BACA – The Air Charter Association Ltd. and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) today announced their decision to join forces to combat illegal charter flights – often referred to as grey charter – where aircraft that have not been approved for paying passengers are used for charter.
BACA and EBAA will collectively gather data, via a joint reporting mechanism, in an attempt to gain a more accurate picture of an activity that clearly puts at risk the safety and integrity of the air charter market as a whole and those who use it.
BACA and EBAA wish to compile as much evidence as possible about the practice, where it is most prevalent and who the frequent offenders are. Both associations will act in close coordination with their members, asking them to help by reporting incidents of suspected illegal charters. Ultimately this will benefit not just their members but all passengers, operators, brokers and customers.
Cases of illegal charter often go unreported and the extent of the problem is therefore unknown. This is compounded by regulators handling full workloads and the resource drain that proving such cases represents. In turn, our members have become disillusioned by the perceived lack of action in dealing with reported cases.
By joining forces on this initiative the two associations can create a database and a body of evidence to gain traction with regulators and authorities and to thereby empower them to take steps to deal with, and reduce, this activity.
BACA Chairman Richard Mumford advises: “We are delighted to be cooperating with EBAA in order to build a case to identify and eliminate cases of illegal chartering. Commercial operations are heavily regulated with good reason and attempts to circumvent that regulation present a risk to the market.
I am fully aware that our members have lost confidence in the regulatory enforcement in this area and, in turn, I have every sympathy
with regulators who have a heavy workload and limited resource.
The purpose of this initiative is therefore to gather evidence to help all stakeholders to assess and deal with illegal charters.”
EBAA Chairman Juergen Wiese adds: “We welcome this common initiative of BACA and EBAA as it brings together the two important hinging points, operators and charter brokers, to shed some light onto the grey and illegal areas of our industry. For EBAA it goes back to 2011 when an initiative was first started with studies and leaflets into raising the awareness with passengers and NAAs of the legality of some charter flights.
At the time EBAA identified a few drivers like FTL or Runway Performance which are now about to be removed. A Code of Conduct for EBAA Member Operators had been established, but Compliance in the interest of Safety for our industry and its customers must remain the baseline for business growth”.