CAP 403 Flying Displays and Special Events: Safety and administrative requirements and guidance 2021

Closed 15 Jan 2021

Opened 15 Dec 2020

Feedback updated 9 Feb 2021

We asked

It is vital that CAP 403 Flying Displays and Special Events: Safety and Administrative Requirements and Guidance remains up-to-date and relevant, and that the CAA’s guidance material in these areas remains proportionate, clear and unambiguous.

We asked for feedback from the regulated community on proposed amendments to CAP 403 ahead of the 2021 display season. 

We compiled a draft of CAP 403 Edition 18 and consulted on it over four working weeks from 15 December 2020 to 15 January 2021. 

You said

We received a total of 37 unique comments to the draft CAP 403 from 10 respondents.  

Of all the comments, 36 clearly conveyed some sort of change. Of these, just over 26 comments were textual in nature, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points.

Many of these comments were duplicated between respondents; and the other 10 comments were more substantive, calling for some sort of change of the underlying policy. 

We did

We accepted 15 of the all the comments suggesting some sort of change (42%). 

Of the 26 textual comments received, we accepted 12. Most of these comprised of rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Of the 14 we elected not to implement, most called for revision to text that we had carefully drafted in cooperation with other organisations while the remainder suggested changes that have already been made.

Regarding the 10 more substantive comments we received, we implemented 3. Of those we elected not to implement, the largest group asked that we expand on material that we thought was covered adequately either in this document or elsewhere. Others suggested that we introduce content that we thought was not necessary and out of scope for this CAP.

Finally, one suggested a change that would require a more substantial policy review including an amendment to the Air Navigation Order (ANO), which we believe to be beyond the scope of this consultation. However, we welcome further inputs to policy and the ANO, as and when these are released for consultation. 

We have produced a final version of CAP 403 Edition 18 which was published on 9 February 2021. 


This consultation contains the proposed amendments to the next edition of CAP 403, Flying Displays and Special Events: Safety and Administrative Requirements and Guidance, which are planned to be effective from the end of February 2021.

Why your views matter

It is vital that CAP 403 is up-to-date and relevant to allow the display industry to prosper whilst maintaining public safety at all times. Feedback from the regulated community is crucial in supporting this.

In addition, this feedback will assist in ensuring that the regulations governing Flying Displays and Special Events are proportionate, clear and unambiguous.

This consultation period allows the regulated community to provide feedback on the changes to CAP 403 ahead of the forthcoming 2021 Display Season.

How to respond to this consultation

We welcome views on this consultation editionplease note that the proposed changes from the previous edition are underlined in red for easy reference.

Please send us your comments online using the link below.

Alternatively email stating the paragraph reference and suggested change/comment.


  • General Aviation


  • Flying Displays and Events