition for a complex aircraft?

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