Balloon & Airship Licences

Explanation of the medical requirements for Private Balloon and Airship pilots (PPL (BA)) and for Commercial Balloon (CPL (B) restricted and unrestricted) and Commercial Airship (CPL (AS)) pilots.

Medical Fitness for UK Balloon and Airship Pilot Licences

Balloon and airship pilots require either a Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR) Class 2 medical certificate or a Medical Declaration (as required for a National Private Pilot’s Licence) which is based on the DVLA driving medical standards, as listed in the table below: 

CPL
(Airship)

JAR Class 2
CPL
(Balloon) unrestricted

Public transport
JAR Class 2
CPL
(Balloon) restricted
Aerial work
Medical Declaration
DVLA Group 2

PPL
(Balloon and Airship)

Medical Declaration

DVLA Group 1 or 2

 

If you are a student or private balloonist or airship pilot with a PPL(BA), and you do not wish to progress to a commercial licence, you should follow the procedures to obtain a Group 1 or 2 National PPL Medical Declaration which has to be signed by you and countersigned by your GP.   

If you have, or will be applying for, a CPL(B) restricted to do aerial work ( ie, will not be undertaking public transport) you will need to reach DVLA Group 2 professional driving standards and should follow the procedures to obtain a NPPL Medical Declaration. This needs to be signed by you and then countersigned by your GP.  You can use this Medical Declaration as a student or private balloon pilot whilst you are progressing to a CPL(B) restricted, thus removing the need for the countersignature of a new form when you obtain your CPL(B) restricted. If you do not have a GP, or your GP does not wish to countersign your Medical Declaration, you will need to obtain a JAR Class 2 medical certificate from an Aeromedical Examiner (AME) (see below).

If you are a commercial airship pilot with a CPL(AS), or a commercial balloon pilot engaged in public transport with a CPL(B) unrestricted, you will require a JAR Class 2 medical certificate to maintain your licence privileges. The JAR Class 2 requirements, both at initial and revalidation/renewal examination, can be found in the section of this website on JAA medical requirements.  The initial JAR Class 2 medical examination and any subsequent revalidation/renewal examinations can be carried out by any CAA approved UK AME. 

Potential commercial airship pilots should be aware that if they fail the JAR Class 2 colour vision test, they will need to undertake advanced colour vision testing.  This is to ensure they are ‘colour safe’ prior to undertaking night flying which is required as part of the CPL training.