The Civil Aviation Authority have published the following DS20 update on their website.

Flying Display Season 2020 (DS20) Update

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the implementation of restrictions on public gatherings which has had a direct impact on Flying Displays. A significant number of events have already been cancelled and others are considering their options.  Whilst the overall regulation of Flying Display activity stands as published in the appropriate Civil Air Publications and Regulatory Articles, the Civil Aviation Authority General Aviation Unit is reviewing areas of regulation (inter alia Display Authorisation validity / currency requirements, Flying Display Director currency, etc) so as to best support the Display Community once the restrictions are lifted and Display Flying recommences.  Further information will be published in late April / early May 2020; however, in the meantime an update on the following areas is provided.

DS20 Display Symposium

Following cancellation of the DS20 Pre-Season Flying Display Symposium, the next symposium is scheduled for 10 / 11 November 2020.  Delegates who had registered and paid for the DS20 Pre-Season Flying Display Symposium will be automatically registered for the Post-Season Flying Display Symposium, with the fee carried forward to cover the November symposium. Further details on how other prospective delegates can register to attend the Post-Season Flying Display Symposium in November will be published by early May 2020.

DS20 Flying Display and Special Event Application Fees

Flying Display and Special Event application fees support the administrative costs associated with processing applications and producing the associated Permissions.  Consequently, once an application has been received and processed, a refund for events that are subsequently cancelled is not possible. However, an amendment to the date of the event is possible and applicants should contact the Civil Aviation Authority General Aviation Unit and request a date change, with a revised risk assessment (if necessary) should they wish to postpone an event impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airborne Flying Display Director Course

The responsibilities and actions of an Airborne Flying Display Director (AFDD) are detailed in Civil Air Publication (CAP) 403 para 8/47, and from 20 April 2020 Display Authorisation (DA) holders will be able to undertake a formal Airborne Flying Display Directors (AFDD) Accreditation Course.

The UK AFDD Course will be managed and delivered by TSA Consulting Ltd, however the Civil Aviation Authority maintains primacy for the course content, assessment of submissions and the awarding of AFDD Accreditations.

The 2020 AFDD Course provides an opportunity for DA holders to undertake an online course from 20 April to 26 June 2020.  DA Holders are advised that the 2020 AFDD Course is not mandatory and AFDD accreditations will not be issued as a result of this course; however, they are encouraged to undertake the unassessed course where feedback will be provided on individual performance. This is in preparation for Display Season 2021, for which an AFDD accreditation will be mandatory in order for DA Holders to be able to function as an AFDD in a Flying Display or Special Event. Dates for the 2021 AFDD Course will be published later this year.

Further details on the Airborne Flying Display Directors (AFDD) Course are available at

Recreational Flying

The Civil Aviation Authority General Aviation Unit continues to receive queries on recreational flying – Government guidance for which is available at:

This guidance clearly states that people should not take part in recreational flying during the current coronavirus outbreak, and this includes travelling to undertake maintenance or other flying-related tasks. This is in line with government guidance to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out, defined as to shop for basic necessities, for medical reasons or to travel to and from work and it is absolutely necessary to do so.