• The minimum age to get a PPL is 17 and you will need to hold a Part MED Class 2 Medical Certificate.  

    A PPL for aeroplanes will allow you to act as pilot in command (PIC) in non-commercial operations on aeroplanes or touring motor gliders (TMGs).

    The exception to this is for holders of a PPL(A) with instructor or examiner privileges who can be paid for the following: 

    1. Flight instruction for the LAPL(A) or PPL (A)
    2. Conducting skill tests and proficiency checks for the LAPL(A) or PPL(A) and any associated ratings or certificates. 

    Training

    You must complete a training course at an approved training organisation (ATO) or declared training organisation (DTO). 

    Contact a flight school near you 

  • As part of the application for a private licence, you will need to take and pass exams in the following subject areas:


    Common subjects

    • Air law
    • Human performance
    • Meteorology
    • Communications
    • Navigation

    Exams specific to the aircraft category

    • Principles of flight
    • Operational procedures
    • Flight performance and planning
    • Aircraft general knowledge

    You will need to set up a customer portal account to access Private pilot theoretical knowledge e-exams.

    If you successfully pass the theoretical exams for the issue of a private pilot's licence, they will be valid for 24 months for you to submit an application for the PPL issue. 

    This period is counted from the date you complete your last theoretical knowledge examination.

    Within these 24 months you must complete the flight training and pass the skill test, otherwise these exams will expire, and you will have to retake them.

    Please see FCL.025 for more information related to exam validity. 

    If you have passed the theoretical knowledge examinations for an Airline Transport Pilot Licence  (ATPL) or for a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) in the same category of aircraft you will be credited with the theoretical knowledge requirements for a Private Pilot Licence (PPL).

    Please see FCL.035.b for more information related to theoretical examination credits.

  • Flight instruction and crediting

    You will need to complete 45 hours of flight instruction on aeroplanes, 5 hours of which may have been completed in an approved flight simulator (an FSTD – flight simulation training device), including at least:

    1. 25 hours of dual flight instruction,
    2. 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo cross-country flight time with at least 1 cross country flight of at least 270 km (150 NM) that includes full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome. 

    If you have previous experience that you believe may be used to reduce the amount of training required then please refer to the following information. 

    1. If you hold a LAPL (A) and are applying for a PPL (A) you must complete the following:

      1. At least 15 hours of flight time on aeroplanes after the issue of the LAPL (A), of which at least 10 hours should be flight instruction at an ATO.
      2. This flight instruction must include 4 hours of supervised solo flight, of which at least 2 hours must be solo cross country, with at least 1 cross country flight of 270km (150NM) or more, plus full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome.

      If you hold an SPL issued in accordance with Annex III (Part-SFCL) to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1976, including privileges to fly TMGs you must complete the following: 

      1. At least 24 hours of flight time on TMGs after endorsement of the TMG privileges
        and,
      2. At least 15 hours of flight instruction in aeroplanes in a training course at a DTO or at an ATO, including at least: 

        10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo cross-country flight time with at least 1 cross country flight of at least 270 km (150 NM) that includes full stop landing at 2 aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome.

      If you hold a pilot's licence for another type of aircraft, except balloons, you will be credited with 10% of your total flight time as PIC up to a maximum of 10 hours.

      You will still need to complete 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo cross country flight time with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least 270 km (150 NM) that includes 2 full stop landings at an aerodrome different from the departure aerodrome as the credited flight time cannot be counted towards this requirement.

      There has been a change to the rules for the conversion or validation of Third Country ICAO compliant licences/certificates. 

      For conversion terms, please refer to (EU) 2020/723 of Easy Access Rules for Aircrew (Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 for further information

    2. Skill Test

      At the end of your training, you will need to take a skill test with an examiner in the relevant aircraft type to demonstrate that you can competently carry out the procedures and manoeuvres that you have been taught, while acting as pilot in command (PIC).

      You must have had some flight instruction on the same aircraft type or class that you will be taking your skill test in. Generally you will take the test in the same aircraft in which you have been trained. 

      In practice you will not need to worry about making any bookings for a Skill Test yourself as this is something that your Flying School will do for you when they feel you are ready. 

      Your flying school will also need to ensure that the examiner meets the requirements for test notification and designation as set out in:

      How to apply

      To apply for the issue of a PPL, please complete the Private Issue Online application form.

      If you wish to apply for a UK national PPL, you must submit your request in writing by email to fclweb@caa.co.uk (with the subject heading: 'National licence').  

      What documents to submit

      When applying for the PPL issue online, you will be asked to upload the following documents: 

      • A private issue online course completion certificate ( CAA5016),   
      • A Skill Test report form ( SRG2128),
      • A certified copy of your logbook pages showing your PPL flying experience,
      • A certified copy of either your passport (preferred) or Full UK Photographic Driving Licence, 
      • A copy of Part-ORA ATO certificate (only if your ATO is not approved by the UK CAA).

      Please note: we will not be able to assess your application unless the uploaded documents are correctly certified. 

      How to get copies of your documents certified

      Additional documentation

      If you are applying on the basis of UK military service, a third-country ICAO licence, a skill test conducted by a non-UK approved EASA examiner, you will be asked to upload additional documentation on your online application. 

    3. If you are applying for any pilot licence under the military accreditation scheme (MAS) based on your service as a pilot in the UK military, you will need to upload the following documents alongside those required for the licence application:

      • Completed form SRG 2133
      • Certified copies of the following logbook pages: 
        - the Special Qualifications page
        - the last few pages of your military flying logbook

      How to get copies of your documents certified

      If you are applying for your licence on the basis of an ICAO-compliant licence held from a non-EASA state (a 'third-country' licence), you will need to apply for the verification of your third country ICAO licence. 

      Please follow the verification of a third country ICAO licence process and submit an online form SRG2142.

      We recommend that the Third Country Verification is obtained prior to your PPL application as the turn-around of these applications is reliant on the response times of the NAA that has issued your ICAO licence.

      Alternatively, you can submit these applications together but that means that the PPL application will get processed outside our agreed processing time

      When submitting your online PPL application, you will be asked to upload the following documents alongside those required for the licence application:

      • Certified copies of the logbook pages to confirm the hours and experience required for the issue of PPL. 

      The skill test must be conducted by an EASA state qualified Part-FCL approved examiner.

      If the examiner for your skill test was approved by another EASA member state (not the UK), you will need  to upload the following documents alongside those required for the licence application:

      • A copy of the examiners authorisation, 
      • A copy of the examiners licence,
      • A copy of the examiners medical certificate

      (Please note: all 3 documents should be uploaded as single document that does not exceed 5Mb)

    4. The Fee

      Please see our Licensing fees and costs (Full details available in Scheme of Charges (Personell Licensing)). 

      An additional fee applies if you would like your documents returned by secure courier. 

      Making sure your documents are safely returned. 

      File size limit

      Please note that there is currently a 50Mb size limit for files uploaded to our forms.

      If your attachments exceed 50Mb, you should send all supporting documentation to fclweb@caa.co.uk  quoting your application number.  

    5. During the current Covid-19 pandemic, we ask that all paperwork is sent to us electronically.

      Guidance on documentation

      For questions relating to paperwork, such as how to obtain certified copies of documents, please refer to guidance on documentation.

      Contact us 

      If you have any questions please contact our licensing team: 

      Email fclweb@caa.co.uk (preferred)
      Phone 0330 022 1972 (Mon - Fri 08:30 - 16:30)