• 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 helicopter engaged in operations other than commercial air transport  
    3. act as PIC in commercial air transport of any single-pilot helicopter.
    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. 

    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

    ATP H integrated training course

    Train for a CPL in a single course to the level required to fly helicopters commercially under visual flight rules. This course includes Multi Crew Co-operation (MCC) instruction.

    Your theoretical knowledge and examinations will be of the level required for the issue of an ATPL (H) once you have completed the necessary flying experience and skills tests to upgrade your licence.

  • Theoretical knowledge training

    You will need to complete at least 650 hours of theoretical knowledge training, plus at least 20 hours for Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC).

    Theoretical knowledge examination

    You will need to pass an exam to demonstrate an appropriate level of theoretical knowledge.

     

    Flying training

    Requirement Required number of hours Crediting for previous experience
    Total flying training at least 150 hours which including all progress tests If you hold an ICAO compliant PPL(H), 50% of the hours flown can be credited, up to a maximum of 40 hours, of which up to 20 hours can be dual instruction, or 50 hours, of which up to 25 hours may be dual instruction, if you have a helicopter night rating

     

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

    • Dual instruction
      • Visual instruction
      • Instrument instruction
      • MCC
    • PIC
    • Cross-country flying
    • Night flying
    • Instrument time

    Exact hour requirements for each of these components are set out below.

    Dual instruction requirements

    You will need to complete 95 hours' dual visual instruction, including the following components:

    Dual instruction - visual instruction

    75 hours of the total dual instruction requirement must be visual instruction, which may include one of the four options in below:

    Simulator/aircraft category Hours allowed
    Helicopter FFS, level C/D 30
    FTD 2, 3 25
    FNPT II/III 20
    Aeroplane or touring motor glider (TMG) 20

    Dual instruction - instrument instruction

    10 hours of the basic instrument instruction, which may include up to 5 hours in a helicopter FNPT I, or an aeroplane.

    Dual instruction - MCC

    10 hours of the total dual instruction requirement must be MCC instruction, for which a helicopter FFS, FTD 2,3 (MCC) or FNPT II/III (MCC) may be used.

    If the helicopter used for flying training is different from the helicopter FFS used for visual training, the credit will be limited to that allocated for an FNTP II/III.

    Remaining requirements

    Requirement Required number of hours
    PIC 55 hours as PIC, of which 40 hours may be as student pilot-in-command (SPIC) and at least 14 hours solo day and 1 hour solo night flight.
    Cross-country flying 50 hours, including at least 10 hours of cross country flight as SPIC, including a VFR cross-country flight of at least 185 km (100 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 night circuits, each of which must include a take-off and landing.

     


  • CPL(H) 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 (H) theoretical knowledge examinations. If you wish to take theoretical knowledge examinations at ATPL (H) level or for an IR (H), you will need to complete additional study.

    Crediting: theoretical knowledge training

    If you hold a PPL, you need only complete at least 200 hours of theoretical knowledge training.

    Theoretical knowledge examination

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

    Requirement Required number of hours Crediting for previous experience
    Total flying training at least 135 hours, including all progress tests, of which 5 hours may be instrument ground time If you hold an ICAO compliant PPL(H), 50% of the hours flown can be credited, up to a maximum of 40 hours, of which up to 20 hours can be dual instruction if you have a helicopter night rating, or 50 hours, of which up to 25 hours may be dual instruction,

     

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

    • Dual instruction
    • PIC
    • Cross-country flying
    • Night flying
    • Instrument time

    Exact hour requirements for each of these components are set out below. 

    Dual instruction 

    You must complete at least 85 hours of dual instruction, which can include the following components: 

    Dual instruction - visual instruction 

    Up to 75 hours of the dual instruction requirement can be visual instruction, which may include one of the four options below: 

    Simulator/aircraft category Hours allowed
    Helicopter FFS, level C/D 30
    FTD 2, 3 25
    FNPT II/III 20
    Aeroplane or touring motor glider (TMG) 20

     

    Dual instruction - instrument instruction 

    Up to 10 hours of the dual instruction requirement can be instrument instruction, which may include up to 5 hours in either a helicopter FNPT I or higher, or an aeroplane. 

    If the helicopter used for flying training is different from the helicopter FFS used for visual training, the credit will be limited to that allocated for an FNTP II/III. 

    Remaining requirements 

    Requirement Required number of hours
    PIC 50 hours as PIC, of which 35 hours may be as student pilot-in-command (SPIC) and at least 14 hours solo day and 1 hour solo night flight.
    Dual cross-country flying 10 hours
    Cross-country flying 10 hours as PIC, including a VFR cross-country flight of at least 185 km (100 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 night circuits, each of which must include a take-off and landing.
    Instrument time 10 hours dual instrument time, including at least 5 hours in a helicopter.

     

  • Skill test

    Your skill test must be taken after completing the course.


  • 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 (H), issued in accordance with Annex 1 to the Chicago convention. EASA PPL (H) licences are issued in accordance with this Annex. 

    Before you begin the course, you must have completed 155 hours flight time, including 50 hours as PIC, of which 10 hours must be cross-country. 

    If you are taking your skill test on a multi-engine helicopter you must have completed the prerequisites for the issue of a type or class rating for a multi-engine helicopter. More details are available in the  class and types ratings section.  

    You must complete your flight training in one continuous course at an ATO.

    Theoretical knowledge training

    What goes here?

    Theoretical knowledge examination

    What goes here?

    To apply for a CPL (H) you must complete at least 30 hours of dual flight instruction, including 10 hours of instrument instruction and 20 hours of visual flight instruction.

    Use of simulators or aeroplanes for dual instruction 

    • Up to five hours of the instrument instruction requirement can be taken in a FFS, FTD2,3 or FNPT II, III
    • Up to five hours of the visual instruction requirement can be taken in a FTD 1, FNPT I or in an aeroplane

    Night flight instruction

    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 night circuits, each including a take-off and landing.

    If you already hold an IR 

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

    If you have a night rating (helicopter) already

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

     

    You must have at least 185 hours of flight time before conducting the skills test.   

    This must include the following for Pilot in Command (PIC) 

    • 50 hours as PIC, of which 10 hours of cross-country flight as PIC, including a VFR cross-country flight of at least 185 km (100NM), in the course of which full stop landings at two aerodromes different from the aerodrome of departure must be made

    You may be able to count some other Pilot in Command flying hours towards the 185 hours of flight time required. 

    These are detailed below: 

    • 20 hours in aeroplanes if you hold a PPL(A) 
      or
    • 50 hours in aeroplanes, if you hold a CPL(A) 
      or
    • 10 hours in TMGs or sailplanes 
      or
    • 20 hours in airships if you hold a PPL(As) 
      or
    • 50 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     

    You must complete Part-FCL CPL (H) theoretical knowledge instruction as determined by the Head of Training of an ATO and pass all Part-FCL theoretical knowledge examinations at a minimum of CPL level. 

    If you want to take the ATPL(H)(VFR) examinations you must complete an approved ATPL(H) Modular theoretical knowledge course as set out in Part-FCL Appendix 3(H) and pass all Part-FCL ATPL(H)(VFR) examinations.

    If you want to take the ATPL(H)and IR examinations you must complete an approved ATPL(H) and IR Modular theoretical knowledge course as set out in Part-FCL Appendix 3(H) and pass all Part-FCL ATPL(H) with IR 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(H)s do not need to complete a theoretical knowledge instruction course as set out in FCL.315 and Appendix 3, paragraphs F to K before you take the theoretical knowledge examinations for the ATPL(H)with IR or the ATPL (H) VFR or CPL(H), as applicable.    

    If you pass the ATPL(H) without or with IR examination please note that the calendar validity periods set out in Part-FCL apply. If you do not hold an ATPL(H)before the exams expire you will need to re-take them to qualify for the licence.

    If you pass the ATPL (H)/ IR examination please note that the calendar validity periods set out in Part-FCL apply. If you do not hold an IR(H) before the exams expire you will need to re-take them to qualify for the IR(H).

    If you apply for a CPL holding a valid CPL in another category of aircraft you 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

    Applicants for a CPL who have passed the relevant theoretical examinations for an IR in the same category of aircraft are credited towards the theoretical knowledge requirements in the following subjects:  

    • Human Performance
    • Meteorology

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

    If you are applying for an IR(H)  and have passed the relevant ATPL(H) VFR exams, you will need to pass the following examination subjects: 

    • Air Law
    • Flight Planning and Flight Monitoring
    • Radio Navigation
    • IFR Communications
  • 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 class rating on your third country licence for the same type of helicopter 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 utilised by an ATO conducting conversion training on ICAO licence holders for a Part-FCL CPL (H) 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 (H) 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 (H) 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.

    Minimum course content without submission of a recommendation to the CAA  

    You must: 

    • Complete at an Approved Training Organisation approved to conduct CPL modular courses the minimum flight time under instruction in a Helicopter as outlined below. 

    Minimum hours of instruction required depending upon total flight time experience as a helicopter pilot 

    • Level 1: Experience > 1000 hrs: Min 7 hrs (23 hrs credit)
    • Level 2: Experience 500 - 999 hrs: Min 10 hrs (20 hrs credit)
    • Level 3: Experience 250 - 499 hrs: Min 15 hrs (15 hrs credit)
    • Level 4: Experience 185 - 249 hrs: Min 20 hrs (10 hrs credit)
    • Level 5: Experience 155 - 184 hrs: Min 25 hrs (5 hours credit)

    Pass the Part-FCL CPL (H) 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(H)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(H). 

    You must meet the experience requirements and prerequisites for the issue of a type rating as set out in Part FCL Subpart H for the helicopter used for the skill test. 

    The helicopter used for the skill test must meet the requirements for training helicopters.  

    A QMP(H) for Single Engine Helicopters only who: 

    • has not graduated from all Single Engine Rotary Wing (SERW), 60 Squadron Lead In Course (SLIC) and Multi Engine Rotary Wing (MERW) or legacy courses,
      or
    • does not hold (or has not held) an operational category to operate military Multi-Engine helicopters,

    can take the skill test in a: 

    • Single Pilot Single Engine helicopter,
      or
    • in a Single Pilot Multi-Engine helicopter provided they complete the ME helicopter type rating training course at an ATO before to the CPL Skill test.  

    A QMP(H) who: 

    • has graduated from all SERW, SLIC and MERW (or legacy) courses,

    or 

    • holds (or has held) an operational category to operate military multi-engine helicopters,

    can take the skill test in a single pilot multi-engine helicopter.    

    Skill test

    The skill test must be conducted by the holder of a single pilot 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.     

    Applicants who hold a UK issued Part FCL licence in another category

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

    • 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.

    Applicants holding a current and valid IR(A) must complete a minimum of 5 hours dual instrument instruction time in a helicopter.

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

    • 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.

    Applicants holding a current and valid IR(A) must complete a minimum of 5 hours dual instrument instruction time in a helicopter.


  • How to apply

    e-Licensing applications

    You will need to hold a valid English Language Proficiency and your valid Part MED Medical certificate must be held on our UK database.

    • If you have completed a CPL(H) or CPL (H)/IR full modular course and hold a valid UK Class One Medical Certificate, you need to download CAA5008 with CAA 5004 and apply using our e-Licensing system.

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

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

    • If you are converting from a UK JAR CPL(H) or CPL(H)/IR, you need to apply using our e-Licensing system. If you require the issue or reissue of a UK national licence or rating, you will need to post form SRG1104 with associated required documentation.


    Postal applications

    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