• A BPL will allow you to act as PIC on balloons and hot-air ships.

    You cannot act as PIC and receive any kind of payment, unless you:

    1. Are 18 years of age or over
    2. Have completed 50 hours of flight time and 50 take-offs and landings as PIC on balloons
    3. Have passed a proficiency check with an examiner on a balloon in the specific class

    The exception to this is for holders of a BPL with instructor or examiner privileges, who can be paid for the following:

    1. Flight instruction
    2. Conducting skill tests and proficiency checks

    for any associated ratings and endorsements.

    Experience requirements and crediting

    You will need to complete 16 hours of flight instruction on a balloon in a specific class and group, including at least:

    1. 12 hours of dual flight instruction
    2. 10 inflations and 20 take-offs and landings
    3. 1 supervised solo flight with a minimum flight time of 30 minutes

    BPL crediting if you hold a LAPL (B)

    If you held a LAPL (B) within two years prior to applying for an BPL then you will be fully credited towards the theoretical knowledge and flight instruction requirements.

    Extension of privilege to tethered flights

    You will be limited to non-tethered flights, but this limitation can be removed if you complete the requirements detailed in the extension of privileges to tethered flights section of the LAPL (B) page.

    Extension of privilege to another balloon class or group

    You will only be allowed to fly balloons in the same class or group in which you took your skill test. If you wish to extend the privileges of your licence to another class within the same group, you must complete the requirements included in the extension of privileges to another type or variant section of the LAPL (B) page.

    In the case of an extension to another group within the same class of balloons, you must complete at least:

    1. 2 instruction flights on a balloon of the relevant group; and
    2. the following hours of flight time as PIC on balloons:
      • at least 100 hours for balloons with an envelope capacity between 3,401m3 and 6,001m3
      • at least 200 hours for balloons with an envelope between 6,001m3 and 10,500m3
      • at least 300 hours for balloons with an envelope capacity of more than 10,500m3
      • at least 50 hours for gas balloons with an envelope capacity of more 1,260m3

    Recency requirements

    To keep your licence current, you must have completed the following in one class of balloon in the last 24 months:

    1. 6 hours of flight time, including 10 take-offs and landings
    2. 1 training flight with an instructor in a balloon in the same class and with the maximum envelope you have the privileges for.
    3. If you are qualified to fly more than one class, you must complete at least 3 hours of flight time on that class within the last 24 months, including 3 take-offs and landings

    If you do not comply with the requirements above you will need to complete the following:

    1. pass a proficiency check with an examiner in a balloon of an appropriate class and with the maximum envelope capacity you have the privilege for.

    Complete the extra hours, take-offs and landings to meet the requirements above, flying dual or solo under the supervision of an instructor.

  • Related Information

    All relevant European regulations such as Part- ARO, ORO, CAT, SPA, NCC, NCO, MED are available on the link shown below.

    For Flight Crew Regulations please refer to the consolidated version Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011.

    For other regulations such as Part-ORO, Part-ORA, please check the Air Operations regulations.