Aircraft Insurance: Can I cost-share when using my aircraft?

Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on air operations, applicable to EASA aircraft, sets out in Article 6(4a) conditions under which it is permissible for the costs of a flight to be shared without the owner / operator having to comply with the regulations applicable to Commercial Air Transport (CAT). Likewise, for aircraft in the UK not subject to that regulation, ORS4 1234 sets out similar conditions under which an aircraft, its pilot in command or operator may be exempt from the requirement to comply with any provision of the Air Navigation Order 2016 which applies only to a public transport or commercial operation flight and not to a non-commercial flight. These conditions are summarised in the UK CAA's publications CAP 1590 and CAP 1589.

As long as the applicable rules above are strictly adhered to, an aircraft insurance policy which includes use of the aircraft for 'Private, pleasure and business' purposes would operate as normal in respect of such flights, without the requirement to include cover for commercial passenger carriage, subject of course to the other terms and requirements of the cover being met. This would not be the case should any such flight be deemed not to comply with the applicable regulations.

Please note that for aircraft registered outside the UK, extra regulatory requirements, such as the US Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 (the FARs), may also be applicable. It should also be remembered that, in line with most aircraft insurance wordings, the policy includes a clause to the effect that the aviation insurance will only operate if the aircraft is being used in line with the requirements of the authority responsible for regulating the safe operation of that aircraft. The onus is always on the owner / operator to be aware of such requirements and to ensure they are met.

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