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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.

The minimum age to get the National UK CPL(B) is 18 and you will need to hold the following medical.

  • An applicant for a UK CPL(B) restricted licence (aerial work) shall hold a valid Medical declaration or Part MED Class 1 or 2 or LAPL medical certificate.
  • An applicant for a UK CPL(B) unrestricted licence shall hold a valid Part MED Class 1 or 2 medical certificate.

The holder of a UK CPL(B) may exercise the privileges of the licence to fly non-EASA balloons registered in the UK that come within the privileges of the licence and the valid ratings included in the licence.

Training requirements differ depending on the aircraft category and training route you take.

However, in all cases, you must fulfil the class or type rating requirements for the aircraft you take your CPL skill test on.

Theoretical knowledge examinations

CPL(B) theoretical examinations are administered by the CAA and have to be taken at an approved centre (see the examination page for further information)

The following Theoretical Knowledge examinations are applicable:

  • Aviation Law, Flight Rules and Procedures*
  • Human performance and limitations*
  • Navigation*
  • Meteorology*
  • Aircraft (General) Balloons

Credit: *These subjects are common with Part FCL CPL licence in another aircraft category (aeroplane or helicopter).

Please refer to CAP 804, Section 5, Part C, Subpart 2 for more information.

Passes in Theoretical Knowledge exams are valid for licence issue for 36 months from date of the last exam pass. All exams are to be completed within 6 sittings, 4 attempts at any one subject and all within an 18 month period from the date that the first exam is attempted (the timeframes defined in Part-FCL.025 are applied).

Close Theoretical knowledge examinations

General flight test

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

Close General flight test


CPL(B) experience requirements

Specific experience requirements will apply depending on if you are applying for a UK CPL (B) Restricted or a UK CPL (B) Unrestricted

Restricted privileges

An applicant for a CPL(B) with privileges restricted to aerial work and private flying must have completed at least 35 hours flight time as pilot of balloons including the requirements of a) and b) below.

  1. 15 hours of instruction in flying as pilot of balloons, including:
    1. 4 free flights, one of which must be an ascent to at least 5000 ft above the elevation of the place of departure;
    2. 2 tethered flights.
  2. 20 hours as PIC, including:
    1. 16 free flights, including one cross-country flight with a landing made at a place not less than 20 km from the point of departure;
    2. 2 tethered flights.


  • The candidate must hold a PPL(B and As) licence before completing the PIC
  • A free flight means a flight in a free balloon of at least 5 minutes.
  • A tethered flight means a flight in a captive balloon of at least 5 minutes.
  • The instructional hours at 3.2.1 (a) must be to a syllabus recognised by the CAA and conducted by a person approved by the CAA for the purpose.
Close Restricted privileges

Unrestricted privileges

An applicant for a CPL(B) must have a minimum of:

  • 75 hours as pilot of balloons, including the experience requirements of 3.2.1 a) and b);
  • 60 hours as PIC of balloons.

Close Unrestricted privileges

Credits available

If you already 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 training.

How to apply

Please apply using our postal application forms with all other required associated documents listed in the guidance of the application form (such as ID and logbooks):

  • Form FCL 100 (SRG1115)
  • Form FCL 672 (Skills Test form)
  • A certified copy of your photo ID
  • A certified copy of your licence
  • A copy of your valid Part-MED Class 1 or 2 certificate or the evidence of Medical self declaration.
  • Original or certified copy pf your Flying Logbook (s)
  • SRG 1319 (If applicable for subsequent balloon ratings)