Amendments to the Air Operations Regulation

Closed 30 Apr 2024

Opened 2 Apr 2024


The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Contracting States, of which the UK is one, determined that the effectiveness of the current alerting of search and rescue services should be enhanced by addressing a number of key improvement areas and by developing and implementing the Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS), which addresses all phases of flight under all circumstances including distress.

This GADSS will maintain an up‐to‐date record of the aircraft’s progress and, in case of a crash, forced landing or ditching, the location of survivors, the aircraft and recoverable flight data.

The ICAO requirement will be reflected in the UK in Annex IV xx of the Air Operations Regulation at CAT.GEN.MPA.210 from 1 January 2025 for all aircraft with a Maximum Certified Take Off Mass (MCTOM) of more than 27,000 kg, with a Maximum Operational Seating Capacity (MOPSC) of more than 19 in addition to all aeroplanes of more than 45,500 kg and first issued with an individual Certificate of Airworthiness on or after 1 January 2024.

This Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material (AMC and GM) is to assist Commercial Air Transport (CAT) operators in ensuring compliance with these requirements.

There is a minor amendment to the current AMC and GM for CAT.GEN.MPA.205 clarifying who the competent authority is and to advise operators to ensure appropriate contact details are registered with ANSPs preferably via the ICAO OPS Control Directory.

The AMC and GM for CAT.IDE.A and H.280 Emergency locator transmitter (ELT) and AMC2 CAT.IDE.A.285 and AMC1 CAT.IDE.H.300(b)(3) & CAT.IDE.H.305(b) Flight over water & Survival equipment provide more information on the specific requirements of distress tracking ELT (ELT(DT))s.

AMC and GM for SPA.HOFO.145 Flight Data Monitoring has been updated to provide details of industry good practice.

AMC2 NCC.IDE.A.215 Emergency locator transmitter (ELT) has been amended to reference AMC2 CAT.IDE.A and H.280 for details of the applicable types of ELTs and AMC2 CAT.IDE.A, H.280 AMC2 SPO.IDE.A.190  on crash survivability and homing-signal capability applicability.

AMC2 NCO.IDE.A.170 and  AMC2 SPO.IDE.H.190 Emergency locator transmitter (ELT) is amended to enable an ELD(AD) to be either a stand-alone beacon or an inseparable part of a deployable recorder.

Further GM have been included regarding Global Report Formatting for reporting runway conditions that were inadvertently missed in a previous revision to UK Regulation 965/2012.


What is AMC and GM?

AMC are means by which the requirements in the Implementing Rule and the Essential Requirements of the Basic Regulation to which it relates can be met. However, entities may show compliance by other means.

An entity may choose to offer an alternative means of compliance (AltMOC) which must be reviewed and accepted by the CAA. However, it is important to note they will lose the presumption of compliance provided by the CAA AMC so it is essential for the operator to demonstrate that the AltMOC meets the intent of the Implementing Rule and the Essential Requirements of the Basic Regulation.

GM is non-binding and provides explanatory and interpretation material on how to achieve the requirements in the law and the AMC. It contains information, including examples, to assist the applicant with the interpretation of the legislative provisions.

Why your views matter

It is important to the CAA that the everyone has an opportunity to voice their opinion on matters that could affect them. For this reason, we are asking for comments on this AMC/GM document.

We welcome comments from every sector of the community. This includes the general public, government agencies and all sectors of the aviation industry, whether as an aviator, aviation consumer and/or provider of related products and services.

This consultation

This consultation document relates to the Air Operations Regulation. The proposed changes introduce the AMC and GM related to CAT.GEN.MPA.210 Location of an aircraft in distress and consequential updates to other AMC and GM including:

  • Definitions
  • Aircraft tracking system – aeroplanes,
  • Location of an Aircraft in Distress - aeroplanes,
  • Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT),
  • Flight over water & survival equipment helicopters,
  • Life rafts, survival ELTs, and survival equipment on extended overwater flights,
  • Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) Programme

What happens next

At the end of the response period, we will review all comments and publish a summary of our responses. 

Your feedback will be used to refine the AMC and GM and guide the development of the regulatory changes.


  • Commercial airlines
  • Air Navigation Service Providers
  • Flightcrew
  • Aerodrome Operators
  • Regulatory bodies
  • International Civil Aviation Organization


  • Flight Operations
  • Implementing Rules