Industry Calls for Stronger Penalties on Illegal Charter

The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) is calling for legal changes to strengthen deterrents for illegal charter and boost enforcement. “Fines are pointless and they are not being enforced,” aviation attorney and BBGA Chair Aoife O’Sullivan said today at the Air Charter Expo conference at Biggin Hill Airport. “We need a change in the law.”

Conference panelists—including EBAA chief operations officer Robert Baltus and NATA v-p of aircraft management, charter services, and MROs Ryan Waguespack—acknowledged that regulatory agencies generally have inadequate resources to police illegal charter. They indicated that abuses are increasing, partly facilitated by online charter platforms and abuses of dry-lease arrangements.

According to O’Sullivan, the industry should focus efforts on better informing charter end users of the liabilities they could face in the event of an accident. James Moreton from insurance broker Hayward Aviation added that end users also need to be more aware that illegal charters can invalidate insurance coverage. He acknowledged that insurance companies could do more to raise awareness about the resulting liability issues.

EBAA is in the process of setting up a platform to make it easier for legitimate businesses to report cases of illegal charter.

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