Balloon Repair Station

CAO Services & Charges

Updated 12.04.2023 – following CAA price rises

To CAO or not to CAO?

As a CAA approved Combined Airworthiness Organisation (CAO) we can offer both a Controlled Environment and Management facility for Declared Balloon Operators (DBO) and also the place for the private balloonist to come and get an ARC (Airworthiness Review Certificate) issued.

It is not the intention of Easy Balloons to have private balloons within the CAO. There is no legal requirement for a privately operated balloon to be in a Controlled Environment, another way of saying, ‘looked after by a CAO’. Instead each year a full Physical Inspection and Airworthiness Review can be carried out and a fresh ARC issued just like in the olden days when Montgolfier ruled the skies and you were issued with one bit of paper, the BBAC IR4 which was actually made up of two parts. The top bit was the Inspection and Release to Service (IRS) and the bottom bit was the Airworthiness Revue. By doing this it is dead simple for everyone and reflects back to the days of the IR4 with such that you end up with one issue and one expiry date for both the Inspection and ARC. With this arrangement the ARC cannot be extended and the owner is fully responsible for ensuring the continued airworthiness of their balloon (like it used to be). There are no contracts to sign and no management fees to pay. Easy Balloons simply makes one charge, at the time of inspection.

Balloons used for the carriage of fare-paying passengers, or operating under an DBO, have to be signed up with a CAO. This is a legal requirement so they are stuffed. In this case there is a contract and the inspection and ARC dates may be different. Easy Balloons operates a simple sliding scale of charges for the CAO service, which is payable annually or monthly and a separate scale of charges for the annual inspection. If required the dates of the ARC and inspection can be con-current.


Non CAO (Private Balloons)

Standard Balloon – Annual Inspection and Airworthiness Revue along with the issue of all paperwork £175.00

Cloudhopper – Annual Inspection and Review along with the issue of all paperwork £155.00

Where additional envelopes share bottom ends or one envelope has two bottom ends a reduced inspection fee for the additional equipment may be charged. Please enquire.

Unaccompanied balloon inspections please add £25 (excl hoppers).

DBO Balloons

CAO fees and the Annual Inspection are charged as separate items. The ARC issue/renewal/extension is inclusive with the CAO fee.

In the case of the CAO fees payment may be made annually or monthly by Direct Debit.

Once signed the Maintenance Contract remains valid providing the appropriate fees are up to date or the Operator wishes to remove the balloon from the CAO’s register.

There are no joining or cancellation fees.

DBO holder’s CAO Fees

First balloon £200.00 per year or £15.00 per month (min 12 month period).

Second (and all subsequent) balloons under the same AOC £190.00 per year.

Standby, or low use Balloons. No Charge plus £20.00 per flight. This does not include ARC Issue or Extension fees. Please ask for full details.

CAO Agreements run from 1st April to 31st March. Balloons joining during the year will only be charged a proportional fee based on the monthly rate. Please ask for details.

CAA Services

Stand alone Airworthiness Review and issue of ARC £90.00

UK Certificate of Airworthiness application including ARC recommendation (transition, first, new or imported)

Export Certificate of Airworthiness

For CAA certification using the services of Easy Balloons £100.00.

Any CAA charges for the application, or if an Inspection or Airworthiness Review is required, will be added at the current CAA/Easy Balloons rate.


Form 1s issued – £8.00 plus any inspection charge. Please call for further information.