A new review by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has found that the current safety performance of recreational General Aviation (GA) in the country ’acceptable’.

Commissioned and funded by the DfT, the independent assessment was conducted to measure the existing risk level to private pilots, their passengers and third parties.

The review was initiated in July 2019 and follows DfT’s commitment to improving aviation safety set out in ‘Aviation 2050: The Future of Aviation’ green paper.

It also comes at a time when recreational GA operations in the UK have resulted in several deaths each year while large commercial air transport aviation in the country has reported no deaths at all.

During the review, the committee compared GA with other recreational activities and the non-commercial aviation safety performance in other states.

The majority of recreational flying accidents are caused by human error and can be minimised through continuous pilot training and improvement rather than calling for further regulation or other measures, the review revealed.

Stressing the importance of the safety promotion undertaken by all the GA associations, the review states that the GA community has to continuously strengthen and revise safety messages.

Meanwhile, the review also requests the UK regulator Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to continuously monitor safety trends and take appropriate action in case of rising risks.

Independent chair of the review Geoffrey Podger said: “The main risks of recreational general aviation are borne by those who undertake it on a voluntary basis.

“Our study shows that the level of risk is comparable to that found in other higher-risk sporting activities and that further regulatory restrictions would not be justified.

“There is however a strong message to the recreational community of the need to revise and update their skills, which is the key to reducing the tragic accidents, which still occur.”