The aim of the National PPL is to devolve the regulation of some recreational flying to ‘Air Sports’ organisations. The licence itself is easier to obtain and easier to maintain than the standard JAR PPL.
The minimum medical requirement for a National PPL is a declaration of medical fitness by the pilot, countersigned by their general practitioner (GP). The GP must be licensed to practise in the United Kingdom. Holders of UK PPLs for balloon, airship and gyroplane flying also use a declaration of medical fitness as do certain pilot licence holders operating under CAA Exemption ORS4 912 or 913. The GP must have reviewed the applicant’s medical records in order to countersign the Medical Declaration. If you have no GP or your GP will not provide a countersignature (there is no NHS contractual obligation to do so), you will need to obtain an EU LAPL or Class 2 certificate (your Aviation Organisation will be able to give you further advice).
You should download and print off the Medical Declaration form and associated information (Notes for the Pilot, Notes for the GP and NPPL Medical Assessment Process) and take them to your GP. Your GP will be able to seek further advice from a Medical Declaration Adviser (MDA) if required. Details of how your GP may contact an MDA are given in the ‘Notes for the GP’.
The validity period of the Medical Declaration is dependent on age. The periods of validity are stated in the Notes for the GP and the Medical Declaration Form. The minimum age for GP countersignature is 6 months prior to your 16th birthday. A pilot may not fly as pilot in command without a valid Medical Declaration or Certificate. A student pilot may not fly solo until they have obtained a valid Medical Declaration or Certificate. The Medical Declaration (or a copy) must be sent to the relevant Aviation Organisation for your type of flying (see below) when requested eg, for licence issue. Your GP should retain a copy in your medical record. You must retain the original.
The medical standards are based on the DVLA driving medical standards. If there is nothing in your medical history which would stop you reaching a DVLA Group 2 standard for professional driving, you can obtain a National PPL without any medical limitations. If you have a past history of significant illness but meet the Group 1 standard for private driving, you will only be able to fly either solo or with another 'safety' pilot qualified on your aircraft type. A pilot acting as a safety pilot must be appropriately briefed. Other limitations may be imposed on individual pilots depending on the advice received from an MDA. Your GP’s countersignature is to confirm the lack of any medical history which would preclude you meeting the appropriate DVLA standard. Your GP is entitled to charge you for this service.
There is a requirement to revalidate your Medical Declaration at periodic intervals as stated on the medical declaration form. However, if you ever have any doubt about your fitness to fly, it is your responsibility to refrain from flying and discuss the situation with your general practitioner. You should advise any doctor that you consult that you are a pilot and discuss your fitness to fly with them whenever your medical condition changes, additional investigations are required, or if you start, stop or change any medication or treatment.
General medical enquiries should be directed to the most appropriate organisation for your particular flying (not the CAA or the DVLA). Contact details are as follows:
National Pilot Licensing Group (NPLG) Ltd
Northamptonshire NN13 5YD
Telephone: 01280 846786
British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA)
Oxfordshire OX15 0TT
Telephone: 01869 338888
British Balloon and Airship Club
BBAC Information Officer
c/o Cameron Balloons Ltd
St John Street
Bristol BS3 4NH
Telephone: 0117 9637216
For further information about the NPPL please see the NPPL website