• Guidance for operators on the 25 August 2018 deadline relating to PBN 

    Since 25 August 2018, EASA Aircrew Regulations has required all pilots who are operating on PBN routes and procedures to be suitably qualified.

    A general exemption for specific operators has been agreed between the CAA, EASA and the DfT, and took effect from 25 August 2018.

    Operators should request further guidance from their Flight Operations Inspector, in accordance with ORS4 No.1275. If you do not apply you will NOT be automatically added.

    The 25 August 2020 is a fixed deadline for ALL IR holders to gain PBN privileges if they wish to Operate in PBN airspace after this date.

    How to check whether you require an exemption

    AOC and NCC Operators, do your flight crew hold PBN privileges on their licence?

    • Are your aircraft types certified for RNP APCH?
    • Is there an appropriately equipped FSTD available for flight crew training/checking?

    Any UK Operator who employs non-UK EASA licence holders should contact the relevant NAA to ensure that they have also adopted this general exemption, that has been distributed by EASA to all NAAs for their agreement.

    If your answer to either question is yes

    Flight crew are required to hold PBN privileges on their licence before 25 August 2018 to operate on PBN routes and procedures.

    If your answer to both questions is no

    Operators can apply, on behalf of their crew, for an exemption under Article 14-4 of the Basic EASA Regulation against the requirement for conducting a check of an RNP Approach under Commission Regulation (EU) 1178/2011, “the EASA Aircrew Regulation” (as amended), if they intend to operate on PBN routes and procedures after the 25 August 2018.

    If you intend to remain outside of PBN airspace at all times, no exemption will be required.

    The Operator is also to ensure that their pilot’s do not attempt to apply for a PBN endorsement to be added to their licence whilst using the ORS4 No.1275 exemption as their licence application will be refused.

    Important information

    The Operator must continue to ensure that they maintain compliance with CAT.OP.MPA.126 which includes the continued airworthiness of the area navigation system for PBN operations and ORO.GEN.110(d) where the Operator must ensure that its aircraft are equipped and its crews are qualified as required for the area and type of operation.  That means that the operator must establish what requirements apply to the route, procedure and airspace as a factor in planning their operation.

    The Operator must continue to comply with all airworthiness and air space requirements. No exemption is being offered with regard to theses aspects.

    How to make an application

  • Do you know who your Flight Operations Inspector (FOI) is?

    If yes, please contact them directly for guidance, the Inspector will provide you with a compliance check list.

    Please have available the following information available when you call:

    • AOC Operator and number
    • NCC Operator 
    • Aircraft types affected

    If you don't know who your FOI is please email apply@caa.co.uk to have a Flight Operations Inspector contact you.

    Please have available the following information available when you call:

    • AOC Operator and number
    • NCC Operator
    • Aircraft types affected

    When you have received guidance from your Flight Operations Inspector continue to step 2.

    AOC and NCC Operators

    To apply, for an exemption to Performance Based Navigation (PBN) - Exemption Under Article 14-4 against Commission Regulation (EU) 1178/2011 as amended “The EASA Aircrew Regulation”.

    Operators can apply on behalf of their crew, for an exemption from The EASA Aircrew Regulation and the requirement for conducting a check of an RNP Approach if you intend to operate on PBN routes and procedures after the 25 August 2018 if both of the following criteria apply:

    • their aircraft types are not RNP APCH equipped
    • an appropriately equipped FSTD is not available for flight crew training/checking. 

    Please contact your FOI directly. You will be required to provide the following information with your application:

    • Completed Compliance Checklist - that is provided to the Operator by their Flight Operations Inspector
    • Operator's Safety Case

    Your application will be within our holding system and will be switched across to the new system, no further information will be required (unless specifically requested).

    If payment has already been processed the full amount will be refunded (this refund can take up to 4 weeks).

    If payment has not yet been processed, no payment will be taken.

    • After the application is submitted you will receive an acknowledgment receipt.
    • Following this you will only be contacted by your FOI if they require any further information.
    • Once your application is approved you will receive an email confirming the authority's approval for you to use this exemption from your FOI.

    Our process

    Once your application is approved you will receive an email confirming the authority's approval for you to use this exemption from your FOI.

    The above exemption can only be valid until 24 August 2020.Thereafter all IR holders will need to hold PBN privileges as required by (EU) Commission regulation 2016/539.

  • Further guidance

  • Instrument ratings

    EU Regulation 2016/59 Article 1 (5) - IR pilots without PBN privileges may only fly on routes and approaches that do not require PBN privileges and no PBN items shall be required for the renewal of their IR, until 25 August 2020; after that date, PBN privileges shall be required for every IR.

    While it is considered that the PBN endorsement is a generic privilege to a pilot's IR, Part FCL states to 'maintain' the privilege the pilot must revalidate their PBN privileges every LPC. This requirement applies to each IR that is held.


    A complete review of all documents including the examiner handbook and examiner differences document is taking place and future amendments will include information regarding PBN. 

    Implications for EIR and IMC/IRR

    EIR is not included.

    IRR(IMC) is not currently included. Any changes to the IMC will require additional legislation.

    Pilots who have completed PBN training with a non UK EASA approved ATO

    Pilots must provide confirmation that the non-UK EASA ATO is approved by their own NAA to conduct PBN training and a Course Completion Certificate stating that you have received PBN training.

    Pilots who have been PBN assessed by a non UK EASA examiner

    As well as the Examiner Report form annotated by the examiner to say that PBN has been assessed, the EASA Examiner would also have to provide documentation to show that their NAA has authorised him/her to conduct PBN checks.

    This document could be their licence, examiners authorisation or a separate authorisation depending how their particular NAA has implemented EU Regulation 2016/539. The non-UK examiner will need to follow the required procedure stated in the EASA Examiners Differences Document as amended. The test notification emails will be amended to mention PBN.

    Course completion certificates

    UK approved ATOs will be required to amend their Course Completion Certificate once their amended IR syllabus has been accepted by the CAA.

    EU Regulation 2016/539 states - The PBN endorsement should not create additional administrative burden for the competent authority.  

    Cross crediting for PBN - aeroplanes and helicopters

    Flight training and theoretical knowledge can be cross-credited but a proficiency check would still be required.


    When conducting revalidations or renewals by using an appropriately equipped FSTD, to achieve or maintain PBN privileges on an aircraft type/class not certified to conduct RNP APCH, an examiner is requested to enter a separate line on the 'Certificate of Revalidation Page' with the wording 'IR - PBN only' and not against the actual type/class rating.

    It is accepted that the PBN check conducted in an appropriately equipped FSTD may be conducted a short period of time before or after the 'Date of Rating Test'.


    Rating Certificate


    Date of Rating Test Date of IR Test Valid Until
    S76/SP/IR 15/07/2019 15/07/2019 31/07/2020
    IR - PBN only -------------- 18/07/2019 31/07/2020
    S76/SP/IR 12/06/2020 12/06/2020 31/07/2021
    IR - PBN only -------------- 13/06/2020 31/07/2021