• Instrument Rating - PBN Endorsement requirements 

    From 26 April 2021 PBN privileges shall be required for every Instrument Rating (IR) Skill Test or proficiency check.

    A successfully flown RNP approach in Section 4 or 5 of the IR Skill Test is always required for the initial issue of an Instrument Rating (Aeroplanes & Helicopters), whether carried out in an aircraft or subsequently in an FSTD. 

    When a skill test (new type or ATPL issue) or proficiency check is carried out in either an aircraft or FSTD, and an RNP approach is not practicable or possible for one of the reasons listed below, the test/check must be completed by flying a 2D approach operation using a ground-based aid (VOR, NDB or Localiser, with or without DME) and a 3D approach operation (ILS).  If successful, the PBN privileges of the IR will be restricted and exclude the ability to fly RNP approaches. (see Derogation). 

    Circumstances in which an RNP approach might not be practicable or possible in an aircraft or FSTD are:

    1. Aircraft/FSTD not approved for RNP approaches
    2. Onboard equipment unserviceability – Aircraft/FSTD
    3. RAIM outage or similar affecting planned destination - Aircraft
    4. ATC contingency preventing planned approach from being flown - Aircraft
    5. Non-availability of an RNP approach within a reasonable distance of departure airfield – Aircraft

    Note 

    • If two approaches using ground-based aids are flown in an aircraft, and the candidate fails one of them, the retest must be carried out in an aircraft.  An RNP approach flown in an FSTD cannot be counted for the purpose of a retest.
    • In all cases, if an IR skill test/check with two approaches using ground-based aids is undertaken in an aircraft, the test/check, including any retest(s), must be completed and passed before the RNP approach assessment may be carried out in an FSTD.
    • If a RNP approach is conducted in a FSTD during an initial IRT then this must be conducted by an Instrument Rating Examiner (IRE). and may be arranged directly between the ATO, applicant and IRE (who need not be the same examiner who conducted the skill test in the aircraft) without application or notification to Flight Test Bookings.  Likewise, any fee required by the IRE for conducting this assessment is a matter for direct arrangement between the examiner and applicant.



  • As PBN privileges are required for every IR from the 26 April 2021, Examiners are no longer required to annotate the licence with '/PBN' which was a temporary measure due to the implementation of the PBN endorsement having a phased timeline.

    The CAA will also no longer annotate the Remarks column with 'PBN' in Section XII of the licence on all issued and re-issued licences from 26 April 2021.

    In the event that a successful proficiency check for either revalidation or renewal does not include a RNP approach then the examiner is to enter a Certificate of Revalidation as normal in the applicant's licence (provided that, in the case of a renewal, the IR is included in Part XII of the licence) and also endorse the section within the relevant Examiners report form declaring that:

    I confirm that this proficiency check did not include an RNP APCH and that the applicant has been advised that:

    • the PBN privileges of their IR does not include an RNP APCH, and that
    • this restriction can be lifted upon completing a proficiency check which includes an RNP APCH.

    If a skill test (new type or ATPL issue) or proficiency check does not include a RNP approach, then the IR holder's PBN privileges are restricted and do not allow the IR holder to conduct a RNP approach.

    The restriction can be lifted when the IR holder subsequently completes a proficiency check that includes an RNP approach exercise.

    It is the IR holder's responsibility to ensure that they do not operate outside of the privileges of their licence and ratings.

    The restriction described in Chapter 3 of CAP2138 can be removed at any time if the applicant passes an RNP approach (2D or 3D) flown to DA/MDA (and subsequently to missed approach or landing) with an examiner in an aircraft or FSTD.  Both examiner and FSTD must be appropriately qualified if using a FSTD for this purpose.

    If the RNP approach operation is successful, no licence entry is required, and the validity period of the IR remains unchanged.  If the RNP approach is failed, the privileges of the IR are unaffected and the 'no RNP approaches' restriction remains. In either event the examiner must complete and endorse a CAA test report form, copies of which must be sent to the CAA and handed to the applicant.

    As well as an appropriately completed Examiners report form, the applicant should include documentation to show that the non-UK examiner's NAA has authorised their examiner to conduct PBN checks.

    This document could be a certified copy of their licence, examiners authorisation or a separate authorisation depending how their particular NAA has implemented EU Regulation 2016/539.