Private Pilot Licence Conversions

How to convert your licence

EASA, non-EASA and conversions

In 2012 pilot licensing and medical rules changed as new European legislation came into force.

After 7 April 2014 you’ll need an EASA Part-FCL licence if you want to fly:

  • any EASA aircraft or aeroplane with a maximum weight of more than two metric tonnes or any aeroplane with more than four people onboard.
  • an EASA aeroplane or helicopter for aerial work or commercial transport. 
    (Note that an EASA aeroplane or helicopter includes those on a non-EASA registration whose operator is based in an EASA state, and would have been EASA aircraft if they had been registered within the EU).
  • any EASA aircraft using an ICAO licence issued by a non-EASA state, unless accompanied by a formal EASA validation for that licence.

Check the definition of an EASA aircraft

If you have an ICAO-standard licence issued by a country outside the EASA area (for example, an FAA Airman's Certificate, or a South African PPL), your licence will need a formal EASA validation to fly any EASA aircraft after 7 April 2014. EASA validations for foreign licences are issued by the national authority (in the UK the CAA) and are valid for one year only.  A validation can only be extended when the pilot needs extra time in order to finish a conversion or has started training for an EASA licence.

This will not apply to aircraft registered and based in a non-EASA state, therefore a US registered aeroplane may be flown by an US FAA licensed pilot if the aircraft is not based in an EASA member state.

After 7 April 2015 you’ll need an EASA Part-FCL licence (or a one-year EASA validation on a foreign licence) to fly any EASA aircraft for any purpose.

After 7 April 2017 only an EASA Part-FCL medical certificate will be accepted with an EASA licence. Until this date a JAA medical certificate will also be acceptable.

If you have a current national licence, such as an NPPL or UK national lifetime licence and you don't wish to fly an EASA aircraft, then there is no need to convert your licence.

However, the UK has made all EASA licences valid on UK non-EASA aircraft covered by the ratings or privileges within, so whilst an NPPL can be used to fly non-EASA aircraft, so can an EASA aeroplane licence.