20 January 2023

Fly Legal Day 

On 21st January 2019, Premiership Footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot, David Ibbotson, tragically lost their lives when an illegally chartered aircraft they were on crashed into the English Channel. 

In memory of this fatal accident, the Global trade association for the air charter industry, The Air Charter Association, have designated 21st January as Fly Legal Day to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal charter flights. 

This date is now observed by members and industry colleagues around the world to spread the word and shine a light on this illicit practice, in the hope of preventing similar tragedies in the future. 

What is an illegal Charter? 

In order to operate flights, an operator must hold a valid Air Operator Certificate (AOC), which demonstrates their adherence to a strict set of regulations designed to ensure the safety of both passengers and crew.

An illegal charter is an unlicensed aircraft charter operation whereby the operator does not have an AOC (Air Operator Certificate), bypassing training, checking, oversight and compliance requirements which impact the layers of safety that a commercial operator provides.

While they are rare, unfortunately illegal charters do occur and are a very dangerous practice

How can you avoid an illegal charter?

The most certain way to avoid booking an illegal charter is by using a reputable aircraft broker, who are accredited members of The ACA to book and operate your flight. All operators readily hold copies of their AOC certificates, so don’t be afraid to check these before booking a potential charter flight. 

Fly Safely with Air Charter Scotland 

Air Charter Scotland has earned a reputation as one of the safest and most respected private jet operators. We ensure our fleet is maintained to uncompromising safety standards, and are regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and by Transport Malta and are an accredited member of the ACA.

All aircraft we fly are listed on our approved maintenance programme and maintained to the highest possible standards. We provide full CAMO (Continuous Airworthiness Management Organisation) support.

Our award-winning service always has the highest level of crew training, safety and operating standards at its heart.

As an operator of public transport flights, we meet the same safety standards as Europe’s largest airlines, and we strive to better them.

Contact the Air Charter Scotland team with any questions you might have about Fly Legal Day or to enquire about a charter around your travel needs.