Light Aircraft Association

If anything gives even more satisfaction than flying, it’s flying an aircraft you’ve built yourself. Today’s home-built aircraft are better in almost every respect than anything factory produced, in terms of performance, handling and efficiency.

Moreover, anyone with the most basic of practical skills can build one. Homebuilt aircraft have an enviable safety record, and through the Light Aircraft Association are economical and affordable, allowing the fun and passion for aviation to prosper They are quieter, more economical, more comfortable, faster, cheaper to buy and operate, easier to maintain and far more technically advanced than all but the most complex production aircraft.

They can be built by any competent amateur in a reasonable time, especially with the modern range of accurate, computer-generated kits now available, backed-up with an excellent engineering support network to oversee and assist with the construction. With building an aircraft yourself comes the invaluable quality of knowing exactly how everything works and therefore having confidence in it.

These designs are the future of recreational flying, and the Light Aircraft Association is the organisation that makes all this possible in the UK. With a 65 year history, our amateur building tradition has evolved over recent years to embrace the support of many vintage and classic aircraft through our engineering, heritage and Educational Trust support teams.

Our primary role, delegated to us by the CAA, is overseeing the airworthiness of some 2,500 home-built, vintage, microlight and gyro aircraft currently flying and about 1,700 projects currently under construction. The twelve fulltime staff includes five professional engineers, backed-up by a nationwide team of almost 400 volunteer inspectors who check and sign off the construction and maintenance work carried out by our members. A major increase in responsibility has recently been agreed with the CAA, which adds greatly to the LAA aircraft fleet with the addition of many classic factory-built aircraft, which had previously been operating on full C of A and which no longer have parent support organisations. The European Aviation Safety Agency, in conjunction with our own CAA, has
decided that these aircraft – called orphans - should be allowed to transfer a Permit to Fly, and be managed by the LAA.

In partnership with other RAeC member associations, we fight for the easing and removal of restrictions that unnecessarily hamper flying for fun – for fun is what flying should be. The LAA is dedicated to keeping flying enjoyable and affordable by minimising red tape, unnecessary regulation and bureaucracy. To this end, we send delegates to a wide variety of committees in Britain and Europe, often working with Europe Airsports and the FAI.

We take an outward-looking approach, and our 8,000 members include enthusiasts generally interested in aviation, as well as builders and pilots. There are 50 local branches, which provide a social focus, and organise fly-ins and events. We promote co-ownership groups to share the cost of construction and operation, and also the formation of type clubs. We also make a big effort to promote youth involvement. Our pilot coaching scheme provides a range of instructional services from difference training to conversions and renewals.

The LAA’s charitable arm – The Educational Trust – provides a wide range of courses covering the building and operation of light aircraft. It also provides funding and support for a number of youth activities including Build a Plane school projects. LAA fly-ins and events across the country, including the famous LAA Rally, are always well attended and form the focus for socialising, exchanging ideas and hearing the latest news.

Our members also enjoy a lively and entertaining monthly magazine. The LAA is a forward looking and professional association with an enviable heritage and a bright and exciting future.




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The RAeC Newsletter for Winter 2022 is now available to view HERE

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