We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We'd also like to use optional analytics cookies to help us improve it.
For more information, please read our cookie policy.

UK – EU Transition, and UK Civil Aviation Regulations

To access current UK civil aviation regulations, including AMC and GM, CAA regulatory documents, please use this link to UK Regulation. Please note, if you use information and guidance under the Headings below, the references to EU regulations or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate information or description of your obligations under UK law. These pages are undergoing reviews and updates.

The minimum age to get a CPL is 18 and you will need to hold a Part MED Class 1 Medical Certificate.

If you hold a CPL you can, on the appropriate aircraft category:

  1. exercise all the privileges of the holder of a LAPL and a PPL. (To exercise LAPL privileges you will need a LAPL licence)
  2. act as pilot in command (PIC) or co-pilot of any aircraft operations other than commercial air transport
  3. act as PIC in commercial air transport of any single-pilot aircraft, subject to some restrictions
  4. act as co-pilot in commercial air transport subject to some restrictions.

Requirements

Training requirements differ depending on the aircraft category and training route you take. These are set out below.

However, in all cases, you must fulfil the class or type rating requirements for the aircraft you take your CPL skill test on. For example, if you are taking the skill test on a multi-engine piston aeroplane (MEP) class, you must have met the relevant flight training requirements.

You must successfully complete theoretical exams and flight instruction at an approved training organisation (ATO).

Theoretical knowledge examinations

As part of the application for CPL, you will need to demonstrate that you have an appropriate level of theoretical knowledge by passing exams in the following subject areas:

  • Air law
  • Aircraft general knowledge - airframe/systems/powerplant
  • Aircraft general knowledge - instrumentation
  • Mass and balance
  • Performance
  • Flight planning and monitoring
  • Human performance
  • Meteorology
  • General navigation
  • Radio navigation
  • Operational procedures
  • Principles of flight
  • Visual flight rules (VFR) communications

You will also need to take ATPL and / or Instrument rating level theoretical knowledge examinations depending on the course of training you are taking.

Please refer to the specific course(s) you are taking for details. These are shown below.

Close Theoretical knowledge examinations

Skill test

At the end of training, and when all requirements for licence issue have been met, you will need to take a skill test with an examiner.

An applicant for a CPL shall pass a skill test in accordance with Appendix 4 to this Part to demonstrate the ability to perform, as PIC of the appropriate aircraft category, the relevant procedures and manoeuvres with the competency appropriate to the privileges granted.

For the issue of a rating the applicant shall apply not later than 6 months after having succeeded at the skill test.

Please refer to Standards Documents 1A, 3, 7 and Appendices 4 and 7 of Part FCL for more details.

Close Skill test

Training

CPL(A) integrated training

Train for a CPL in a single course to the level required to fly commercially. This course does not include instrument rating training.

There are no pre-requisites for this training.

Theoretical

Theoretical knowledge training

You will need to complete at least 350 hours of theoretical knowledge training.

This theoretical knowledge course will only be sufficient for attempting CPL (A) theoretical knowledge examinations. If you wish to take theoretical knowledge examinations at ATPL (A) level or for an IR (A), you will need to complete additional study.

Theoretical knowledge examination

You will need to pass the CPL (A) theoretical knowledge examinations.

Close Theoretical

Flying

Requirement Required number of hours Crediting for previous experience
Total flying training at least 150 hours (not including type rating training) which includes all progress tests and up to 5 hours may be instrument ground time. If you hold an ICAO compliant PPL(A) or PPL(H), 50% of the hours flown can be credited, up to a maximum of 40 hours, or 45 hours if you have an aeroplane night rating, of which up to 20 hours may count towards the requirement for dual instruction flight time

The total flying training requirement (above) must include the following components:

Requirement Required number of hours
Dual instruction 80 hours, of which up to 5 hours may be instrument ground time
PIC 70 hours
Cross-country flying 20 hours as PIC, including a VFR cross-country flight of at least 540 km (300 NM), which should also include full stop landings at two aerodromes different from that of departure.
Night flying 5 hours, comprising 3 hours of dual instruction and 1 hour of cross-country navigation and 5 solo take-offs and full stop landings
Instrument time 10 hours, of which up to 5 may be instrument ground time in a suitable simulator.
Aircraft certified for at least 4 persons, variable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear 5 hours

If you have completed the basic instrument flight module

If you hold a course completion certificate for the basic instrument flight module you will be credited with up to 10 hours towards the required instrument instruction time. Hours done on a BITD will not be credited.

Close Flying

Skill test

Your skill test must be taken after completing the course on either a single or multi-engine aeroplane.

Close Skill test

CPL modular

Train for a CPL to the level required to fly commercially. This does not include instrument rating training.

Pre-requisites

You will need to hold a PPL (A) issued in accordance with Annex 1 of the Chicago Convention. EASA PPL (A) licences are issued in accordance with this Annex.

Before you begin the course, you must have completed 150 hours flight time. If you are taking your skill test on a multi-engine aircraft you must have completed the prerequisites for the issue of a class or type rating for multi-engine aeroplanes. More details are available in the class and types ratings section.

You must also hold current and valid theoretical knowledge examinations to at least CPL level.
You must complete your flight training in one continuous course at an ATO

Close Pre-requisites

Theoretical

Theoretical knowledge training

Before you start a modular course you will need to have a valid pass in all CPL or ATPL aeroplane theoretical examinations.

Close Theoretical

Flying

To apply for a CPL you must complete at least 25 hours of dual flight instruction, including 10 hours of instrument instruction and 15 hours of visual flight instruction. Five hours of the instrument instruction can be taken in a simulator (BITD, FNPT I or II, and FTD 2 or an FFS).

At least five hours of the flight instruction must be completed in a 4-seat aeroplane with a variable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear.

You will also need to complete at least 5 hours of night flight instruction, comprising 3 hours of dual instruction, which will include at least 1 hour of cross country navigation and 5 solo take-offs and 5 solo full stop landings.

If you already hold an IR

If you hold a valid IR (A) you will be fully credited up to 10 hours towards the instrument instruction time requirement. If you hold an IR (H) you will be credited with 5 hours. The remaining 5 hours must be completed in an aeroplane.

If you have completed the basic instrument flight module

You will be credited the 10 hours instrument instruction time requirement.

If you already hold a night rating (aeroplane)

You will not need to complete the additional night flight instruction if you already hold a night rating (aeroplane).

Close Flying

Experience requirements that must be met before the skill test

You must have at least 200 hours of flight time before conducting the skills test. This must include the following:

Pilot in Command (PIC) 100 hours as PIC, of which 20 hours of cross-country flight as PIC, which shall include a VFR cross-country flight of at least 540km (300 NM), in the course of which full stop landings at two aerodromes different from the aerodrome of departure must be made.
Night 5 hours of flight time must be completed at night, comprising 3 hours of dual instruction which must include at least 1 hour of cross-country navigation and 5 solo take-offs and 5 solo full stop landings
Instrument

10 hours of instrument flight instruction, of which up to 5 hours may be instrument ground time in an FNPT I, or FNPT II, or FFS.

If you hold a course completion certificate for the Basic Instrument Flight Module you will be credited with up to 10 hours towards the required instrument instruction time.

Hours done in a BITD shall not be credited.

If a multi-engine aeroplane is used for the skill test, 6 hours of flight time shall be completed in a multi-engine aeroplane.

You may be able to count some other Pilot in Command flying hours towards the 200 hours of flight time required.

These are detailed below:

  • 30 hours in helicopter, if you hold a PPL(H)
    or
  • 100 hours in helicopters, if you hold a CPL(H)
    or
  • 30 hours in TMGs or sailplanes
    or
  • 30 hours in airships, if you hold a PPL(As)
    or
  • 60 hours in airships, if you hold a CPL(As).
Close Experience requirements that must be met before the skill test

Credits available

If you already a hold a licence or have flying experience you may be eligible for credits towards the theoretical knowledge training and the flying training for the issue of a licence or rating.

Theoretical

Third country licence holder

Partial credit towards the theoretical training may be available if you hold:

  • a current and valid CPL issued by or on behalf of a third country that is ICAO compliant (see Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention).
  • a validating medical for your third country licence
  • a valid type or class rating on your third country licence for the same type of aircraft that will be used for the CPL skill test (an EASA type and class rating list )

You must meet the experience requirements for the CPL shown at the top of this page.

  • Complete Part-FCL CPL (A) or ATPL (A) theoretical knowledge instruction as determined by the Head of Training of an ATO and pass all Part-FCL theoretical knowledge examinations at CPL level.

  • Applicants who wish to attempt the ATPL(A) examinations must complete an approved ATPL(A) Modular theoretical knowledge course as set out in Part-FCL Appendix 3(B) and pass all Part-FCL ATPL(A) examinations.
Close Third country licence holder

UK military flight crew

The Military Accreditation Scheme sets out the credits for UK Military Flight Crew, so the scheme is only open to serving Members of HM UK Forces or people discharged from HM UK Forces.

The scheme is only open to people who can provide proof of UK Military service.

QMP(A)s do not need to complete a theoretical knowledge instruction course as set out in FCL.310 or FCL.515 and Appendix 3, before attempting the theoretical knowledge examinations for the CPL or ATPL(A).

Close UK military flight crew

Holders of a UK issued Part FCL licence in another category

An applicant for a CPL holding a valid CPL in another category of aircraft must complete theoretical knowledge bridge instruction at an ATO according to the differences identified between the CPL syllabi for different aircraft categories.

The applicant must pass the following PART FCL subjects in the appropriate aircraft category:

  • 021 - Aircraft General Knowledge: Airframe and Systems, Electrics, Powerplant, Emergency Equipment
  • 022 - Aircraft General Knowledge: Instrumentation
  • 032/034 - Performance Aeroplanes or Helicopters, as applicable
  • 070 - Operational Procedures,
    and
  • 080 - Principles of Flight

The remainder of the CPL(A) examinations are credited.

Applicants holding an IR(A)

If you have already passed the aeroplane instrument rating theoretical knowledge exams, you are credited with Human Performance and Meteorology at CPL level.
You need to complete and pass the remaining CPL (A) theoretical examinations.

Close Holders of a UK issued Part FCL licence in another category

Flying

Third country licence holder

Partial credit towards the flying training may be available if you hold:

  • a current and valid CPL issued by or on behalf of a third country that is ICAO compliant (see Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention).

  • a validating medical for your third country licence

  • a valid type or class rating on your third country licence for the same type of aircraft that will be used for the CPL skill test (an EASA type and class rating list )

You must meet the experience requirements for the CPL.

The UK CAA is applying the following policy which may be used by an ATO conducting conversion training on ICAO licence holders for a Part-FCL CPL (A) to be issued by the UK CAA without seeking prior approval from the Authority for each individual applicant.

These arrangements provide a route to a current and valid ICAO CPL (A) issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 1.

The Aircrew Regulation requires that the holder of an ICAO licence must attend an Approved Training Organisation and complete an approved CPL (A) modular course. If, following assessment, the ATO wishes to reduce the course further than the minimum criteria set out below, they must recommend a reduced course to their Licensing Standard Inspector (for UK CAA approved ATOs) or to the UK CAA for non-UK approved ATOs. The course cannot be reduced to zero hours.

After completion of CPL (A) or ATPL(A) exams you will need to complete the minimum flying requirements shown below at an Approved Training Organisation approved to conduct CPL modular course.

Minimum instruction depending upon total hours as pilot of aeroplanes:

  • Level 1: Experience > 1000 hrs: Min 7 hrs (18 hrs credit)
  • Level 2: Experience 500 - 999 hrs: Min 10 hrs (15 hrs credit)
  • Level 3: Experience 250 - 499 hrs: Min 15 hrs (10 hrs credit)
  • Level 4: Experience 185 - 249 hrs: Min 20 hrs (5 hrs credit)
  • Level 5: Experience 155 - 184 hrs: Min 25 hrs (no credit)

Pass the Part-FCL CPL (A) Skill Test.

Close Third country licence holder

UK military flight crew

The Military Accreditation Scheme sets out the credits for UK Military Flight Crew, so the scheme is only open to serving Members of HM UK Forces or people discharged from HM UK Forces.

The scheme is only open to people who can provide proof of UK Military service.

Flying Experience Credits

QMP(A)s with a minimum of 70 hours logged as PIC/P1 Capt or PICUS/1st Pilot Non-Capt do not need to complete a training course before completing the skill test for the issue of a CPL(A).

You must have met the experience requirements and pre-requisites for a CPL(A) shown at the top of this page.

  • Basic Fast Jet Training (BFJT) (or legacy course) graduates must take the skill test in a single pilot single engine aeroplane.

  • Fast Jet Operational Conversion Unit (FJ OCU ) graduates may take the skill test in a single pilot single engine aeroplane, or in a multi-engine aeroplane provided that they complete an MEP course at an ATO prior to the CPL Skill test.

  • Multi Engine Pilot Training (MEPT) (or legacy course) graduates may take the skill test in a single engine or single pilot multi-engine aeroplane.

The aeroplane used for the skill test must meet the requirements for training aeroplanes and be certificated for the carriage of at least four persons, have a variable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear.

Skill test

The skill test must be conducted by the holder of a Type or Class Rating Examiner (CRE or TRE) Certificate for the aeroplane type, authorised to conduct an CPL skill test, issued under Part-FCL.

The skill test must be conducted in:

  • an appropriate class or type of military aeroplane on which you are or have been qualified to operate as a QMP, suitably equipped for the purpose, which has an EASA civilian equivalent;

or

  • an appropriate class or type of civilian aeroplane provided you have completed the Part-FCL requirements for inclusion of that type or class in a Part-FCL licence except the type rating skill test.
Close UK military flight crew

Holders of a UK issued Part FCL licence for a different category

Hours as PIC of other categories of aircraft may count towards the 200 hours total flight time, in the following cases:

  • 30 hours in helicopter, if the applicant holds a PPL(H);
    or
  • 100 hours in helicopters, if the applicant holds a CPL(H);
    or
  • 30 hours in TMGs or sailplanes;
    or
  • 30 hours in airships, if the applicant holds a PPL(As);
    or
  • 60 hours in airships, if the applicant holds a CPL(As).

The specific modular course requirements must be met. The credit only applies to the total flight time . These hours cannot be used towards the 100 hours PIC requirement.

Applicants holding a current and valid IR(H) can be credited up to 5 hours of the dual instrument instruction time, in which case at least 5 hours dual instrument instruction time must be given in an aeroplane.

Close Holders of a UK issued Part FCL licence for a different category

How to apply

There are two methods you can use to apply for a CPL issue; e-Licensing or our Online application.

If you have previously used e-Licensing, please apply using this method.

e-Licensing

If you choose to apply using e-Licensing, you will need to upload supporting documents as part of the application. Applicants will be asked for different supporting documentation depending on the selections they have made during the application.

The table below lists the evidence you may be asked for and what you should upload in that section.

CPL modular application

Name in e-Licensing

Document required

Identification Document

Certified copy of ID

CPL Skills Test

Examiner report form SRG2130

+Examiner's licence, medical & examiner certificate if non-UK

+ATO approval certificate if non-UK

CPL Instrument Rating Course Completion Certificate

Form CAA5008

ATPL Theoretical Knowledge Course

Form CAA5004

Certified copy of licence for update rating(s)

Certified copy of licence

 CPL with military credits

Name in e-Licensing

Document required

Identification Document

Certified copy of ID

CPL Skills Test

Examiner report form SRG2130

+Examiner's licence, medical & examiner certificate if non-UK

+ATO approval certificate if non-UK

CPL Military Credits Course Completion Certificate

Form CAA5014

Military Accreditation Scheme

MAS Form SRG2133

Certified copy of licence for update rating(s)

Certified copy of licence (if one already held)

Please note that you cannot use e-Licensing to submit your application if you are using credits from a Third Country Licence. In this instance, you would need to submit the Online form SRG1183 instead along with the SRG2142 Online application for a Third Country Verification.

Close e-Licensing

Online application form

You can submit your application using our online form SRG1183.

If you choose this method, you will need to upload the following supporting evidence:

  • CPL examiner report form SRG2130, with a copy of the non-UK Simulator approval certificate if you used a non-UK simulator for the skills test
  • A copy of your Examiner's licence, medical and authorisation (only required if you used a non-UK examiner for the skills test)
  • A certified copy of your licence (only required if one is already held)
  • A certified copy of your valid passport (preferred), or a certified copy of your full UK photographic driving licence
  • A certified copy of your relevant logbook pages to confirm your hours and experience.
  • A copy of your course completion certificate (CAA5008 if modular course, CAA5000 if integrated course) or Training Organisation equivalent
  • A copy of the Approved Training Organisation’s approval certificate (only required if the course was completed with a non-UK ATO)

If your Theoretical Knowledge (TK) exams have been passed with another NAA:

  • A copy of Part-FCL theoretical knowledge exam results as provided by the relevant authority
  • A copy of theoretical knowledge course completion certificate completed by the relevant authority (CAA5004 or Training Organisation equivalent)
  • A copy of the non-UK ATO approval certificate detailing TK assessment approval (You are only required to submit the front page of the Non-UK ATO approval, the pages relevant to the aircraft type or course and the final page signed by the National Aviation Authority (NAA)).

If you do not have a UK issued RT licence:

  • A copy of your evidence of UK Examination and Test for Grant of FRTOL (CAA5003)

UK military pilots need to additionally submit completed Military Accreditation Scheme (MAS) form SRG2133, with certified copies of relevant pages of the military logbook

Pilots applying on the basis of holding a Third Country ICAO licence will also need to submit the following paperwork:

  • Third country verification application SRG2142
  • A certified copy of valid ICAO licence and medical
  • A certified copy of ICAO logbook pages to confirm your hours and experience
Close Online application form

Guidance on documentation

For questions relating to paperwork, such as how to obtain certified copies of documents, please refer to guidance on documentation.

Schools and training

Please ensure that your training provider is approved to conduct the training that you are undertaking.

We strongly recommend you check that your instructor and examiner hold the relevant privileges to conduct the training and any flight test, examination or assessment of competence that is being carried out.

How to find a UK examiner or UK approved school

EASA ratings list and flight simulators

Close Schools and training

Provide page feedback

Please enter your comments below, or use our usual service contacts if a specific matter requires an answer.

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Latest from UK Civil Aviation Authority

  1. Continued focus on change for GA Team
  2. Virtual aviation work experience partnership with Springpod
  3. Helicopter pilot sentenced for forging licence

View all latest news