Proposals for new PPL training syllabus being developed

Date: 20 September 2013

Together with key representatives from the GA pilot training community the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has started work on a new training syllabus for private pilots. The project aims to help ensure future pilots are better prepared for flying safely in the UK.

The current syllabus for the private pilot licence (PPL) for aeroplanes is used by flying schools to train pilots and help them to pass both ground and flight test exams. However, both the CAA and GA community have highlighted areas that could be improved (such as more information on the use of transponders, GPS, and the airspace system) and also information that, although in the syllabus, most PPLs will never need to know (e.g. purely theoretical or academic information without practical application).

The CAA will liaise with colleagues in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and other EU National Aviation Authorities to develop the new syllabus, which will continue to fully meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Mike Barnard, the CAA’s GA programme manager, said: “This work is part of a larger project to take a fresh look at the oversight of GA and to seek ways in which we can both enhance safety and reduce regulatory burden. We want to empower GA to take on much more of the responsibility for the sector’s safety and for the CAA to get involved only where there is a need for oversight that no other organisation can undertake”

Jeremy Pratt of Airplan Flight Equipment, one of the GA representatives helping to draw together the new syllabus, said: “This is a great opportunity to get a training syllabus that removes some of the items that we all know a PPL holder will never need to know or use, and replaces these with really important safety knowledge that a pilot needs to have but currently may not be well covered in the current syllabus.”

The CAA hopes to be able to provide the new syllabus to EASA by early 2014.

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For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on: 00 44 (0)207 453 6030.

Notes to Editors:

Any change to the syllabus will not alter the number of attempts, sittings or validity period of examinations.

The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.