General requirements and privileges
The minimum age to get an ATPL is 21 years old and you will need to hold a Part MED Class 1 Medical Certificate.
If you hold an ATPL you can, in the appropriate aircraft category:
- Exercise all the privileges of the holder of a PPL and CPL.
- Act as pilot in command (PIC) of aircraft flown for commercial air transport operations.
Applicants for the issue of an ATPL shall have fulfilled the requirements for the type rating of the aircraft used in the skill test.
Upgrading from a Multi Pilot Licence MPL
If you are upgrading to an ATPL from an MPL, and you do not hold any privileges on your MPL for a single pilot aircraft, then your ATPL will continue to be restricted to multi-crew operations only, as your MPL would have been.
To apply for an ATPL, you must have fulfilled the training and experience requirements for the type rating of the aircraft used in the skill test.
For example, if you are taking the skill test on a Boeing 737, you must have met the relevant flight training requirements for that type of aircraft before the Skill Test.
If you are applying for an ATPL (A) you will need to already:
- Hold an MPL
- Hold a CPL (A) and a multi-engine IR for aeroplanes and have completed instruction in multi-crew co-operation (MCC)
Theoretical knowledge examinations
When you apply for your ATPL, you must have previously passed the ATPL theoretical knowledge exams in the relevant subject areas. You will likely have done this as part of your training towards the CPL/IR or MPL.
The theoretical knowledge areas include:
- Air law
- Aircraft general knowledge - airframe/systems/powerplant
- Aircraft general knowledge - instrumentation
- Mass and balance
- Flight planning and monitoring
- Human performance
- General navigation
- Radio navigation
- Operational procedures
- Principles of flight
- Visual flight rules (VFR) communications
- Instrument flight rules (IFR) communications
You must have completed a minimum of 1500 hours of flight time in aeroplanes, including at least:
- 500 hours in multi-pilot operations on aeroplanes
- 500 hours as Pilot in command under supervision (PICUS)
- 250 hours as Pilot in Command (PIC)
- 250 hours to include a minimum of 70 hours as PIC and the remainder as PICUS.
- 200 hours of cross-country flight time, of which at least 100 hours should be as PIC or as PIC under supervision
- 75 hours of instrument time, of which not more than 30 hours can be instrument ground time
- 100 hours of night flight as PIC or co-pilot.
Of the 1500 hours of total flight time required, up to 100 hours can be completed in a suitable simulator (FFS or FNPT - but only a maximum of 25 hours may be completed in an FNPT).
Multi-pilot experience gained in single pilot aircraft
For two pilot operations in single pilot aeroplanes to be accepted as “Multi-pilot operations” you must show evidence that the approval of the operator to carry out the flight included a legal requirement that two pilots acting together was the minimum allowable crew for the flight.
The UK Aircrew Regulation includes the following definitions:
For aeroplanes, it means an operation requiring at least 2 pilots using multi-crew cooperation in either multi-pilot or single-pilot aeroplanes;
For helicopters, it means an operation requiring at least 2 pilots using multi-crew cooperation on multi-pilot helicopters.
For aeroplanes, it means aeroplanes certificated for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots;
For helicopters, airships and powered-lift aircraft, it means the type of aircraft which is required to be operated with a co-pilot as specified in the flight manual or by the air operator certificate or equivalent document.
A flight with two pilots who are simply taking turns to fly - and where the flight could still take place if only one pilot was available - is not a multi-pilot operation. For a flight to be accepted as multi-pilot the law that applies to the flight must require 2 pilots.
Documentary evidence from both the operator (Air Operator's Certificate clearly identifying the nature of the operations) and the national authority concerned confirming that the aircraft used was required to be operated solely by 2 pilots qualified on type will be required as well as logbook evidence.
At the end of training and when all licence requirements have been met, you will need to take a skill test with a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certified examiner.
The skill test must be taken in the aeroplane or an adequately qualified Full Flight Simulator (FFS) representing the same type which is approved by us.
Applicants for an ATPL(A) must pass a skill test in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part FCL to demonstrate the ability to perform, as PIC of a multi-pilot aeroplane under IFR, the relevant procedures and manoeuvres with the competency appropriate to the privileges granted.
For the issue of a licence the applicant must apply not later than six months after having succeeded at the skill test.
All theoretical and hours requirements must have been met before the skills test is completed.
There are is more information available on Third Country CPL and ATPL licence conversion requirements from 1 January 2023.
The Military Accreditation Scheme sets out the credits for UK Military Flight Crew, so the scheme is only open to serving Members of HM UK Forces or people discharged from HM UK Forces.
The scheme is only open to people who can provide proof of UK Military service.
Qualified Military Pilots (QMP)(A)s who hold or have held an Operational Category and Unrestricted Military Green IR (Aeroplanes) are credited the requirement to complete a theoretical knowledge instruction course as set out in FCL.515 and Appendix 3, paragraph B of Part FCL prior to attempting the theoretical knowledge examinations for the ATPL(A).
Qualified Military Pilots who hold or have held an operational category with a Military
Unrestricted Green Instrument Rating to operate military multi-pilot aeroplanes may
apply the credits below, towards satisfying the Part-FCL requirements.
The following types are considered to be multi-pilot aeroplanes for this purpose:
- BAC 1-11
- BAe 125
- BAe 146
- C17 Hercules (C1/C3 and C4/C5 variants)
- Jetstream T3
- Rivet Joint
- Tristar VC10
- Voyager Tanker (Airbus A330-200).
Multi pilot experience gained on the Shadow R aircraft (based on the Beechcraft King Air 350CER) can be accepted towards the ATPL issue but the ATPL cannot be used as the first multi-pilot type rating endorsed on the ATPL(A).
Qualified Military Pilots are given full credit for the Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) and the requirement to undergo a training course before taking the skill test for the issue of an ATPL(A).
You must hold or have held:
- An Operational Category and Unrestricted Military Green IR (Aeroplanes) to operate military multi-pilot aeroplanes.
You must also have met the experience requirements for an ATPL(A).
The skill test must be conducted by the holder of a UK CAA Type Rating Examiner (TRE) Certificate for the aeroplane type, authorised to conduct an ATPL skill test, issued under Part-FCL.
The skill test must be conducted in:
An appropriate multi-pilot type of military aeroplane on which you are or have been qualified to operate as a QMP, suitably equipped for the purpose, which has an UK civilian equivalent;
An appropriate multi-pilot type of civilian aeroplane provided you have completed the Part-FCL requirements for inclusion of that type with IR in a Part-FCL licence except the type rating skill test.
You will need to include form SRG2133 with your application.
Holders of an UK issued Part-FCL licence in another category
An applicant for an ATPL holding a valid ATPL in another category of aircraft needs to complete theoretical knowledge bridge instruction at an ATO according to the differences identified between the ATPL syllabi for different aircraft categories.
The applicant shall pass theoretical knowledge examinations as defined in this Part for the following subjects in the appropriate aircraft category:
- 021 - Aircraft General Knowledge: Airframe and Systems, Electrics, Powerplant, Emergency Equipment
- 022 - Aircraft General Knowledge: Instrumentation
- 032/034 - Performance Aeroplanes or Helicopters, as applicable,
- 070 - Operational Procedures,
- 080 - Principles of Flight (aeroplanes)
The applicant is credited the remaining ATPL(A) examinations.
An applicant for an ATPL(A) having passed the relevant theoretical examination for a CPL(A) or CPL (H) is credited towards the theoretical knowledge requirements in subject VFR communications.
An applicant for an ATPL(A) having passed the relevant theoretical examination for an IR(A) or IR(H) is credited towards the theoretical knowledge requirements in subject IFR Communications.
When the applicant holds a current and valid pilot licence for other categories of aircraft they can be credited with flight time up to a maximum of:
- For TMG or sailplanes, 30 hours flown as PIC;
- For helicopters, 50% of all the flight time requirements for the issue of an ATPL(A).
Holders of a UK issued flight engineer licence may be credited with 50% of the flight engineer time up to a maximum of 250 hours. These 250 hours may be credited against the 1500 hours of total flight time listed above and the 500 hours multi-pilot operations requirement above, provided that the total credit given against any of these does not exceed 250 hours.
The experience requirement must be completed before the skill test for the ATPL(A) is taken.
There are two methods you can use to apply for an ATPL(A) issue;
If you have previously used e-Licensing, please apply using this method.
If you require accessibility assistance with submitting your application online, please do not hesitate to contact our support team on 0330 022 1972 (Monday – Friday 08:30 – 16:30.
If you choose to apply using e-Licensing, you will need to upload supporting documents as part of the application. Applicants will be asked for different supporting documentation depending on the selections they have made during the application. The table below lists the evidence you may be asked for and what you should upload in that section.
Name in e-Licensing
A certified copy of your valid passport/full UK photographic driving licence, or a close up photo of you holding your ID in which your face and ID are clearly visible.
ATPL Skills Test
Examiner report form SRG2199.
These will all need to be uploaded as one PDF document.
Flying Experience with PIC/US Letter
PICUS letter from airline.
+MPL restriction removal letter if applicable.
ATPL Flying Hours Confirmation (for pilots who work for a UK AOC only)
Copy of licence for update rating(s) ATPL (A)
A copy of your licence.
You should not upload Online application form as eLicensing replaces this form.
Online application form
You can submit your application using our online application form.
If you choose this method, you will need to upload the following supporting evidence:
- Examiner report form SRG2199.
- A copy of the online hours confirmation for the issue of an ATPL completed by your UK AOC (CAA5013).
- PICUS letter on operating company headed paper (if applicable).
- A copy of your licence.
- Proof of your ID (This can be a certified copy of your valid passport/full UK photographic driving licence, or a close-up photo of you holding your ID in which your face and ID are clearly visible).
- A copy of your relevant logbook pages/UK AOC hours confirmation to confirm your hours and experience.
- If you do not have a UK issued RT licence.
UK military pilots need to additionally submit completed Military Accreditation Scheme (MAS) form SRG2133, with certified copies of relevant pages of the military logbook.
Pilots applying on the basis of holding a Third Country ICAO licence must read further information about licence conversion requirements from 1 January 2023.
File size limit
Please note that there is currently 200Mb size limit to files uploaded to our forms. If your attachments exceed 200Mb, you should send all supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your application reference number.
All documents should be uploaded with a different filename clearly stating the content of the file attachment (for example Passport, Licence copy and so on.)
Submitting documents with the same filename may result in the loss of information in the system and added delays to the application assessment.
There is further information available for questions relating to paperwork, such as how to obtain certified copies of documents.
Full guidance on the privileges, training and hours requirements for an ATPL(A) can be found in Subpart F of Part-FCL.
Our service levels are 10 working days for the assessment all application types. Where an application is pended, the working days to process the application will be counted from the date of receipt of the requested additional information.
For a small number of applications, a licensing officer may require additional guidance which requires a referral to be made to a technical officer. The technical officer will review the case within five working days, however if further advice is needed this will be reviewed at a bi-weekly complex case review session. In such cases therefore, the application will take longer to process than our standard turnaround times.
Our complaints process offers further guidance if you are dissatisfied by the service provided to you by us and you wish to raise a complaint.
Your application will undergo a desk-based assessment from a Flight Crew Licensing Officer. Following an acceptable assessment your licence will be processed, signed, and despatched.
We will contact you in writing if we have any queries regarding your application and may keep your application pending while the additional requirements are met.
Please note that applications will only be pended for 30 days before cancellation, where no response is received.
An assessment and fee may be charged if we reject your application for not meeting all requirements. This will also be applied if you choose to cancel your application. This is to cover the work undertaken by us to assess or handle your application. All underpaid postage fees are recovered before your new licence can be issued.