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

Pirho wrote:

I don’t think it would hurt if there was some focus on ensuring that any potential passengers would know the difference between this and a full AOC driven public transport flight.

It seems to me like the cost sharing web sites do strive to emphasize that the flights proposed through their sites are not CAT and some of the limitations that entails.


Firstly, CAT operates with a profit motive. It’s shareholders call the Board to account if it fails to make a profit. Cost Share only allows for the sharing of direct costs, not fixed costs like insurance and hangarage, so the model will always be loss-making. Also the pilot cannot be remunerated. Those of us who do it, do it so that we can fly more, and possibly fly equipment we couldn’t otherwise afford. The model completely fails in an AOC/CAT world.

Secondly, I understand it to be part of the rules (as discussed with CAA Counsel) that the pax must be clear as to the nature of the arrangement. I have a standard statement, agreed by CAA Counsel, to cover it. I have a similar statement for charity flights.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Timothy wrote:

Firstly, CAT operates with a profit motive

Not necessarily. There is no need for a profit motivation for an organisation to be commercial. There are lots of non-profit commercial organisations around, also in aviation (the air ambulance organisations here in Norway for instance). The line is drawn between commercial and non-commercial (commercial and private, depending on how you define private). The derogation is to operate commercially in some restricted situations, but definitely not for profit regarding cost sharing. I agree with Aviathor, the line is vague, and the Civil AAs creates more confusion by their “what we really mean” wordings, that are nowhere to be found in Part NCO. It’s a confusing situation. The civil authorities should have no other “meaning” than to enforce the regulations themselves, not make up their own meaning about what they think the regulations should have been.

Last Edited by LeSving at 05 Jun 17:24

What Timothy is saying, correctly, is that under the EASA provision the pilot or operator will never make money out of it.

However there are a few things…

  • The new rules make it much easier to do illegal charter – mainly because one can advertise the flight openly, which renders ineffective the usual detection mechanism: interviewing the passengers as they get off the plane, separately so they can’t line-up their stories, and asking them if/how they know the pilot. And illegal charger goes on quite a bit. Especially in certain scenarios like the French tunnel (or whatever? – they are at it quite a lot) strike, when there was heavy demand for lifts from say Le Touquet to places in the UK, for a family and luggage.
  • We all know that while some pilots are rich, most of the piston GA scene is hanging on by the skin of it’s teeth and some would fly complete strangers happily if they got their flying costs paid. Especially as if you are renting, the entire non-direct cost is included in the rental (otherwise the school will lose money!) so you can recover 100% of your costs from the passengers. That’s a fantastic deal for the renting pilot. Totally free flying. This gets pretty close to actually making money because the pilot is getting the enjoyment of the flight for free
  • There is considerable potential for p*ssing off a local outfit which has a charter AOC, if they get someone ask for a quote and then they see them climbing into some plane. And, trust me, they will spot it because in GA business so many people have so much time on their hands that the curtains of their hut are twitching more than the ones on Alderney

All the above have counter-arguments, mostly in terms of making aviation more competitive and thus more affordable, and there is a lot of potential for boosting GA activity. Probably less than many think because for obvious reasons most of us won’t fly with a complete stranger.

So time will tell how this pans out.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

The new rules make it much easier to do illegal charter

I don’t think so. They only need to ask how much is paid. Complete strangers are not likely to risk penalties, or getting into some trouble, by lying about this to “protect” a pilot they have never seen before. What is difficult is the line between cost sharing and (non profit) charter or (non profit) taxi flying, what is what?. Reading the regulations, charter and taxi flying is legal as long as it’s non profit and otherwise fits the cost sharing model. Reading the guidance materials from the authorities, they do not agree with that. We have had this regulation in Norway for over a year no, and I have heard of no “incidents” though. But then cost sharing has been legal here for ages (not open advertising, and there was a requirement for knowing the people, or at least know of them, up front. Which was a rather toothless requirement. Once you shake hands with somebody and introduce yourselves to each other, it’s normal that you consider yourselves known to each other. Also with internet and boards like this, the concept of “known” has been widened and changed).


Fuji_Abound wrote:

.. but how common? Is it something going on with pilots who contribute to forums or the gerneral population?

I ask but I am surprised it is that common. I can imagine two pilots friends share trips and share the flying but beyond that?

Why not? When I drive or fly somewhere, I cherish the liberty to take people (friends, or people from ride-sharing or flight-sharing platforms) along regardless if they’re licensed motorists or pilots? For longer distances, we obviously split the cost, and why wouldn’t we. I really just fail to see the point. I understand that some people prefer to fly alone or only with other pilots, but I don’t think that’s all that common. I see lots of younger pilots (I allow myself to still be part of that group) going on trips with friends. Why should the pilot pay a four digit sum for a day trip to the islands and the others not?

Timothy wrote:

So come on guys, join me in bringing some money into GA, so that your engineers, airfields and fuel suppliers all get a bit more income and the infrastructure remains for everyone.

+1 for Timothy. I also agree that on GA forums, there is a lot of doubt and criticism about this whole topic, where I just can’t follow.

Even though it appears at face value to be the exact same thing to the passenger (unless someone explains it further) would they be aware that if you are unwell and can’t fly and it’s canceled then they aren’t going to be entitled to any of the EC261 stuff?

One of the more recent start-up platforms that I’ve used, wingly, takes great care to make sure both pilots and passengers are very aware of the terms and conditions. Those passengers really don’t think you’re something like an airline for them! Really! Try it!

There is considerable potential for p*ssing off a local outfit which has a charter AOC, if they get someone ask for a quote and then they see them climbing into some plane

I don’t think that’s really the case. These customer groups don’t mix. It’s not like there’s thousands of people out there who go window shopping at all the charter companies in the vicinity, then check all the flight sharing platforms and then pick the best offer.

The people who take part in flight sharing platforms probably don’t even know about “charter AOC outfits”. It would NEVER occur to them to charter an airplane. They come across those platforms by chance and think “oh, how nice! how exciting!” and then they give it a go.

Hungriger Wolf (EDHF), Germany

From here

Snoopy wrote:

Only direct costs (i.e. for an owner that leaves fuel and airfield charges).

Also rental fee, so I think it means that the owner should be able to include as well the engine time.


If you rent the plane then you can charge the entire cost to the passengers (minus €0.01 perhaps ).

If you own the plane then … it is a long discussion. AFAIK no CAA has ever ruled on what exactly can be chucked into the pot, although various guidance stuff has been published.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I don’t understand.
An owner doesn’t rent, right?
If you own the plane, the direct costs are fuel and airfield charges.

Yes, if you rent. For owners, EASA made it clear that it’s the direct costs only.

Freelance IRI / CB-IR Instructor
LOWG | Worldwide

Snoopy wrote:

Yes, if you rent. For owners, EASA made it clear that it’s the direct costs only.

Well… Is it really so clear? Things like annual CAMO and airworthiness fees can’t be shared – that’s clear. Also not annual inspection costs.

It is less clear that you can’t share engine depreciation costs and 50/100 hrs inspection costs.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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