We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We'd also like to use optional cookies to understand how you use it, and to help us improve it.

For more information, please read our cookie policy.

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.

A Student Air Traffic Controller Licence permits the holder to provide an Air Traffic Control service but only under the supervision of a fully qualified Air Traffic Controller, who holds an on-the-job training instructor licence endorsement.

The service being provided must be in the ATC discipline for which initial training has been successfully completed at an approved initial training organisation.

Unit training in that discipline must commence within 12 months of having completed the approved initial training course.

Student ATCO licence holders who fail to meet this criterion will be required to complete an assessment of previous competence.

Requirements to be granted a Student ATCO Licence

Applicants for a Student Air Traffic Controller Licence must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have successfully completed an approved basic and at least one rating course of initial training at an approved initial training organisation
  • hold a certificate, issued by an approved ATCO language assessment body, which demonstrates the competence to speak and understand the English language to at least level 4 of the ICAO Language Proficiency Scale
  • hold a current UK issued Class 3 medical certificate

How to apply for a Student ATCO 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 or home address as appropriate.
  • We will contact you if we have 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) 2015/340allows for a maximum processing time of eight weeks. Information about the eight-week grace period can be found on this page.
  • A Student ATCO Licence will be issued as soon as possible following receipt of the application providing the application is complete and correct.

EU Member State Licence Holders

  • This section relates to a process that was available with a limited time period of two years until 1 January 2023.
  • Following EU withdrawal, EU Student ATCO licences issued under CR (EU) 2015/340, after 31 December 2020 will not be recognised by the UK CAA.
  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended and supplemented by the Aviation Safety (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 included some regulatory arrangements that allowed for the recognition of EASA approvals and licences for a period of two years from the 31 December 2020 when the UK left the EU.
  • During this two-year recognition period, EU Student ATCO licences issued by an EU competent authority on or before 31 December 2020 were recognised by the UK CAA for the grant of a UK ATCO licence, following a process of verification of such documents with the associated EU competent authority. This application closed at midnight on 31st December 2022 and is no longer available.
  • From 1 January 2023, the UK can no longer recognise EASA-issued licences.
Close EU Member State Licence Holders