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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

Before providing an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service, an individual must be appropriately qualified and licensed.

They must hold an Air Traffic Controller (ATCO) Licence that includes a rating and rating endorsement, where applicable, appropriate to the task.

ATCO licences are issued by the CAA to holders of Student ATCO licences following successful completion of the appropriate approved unit endorsement course and assessment.

Requirements to be granted an ATCO Licence

Applicants for an Air Traffic Controller Licence must:

  • hold a valid Student Air Traffic Controller Licence
  • have successfully completed the Unit Endorsement Course
  • have successfully completed Training in Abnormal and Emergency Situations (ABES) and Human Factors
  • hold a current UK issued Class 3 medical certificate

How to apply for an air traffic controllers’ licence

What happens next?

  • A CAA Licensing Assessment Officer will assess your application.
  • After checking that the application is in order, the application will then be processed, and the licence produced and dispatched to the applicant’s unit address.
  • As this is the first issue of the ATCO licence, the licence will be held by the unit until the successful completion of the initial unit endorsement has been carried out or supervised by a CAA Inspector ATS.
  • CAA Licensing Assessment will contact you if there are any queries regarding your application.

Processing time

  • CAA ATS Licensing Assessment endeavours to process all applications within the shortest possible time however; Regulation UK (EU) 2015/340 allows for a maximum processing time of eight weeks. Information about the eight-week grace period can be found on this page.
  • An ATCO Licence will be issued as soon as possible following receipt of the application providing the application is complete and correct.

The eight week grace period

  • Regulation UK (EU) 2015/340 AMC1 ATCO.AR.D.001(a) Procedure for the issue, revalidation and renewal of licences, ratings, endorsements and authorisations states that the CAA may allow the privileges of a licence to be exercised for a period of eight weeks after successful completion of the applicable examination(s) and assessment(s), pending the issue of the licence, rating or endorsement.
  • The CAA may allow this grace period to be used subject to approval by the units assigned ATM Inspector ATS (Operations).
  • Units wishing to use the eight-week grace period must contact their ATM Inspector ATS (Operation) in advance.
  • The eight-week grace period will commence from the date that the applicant has received an acknowledgement of their licence, rating or endorsement application from the CAA ATS Licensing Assessment section, subject to such approval being obtained.
Close The eight week grace period

UK licence holders who exchanged their UK Licence for an EU licence

Previous holders of UK ATCO licences, who have exchanged such for an EU licence will be able to apply to the UK CAA for the reissue of their UK ATCO licence.

As the UK is no longer able to recognise any Ratings, Rating Endorsements or Licence Endorsements obtained outside the UK, the reissued licence will only contain those Ratings, Rating Endorsements and Licence Endorsements that were current on their UK licence prior to the exchange.

Application for the reissue of a UK ATCO licence is made on form SRG 1411F.

The charge for the re-issue of a UK ATCO/Student ATCO Licences is shown in the CAA Scheme of Charges (Personnel Licensing).

Close UK licence holders who exchanged their UK Licence for an EU licence

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