• The minimum age to get a CPL is 18 and you will need to hold a Part MED Class 1 Medical Certificate

    If you hold a CPL you can, on the appropriate aircraft category:

    1. exercise all the privileges of the holder of a LAPL and a PPL.  (To exercise LAPL privileges you will need a LAPL licence)
    2. act as pilot in command (PIC) or co-pilot of any aircraft operations other than commercial air transport  
    3. act as PIC in commercial air transport of any single-pilot aircraft, subject to some restrictions 
    4. act as co-pilot in commercial air transport subject to some restrictions.

    Requirements

    Training requirements differ depending on the aircraft category and training route you take.  These are set out below.

    However, in all cases, you must fulfil the class or type rating requirements for the aircraft you take your CPL skill test on. For example, if you are taking the skill test on a multi-engine piston aeroplane (MEP) class, you must have met the relevant flight training requirements. 

    You must successfully complete theoretical exams and flight instruction at an approved training organisation (ATO).

  • As part of the application for CPL, you will need to demonstrate that you have an appropriate level of theoretical knowledge by passing exams in the following subject areas:

    • Air law
    • Aircraft general knowledge - airframe/systems/powerplant
    • Aircraft general knowledge - instrumentation
    • Mass and balance
    • Performance
    • Flight planning and monitoring
    • Human performance
    • Meteorology
    • General navigation
    • Radio navigation
    • Operational procedures
    • Principles of flight
    • Visual flight rules (VFR) communications

    You will also need to take ATPL and / or Instrument rating level theoretical knowledge examinations depending on the course of training you are taking.

    Please refer to the specific course(s) you are taking for details. These are shown below.

    At the end of training, and when all requirements for licence issue have been met, you will need to take a skill test with an examiner.

    This is to demonstrate that the procedures and manoeuvres that you will have been taught during training can be carried out competently as pilot in command (PIC) on the relevant aircraft category.

    Please refer to Standards Documents 1A, 3, 7 and Appendices 4 and 7 of Part FCL for more details.


  • Training

    CPL(A) integrated training

    Train for a CPL in a single course to the level required to fly commercially. This course does not include instrument rating training.

    There are no pre-requisites for this training.

  • Theoretical knowledge training

    You will need to complete at least 350 hours of theoretical knowledge training.

    This theoretical knowledge course will only be sufficient for attempting CPL (A) theoretical knowledge examinations. If you wish to take theoretical knowledge examinations at ATPL (A) level or for an IR (A), you will need to complete additional study.

    Theoretical knowledge examination

    You will need to pass the CPL (A) theoretical knowledge examinations.

    Requirement Required number of hours Crediting for previous experience
    Total flying training at least 150 hours (not including type rating training) which includes all progress tests and up to 5 hours may be instrument ground time. If you hold an ICAO compliant PPL(A) or PPL(H), 50% of the hours flown can be credited, up to a maximum of 40 hours, or 45 hours if you have an aeroplane night rating, of which up to 20 hours may count towards the requirement for dual instruction flight time

     

    The total flying training requirement (above) must include the following components:

     

    Requirement Required number of hours
    Dual instruction 80 hours, of which up to 5 hours may be instrument ground time
    PIC 70 hours
    Cross-country flying 20 hours as PIC, including a VFR cross-country flight of at least 540 km (300 NM), which should also include full stop landings at two aerodromes different from that of departure.
    Night flying 5 hours, comprising 3 hours of dual instruction and 1 hour of cross-country navigation and 5 solo take-offs and full stop landings
    Instrument time 10 hours, of which up to 5 may be instrument ground time in a suitable simulator.
    Aircraft certified for at least 4 persons, variable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear 5 hours

     

    If you have completed the basic instrument flight module

    If you hold a course completion certificate for the basic instrument flight module you will be credited with up to 10 hours towards the required instrument instruction time.  Hours done on a BITD will not be credited.

  • Skill test

    Your skill test must be taken after completing the course on either a single or multi-engine aeroplane.


  • CPL modular

    Train for a CPL to the level required to fly commercially. This does not include instrument rating training.

  • You will need to hold a PPL (A) issued in accordance with Annex 1 of the Chicago Convention. EASA PPL (A) licences are issued in accordance with this Annex.

    Before you begin the course, you must have completed 150 hours flight time. If you are taking your skill test on a multi-engine aircraft you must have completed the prerequisites for the issue of a class or type rating for multi-engine aeroplanes. More details are available in the class and types ratings section. 

    You must also hold current and valid theoretical knowledge examinations to at least CPL level.
    You must complete your flight training in one continuous course at an ATO

    Theoretical knowledge training

    Before you start a modular course you will need to have a valid pass in all CPL or ATPL aeroplane theoretical examinations.  



    To apply for a CPL you must complete at least 25 hours of dual flight instruction, including 10 hours of instrument instruction and 15 hours of visual flight instruction. Five hours of the instrument instruction can be taken in a simulator (BITD, FNPT I or II, and FTD 2 or an FFS).

    At least five hours of the flight instruction must be completed in a 4-seat aeroplane with a variable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear.

    You will also need to complete at least 5 hours of night flight instruction, comprising 3 hours of dual instruction, which will include at least 1 hour of cross country navigation and 5 solo take-offs and 5 solo full stop landings.

    If you already hold an IR

    If you hold a valid IR (A) you will be fully credited up to 10 hours towards the instrument instruction time requirement. If you hold an IR (H) you will be credited with 5 hours. The remaining 5 hours must be completed in an aeroplane.

    If you have completed the basic instrument flight module

    You will be credited the 10 hours instrument instruction time requirement.

    If you already hold a night rating (aeroplane)

    You will not need to complete the additional night flight instruction if you already hold a night rating (aeroplane).

    You must have at least 200 hours of flight time before conducting the skills test.  
    This must include the following:

     Pilot in Command (PIC) 100 hours as PIC, of which 20 hours of cross-country flight as PIC, which shall include a VFR cross-country flight of at least 540km (300 NM), in the course of which full stop landings at two aerodromes different from the aerodrome of departure must be made.
     Night 5 hours of flight time must be completed at night, comprising 3 hours of dual instruction which must include at least 1 hour of cross-country navigation and 5 solo take-offs and 5 solo full stop landings 
     Instrument

    10 hours of instrument flight instruction, of which up to 5 hours may be instrument ground time in an FNPT I, or FNPT II, or FFS.  

    If you hold a course completion certificate for the Basic Instrument Flight Module you will be credited with up to 10 hours towards the required instrument instruction time.

    Hours done in a BITD shall not be credited. 

     

    If a multi-engine aeroplane is used for the skill test, 6 hours of flight time shall be completed in a multi-engine aeroplane.

    You may be able to count some other Pilot in Command flying hours towards the 200 hours of flight time required.

    These are detailed below:

    • 30 hours in helicopter, if you hold a PPL(H)
      or
    • 100 hours in helicopters, if you hold a CPL(H)
      or
    • 30 hours in TMGs or sailplanes
      or
    • 30 hours in airships, if you hold a PPL(As)
      or
    • 60 hours in airships, if you hold a CPL(As).

  • Credits available

    If you already a hold a licence or have flying experience you may be eligible for credits towards the theoretical knowledge training and the flying training for the issue of a licence or rating.

    Theoretical

  • Partial credit towards the theoretical training may be available if you hold:

    • a current and valid CPL issued by or on behalf of a third country that is ICAO compliant (see Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention).
    • a validating medical for your third country licence
    • a valid  type or class rating on your third country licence for the same type of aircraft that will be used for the CPL skill test (an EASA type and class rating list )

    You must meet the experience requirements for the CPL shown at the top of this page.

    • Complete Part-FCL CPL (A) or ATPL (A) theoretical knowledge instruction as determined by the Head of Training of an ATO and pass all Part-FCL theoretical knowledge examinations at CPL level.

    • Applicants who wish to attempt the ATPL(A) examinations must complete an approved ATPL(A) Modular theoretical knowledge course as set out in Part-FCL Appendix 3(B) and pass all Part-FCL ATPL(A) examinations.

    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.

    QMP(A)s do not need to complete a theoretical knowledge instruction course as set out in FCL.310 or FCL.515 and Appendix 3, before attempting the theoretical knowledge examinations for the CPL or ATPL(A).

    An applicant for a CPL holding a valid CPL in another category of aircraft must complete theoretical knowledge bridge instruction at an ATO according to the differences identified between the CPL syllabi for different aircraft categories.

    The applicant must pass the following PART FCL 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,
      and
    • 080 - Principles of Flight

    The remainder of the CPL(A) examinations are credited.

    Applicants holding an IR(A)

    If you have already passed the aeroplane instrument rating theoretical knowledge exams, you are credited with Human Performance and Meteorology at CPL level.
    You need to complete and pass the remaining CPL (A) theoretical examinations.

  • Flying

  • Partial credit towards the flying training may be available if you hold:

    • a current and valid CPL issued by or on behalf of a third country that is ICAO compliant (see Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention).

    • a validating medical for your third country licence

    • a valid  type or class rating on your third country licence for the same type of aircraft that will be used for the CPL skill test (an EASA type and class rating list )

    You must meet the experience requirements for the CPL.

    The UK CAA is applying the following policy which may be used by an ATO conducting conversion training on ICAO licence holders for a Part-FCL CPL (A) to be issued by the UK CAA without seeking prior approval from the Authority for each individual applicant.

    These arrangements provide a route to a current and valid ICAO CPL (A) issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 1.

    The Aircrew Regulation requires that the holder of an ICAO licence must attend an Approved Training Organisation and complete an approved CPL (A) modular course. If, following assessment, the ATO wishes to reduce the course further than the minimum criteria set out below, they must recommend a reduced course to their Licensing Standard Inspector (for UK CAA approved ATOs) or to the UK CAA for non-UK approved ATOs.  The course cannot be reduced to zero hours.

    After completion of CPL (A) or ATPL(A) exams you will need to complete the minimum flying requirements shown below at an Approved Training Organisation approved to conduct CPL modular course.

    Minimum instruction depending upon total hours as pilot of aeroplanes:

    • Level 1: Experience > 1000 hrs: Min 7 hrs (18 hrs credit)
    • Level 2: Experience 500 - 999 hrs: Min 10 hrs (15 hrs credit)
    • Level 3: Experience 250 - 499 hrs: Min 15 hrs (10 hrs credit)
    • Level 4: Experience 185 - 249 hrs: Min 20 hrs (5 hrs credit)
    • Level 5: Experience 155 - 184 hrs: Min 25 hrs (no credit)

    Pass the Part-FCL CPL (A) Skill Test.

    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.

    Flying Experience Credits

    QMP(A)s with a minimum of 70 hours logged as PIC/P1 Capt or PICUS/1st Pilot Non-Capt do not need to complete a training course before completing the skill test for the issue of a CPL(A).

    You must have met the experience requirements and pre-requisites for a CPL(A) shown at the top of this page.

    • Basic Fast Jet Training (BFJT) (or legacy course) graduates must take the skill test in a single pilot single engine aeroplane.

    • Fast Jet Operational Conversion Unit (FJ OCU ) graduates may take the skill test in a single pilot single engine aeroplane, or in a multi-engine aeroplane provided that they complete an MEP course at an ATO prior to the CPL Skill test.

    • Multi Engine Pilot Training (MEPT) (or legacy course) graduates may take the skill test in a single engine or single pilot multi-engine aeroplane.

    The aeroplane used for the skill test must meet the requirements for training aeroplanes and be certificated for the carriage of at least four persons, have a variable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear.

    Skill test

    The skill test must be conducted by the holder of a Type or Class Rating Examiner (CRE or TRE) Certificate for the aeroplane type, authorised to conduct an CPL skill test, issued under Part-FCL. 

    The skill test must be conducted in:

    • an appropriate class or 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 EASA civilian equivalent; 

    or

    • an appropriate class or type of civilian aeroplane provided you have completed the Part-FCL requirements for inclusion of that type or class in a Part-FCL licence except the type rating skill test. 

     

    Hours as PIC of other categories of aircraft may count towards the 200 hours total flight time, in the following cases:

    • 30 hours in helicopter, if the applicant holds a PPL(H); 
      or
    • 100 hours in helicopters, if the applicant holds a CPL(H); 
      or
    • 30 hours in TMGs or sailplanes; 
      or
    • 30 hours in airships, if the applicant holds a PPL(As); 
      or
    • 60 hours in airships, if the applicant holds a CPL(As).

    The specific modular course requirements must be met.  The credit only applies to the total flight time . These hours cannot be used towards the 100 hours PIC requirement.

    Applicants holding a current and valid IR(H) can be credited up to 5 hours of the dual instrument instruction time, in which case at least 5 hours dual instrument instruction time must be given in an aeroplane. 


  • How to apply

    • If you have completed a CPL(A) or CPL (A)/IR modular course and a valid UK Class One Medical Certificate, you need to download CAA 5004 with CAA 5008 and then apply using our e-Licensing system.

    • If you have completed a CPL(A) or CPL (A)/IR integrated course and hold a valid UK Class One Medical Certificate, you need to download CAA5000 and apply via our e-Licensing system.

    • If you are converting from a UK JAR CPL(A) or CPL A/IR, please apply using our e-Licensing system. If you require the issue or reissue of a UK national licence or rating, you will need to use SRG1104.

    • If you are applying via the UK Military Accreditation Scheme, you need to download CAA 5014 and then apply using our e-Licensing system.

    • If you do not hold a UK issued FRTOL, you need to download CAA xxx

    For all other routes, please apply via our postal application forms with all other required associated documents listed in the guidance of the application forms ( such as ID and logbooks):


    If you are applying on the basis of training and testing conducted by a non UK approved EASA Part FCL Approved Training Organisation you must send copies of the following:

    • the ATO’s PART ORA approval certificate;
    • the examiners licence, medical and authorisation certificate;
    • return email confirmation from testnotification@caa.co.uk

    If you are applying on the basis of a Third country ICAO licence conversion you will need to send us:

    • the original Third country ICAO licence and validating medical certificate;
      or
    • a copy certified by the Head of Training of an Approved Training Organisation (ATO), or the holder of a registration for a Registered Training Facility (RTF), or a UK approved examiner
    • original logbooks or electronic logbooks 
    • Electronic logbooks are acceptable for all types of application provided they have been printed, signed and dated.

      If your ICAO licence does not show the validity dates of the ratings, please submit certified copies of logbook pages showing the rating validity and test dates.
  • Related Information

    How to find a UK examiner or UK approved school

    EASA ratings list and flight simulators