UK Civil Aviation Authority Publishes Standards On ATOL Reform


  Bookmark and Share

UK Civil Aviation Authority Publishes Standards On ATOL Reform

By Eddy Metcalf

November 15, 2011 - The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Monday published an Information Paper for the tour operator industry regarding proposed reforms to the Air Travel Organizers' Licensing (ATOL) scheme, which provides financial protection for holidaymakers.

Air Travel Organizers' Licensing (ATOL) is a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) scheme to protect people who have purchased package holidays and flights from a member tour operator. The majority of UK tour operators are required to hold an ATOL license, without which they may not legally sell air travel.

ATOL licensed firms will have had their business practices inspected by the CAA. An ATOL licensed tour operator must also obtain insurance bonds from the CAA.

The aim of this is to provide refunds to travelers affected by any event which causes the airline to be unable to provide travel for its customers, and to arrange for flights (in addition to accommodation and other items which may be included in a package holiday) to return home those who are still abroad at this time.

The Paper?s publication follows an announcement last month from the UK?s Department for Transport confirming their support for reforming the ATOL scheme to provide clarity for consumers, and their proposal to bring in the changes in April 2012.

The Department for Transport is proposing to introduce the concept of ?Flight-Plus? so that air holidays that are not currently covered by ATOL will become financially protected. They also include within the proposals the CAA?s suggestion that everyone booking ATOL-protected holidays is given a standard ?ATOL Certificate? at the point of purchase which would make it clear to them what their rights were and what was protected. Final details from the Department for Transport on the planned reforms will be published before the end of the year.

As well as containing details about the proposed ATOL regulation standard terms, the Paper also contains information from the Air Travel Trust, which funds the protection scheme, about what their policies for claims payments will be following reform. Richard Jackson, Director of Consumer Protection at the CAA said ?We have worked hard with the Government to bring forward proposals to reform ATOL so that people understand when they are protected and what that entails. We will be working with the travel industry to help them fully understand the proposals, so they are ready to implement them next April.


?Today?s Paper gives the industry a better idea of how the concepts set out by the Department for Transport like ?Flight Plus?, ?Approved Bodies? and ?ATOL Certificates? are expected to work in practice. In advance of final decisions from the Government, we will be working closely with the travel trade to get their input on these proposals. We plan to consult formally on them in the new year.?

The CAA is working on plans for a program of awareness and education with the travel trade in the coming months to help to ensure that the industry, from front line travel agents to senior management understand the proposals and how they will affect their businesses.

Other News Stories (For the latest news please checkout our home page)


blog comments powered by Disqus  
Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ?AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator