29-Jan-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
The British Civil Aviation Authority has reviewed and reduced the charges it levies on companies holding an Air Operators Certificate after representations from the British Helicopter Association among others.Â Previously, there were separate bandings for operators of 0-4 and those for 5-10 helicopters, with a big jump between the two making it very difficult for companies to expand their fleets from 4 to 5 machines.Â Â The new bands put operators of 0-10 helicopters together, and the first jump occurs after 10 helicopters, thus encouraging smaller operators to expand – which can only be a good thing in this economic climate.
The charges are structured to have one part for the operator, and a separate per-helicopter part.Â The former used to raise Â£8,100/year from operators of 0-4 helicopters and Â£15,800/year from operators of 5-10 helicopters.Â Thsu moving from a fleet of four to five gave rise to a cost of Â£9,370 (Â£15,800 – Â£8,100 + Â£1,670).Â All such operators will now pay Â£8,200 per year, while the per-helicopter charge remains at Â£1,670.Â In reality the problem shifts to operators of ten helicopters moving up to eleven, but we do not believe there are many of these and they should be more financially sound to absorb that.
The impact of this amendment will be to reduce the potential annual charge to those operators operating 5 to 10 multi-engine helicopters and 5 to 20 singleengine helicopters or airships. The CAA say that the majority of operators affected by the proposed change currently have a restriction applied to their annual AOC charges and therefore the CAAâ€™s income will not be materially impacted.