Parachuting: Edition 5 consultation

Closed 17 Jan 2020

Opened 23 Dec 2019

Feedback updated 20 Mar 2020

We asked

It is vital to update CAP660 Parachuting to ensure that the CAA’s guidance material in this area remains proportionate, unambiguous and congruent with the very latest best practices.

We asked for feedback from the community on proposed amendments to CAP 660 ahead of the 2020 season, and undertook a full public consultation from 23 December 2019 to 17 January 2020. 

You said

We received a total of 178 unique comments to the draft CAP from 16 respondents. All respondents were from the parachuting community including parachute training or display organisations, associations or individual parachutists. Of all the comments, 110 conveyed some sort of change, of which:

  • 65% were textual in nature, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points; and  
  • the other 35% were more substantive, calling for some sort of change of the underlying policy. 

We did

We accepted 44 (38%) of the all the comments suggesting some sort of change. 

Of the 71 textual comments received, 35% resulted in changes to the text. Most of these comprised rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Of the ones we were not able to accept, most (23) involved changes to CAA standard definitions which involves further work and may be considered in due course; seven suggested changes to text that was deemed satisfactory to the vast majority of respondents, and a few others changed material that was either explained elsewhere, or will be dealt with in another way.

Of the 39 substantive change requests, we implemented 18. These are obviously more difficult to consider as they require a re-think of fundamental policy or decisions already taken after careful assessment. Of these, 17 directly resulted in changes to the text. 

The most notable recurring issue among these were from respondents who are, or were representatives of, military-style round canopy parachutists. We carefully considered all of these and have made the following changes:

  • p.41, table at para 3.130 regarding acceptable surface wind limits: inserted maxima for both student and experienced/display team round parachutists.
  • p.43, table at paragraph 3.149 regarding minimum heights at which parachutists should have their main parachute open: inserted minima for round canopy parachutists (except during displays), and for British Skydiving ‘C’ license holders or equivalent using static line round parachutes during displays.
  • p.49, paragraph 5.18 regarding reserve parachute canopy: introduced a front mounted round reserve parachute requirement for round canopy parachutists. 

In relation to comments we elected not to implement, seven concerned topics that need to be investigated more deeply and so we deferred them to either a separate document or the next edition of this CAP; six comments asked that we expand on material that we thought was covered adequately either in this document or elsewhere; and six suggested changes that would require substantial policy review including, in some cases, amendment to the Air Navigation Order (ANO), both of which are beyond the scope of this consultation. Finally, one covered an area that in our opinion has been adequately addressed, and one comment was not specific enough for us to take action.

We have produced a final version of CAP 660 Edition 5 which has now been published.


All parachute operations carried out from civil registered aircraft over the UK is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

Parachuting (CAP 660) is a comprehensive source of information including rules, regulations and guidance on legal requirements for parachuting operations and displays.

It was last published in 2008 and we are now consulting on a revised and updated edition. This new edition will be published in 2020 and includes some major changes to reflect new legislation and regulatory provisions.

The consultation for the revised edition closes on Friday 17 January 2020.

How to respond to this consultation

Please send us your comments online using the link below (preferred method).

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


  • General Aviation


  • Flying Displays and Events