Policy & Guidance


The United Kingdom is a signator to the ICAO convention and as such, its Overseas Territories are also obligated to honor the above ICAO commitment. Civil Aviation in the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (OT) is governed by legislation (principally the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order (AN(OT)O) and International Conventions and Standards (principally those published by the International Civil Aviation Organization) with which the United Kingdom, as a State, has agreed to comply.

The Civil Aviation Overseas Territories Act 1949 (as extended to the Overseas Territories) provides the framework for Governors’ regulatory powers. The Act also enables the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order to be made to permit the Governor to exercise his/her regulatory obligations, either directly or through a designated person or organization. Within the AN (OT) O each particular subject is dealt with by way of the appropriate Articles and Regulations.

Air Safety Support International (ASSI) has been established by the United Kingdom’s Department for Transport to provide guidance or assistance as required to the Overseas Territories for this task. This includes publication of the OTARs on behalf of Governors of the Overseas Territories (OTs) in support of the Governor’s powers contained in the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order – the AN(OT)O.

OTARs provide details on means of compliance with the AN(OT)O which are acceptable to Governors, ASSI and the United Kingdom Government. They describe the way in which aircraft operators, aviation personnel and providers of services can gain approvals and licences, and the process through which these are maintained to ensure adequate levels of safety and internationally-agreed standards are met. The OTARs are not intended to supersede or conflict with statutory requirements, and so the obligation to comply with statutory requirements remains. In addition, the appropriate authority may accept an alternative means of compliance, provided that the applicant can show that the level of safety will not be reduced below that intended by the requirement.

OTARs, to become legal instruments, must be “gazetted” (formally notified) in the particular Territory. They are live requirements and will change over time in response to a variety of factors.

An exemption from the regulatory requirements may be granted for a period of not more than 12 months if:

  1. it was an existing facility and the requirements do not warrant immediate rectification of the facility -‘grandfather provision‘;
  2. full compliance is impracticable, but intent of the requirements has been addressed by an acceptable means;
  3. full compliance is impracticable, but the risk is mitigated by the introduction of certain aerodrome or aircraft operational procedures or aeronautical study;
  4. the risk was considered by the CAA to be low due to the low level of aircraft activity at the time; or
  5. the application for an aerodrome certificate is being processed.

CAA exemptions are time limited and subject to review. The certificate holder is required to provide an indication on how each non standard facility will be made to comply with the standard, including, where possible, a plan or timescale.

An application for an exemption must:

  1. be made in writing by the applicant to the DGCA;
  2. provide the name and address of the applicant;
  3. state the requirement from which the exemption is requested;
  4. explain the interests of the applicant in the exemption requested, including the nature and extent of the exemption requested and a description of each person or thing to be covered by the exemption;
  5. propose a timeline for completion of corrective action and what mitigation is to be put into place in the interim;
  6. contain any information, views or arguments supporting the application and be accompanied by a Risk Analysis of the proposal;
  7. explain why the applicant believes that the exemption should be granted; and
  8. include a summary of the application for purposes of publication in the AIP, which summary shall contain a reference to the requirement from which exemption is requested and a brief description of the general nature of the exemption requested.

An application for an exemption must be submitted at least 90 days before the proposed effective date of the exemption. In some cases applications submitted in a shorter period will be accepted as the DGCA may allow on good cause shown. The application must also be accompanied by the appropriate fee prescribed in the ANS fees Regulations.