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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:

  • exercise all the privileges of the holder of a LAPL and a PPL.
  • act as pilot in command (PIC) or co-pilot of any helicopter engaged in operations other than commercial air transport
  • act as PIC in commercial air transport of any single-pilot helicopter.
  • act as co-pilot in commercial air transport subject to some restrictions.

An applicant for the issue of a CPL shall have fulfilled the requirements for the class or type rating of the aircraft used in the skill test.

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.

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

ATP H integrated training course

Train for a CPL in a single course to the level required to fly helicopters commercially under visual flight rules. This course includes Multi Crew Co-operation (MCC) instruction.

Your theoretical knowledge and examinations will be of the level required for the issue of an ATPL (H) once you have completed the necessary flying experience and skills tests to upgrade your licence.

Theoretical

Theoretical knowledge training

You will need to complete at least 650 hours of theoretical knowledge training, plus at least 20 hours for Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC).

Theoretical knowledge examination

You will need to pass an exam to demonstrate an appropriate level of theoretical knowledge.

Close Theoretical

Flying

Flying training

Requirement Required number of hours Crediting for previous experience
Total flying training at least 150 hours which including all progress tests If you hold an ICAO compliant PPL(H), 50% of the hours flown can be credited, up to a maximum of 40 hours, of which up to 20 hours can be dual instruction, or 50 hours, of which up to 25 hours may be dual instruction, if you have a helicopter night rating

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

  • Dual instruction
    • Visual instruction
    • Instrument instruction
    • MCC
  • PIC
  • Cross-country flying
  • Night flying
  • Instrument time

Exact hour requirements for each of these components are set out below.

Dual instruction requirements

You will need to complete 95 hours' dual visual instruction, including the following components:

Dual instruction - visual instruction

75 hours of the total dual instruction requirement must be visual instruction, which may include one of the four options in below:

Simulator/aircraft category Hours allowed
Helicopter FFS, level C/D 30
FTD 2, 3 25
FNPT II/III 20
Aeroplane or touring motor glider (TMG) 20

Dual instruction - instrument instruction

10 hours of the basic instrument instruction, which may include up to 5 hours in a helicopter FNPT I, or an aeroplane.

Dual instruction - MCC

10 hours of the total dual instruction requirement must be MCC instruction, for which a helicopter FFS, FTD 2,3 (MCC) or FNPT II/III (MCC) may be used.

If the helicopter used for flying training is different from the helicopter FFS used for visual training, the credit will be limited to that allocated for an FNTP II/III.

Remaining requirements

Requirement Required number of hours
PIC 55 hours as PIC, of which 40 hours may be as student pilot-in-command (SPIC) and at least 14 hours solo day and 1 hour solo night flight.
Cross-country flying 50 hours, including at least 10 hours of cross country flight as SPIC, including a VFR cross-country flight of at least 185 km (100 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 night circuits, each of which must include a take-off and landing.
Close Flying

CPL(H) 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 (H) theoretical knowledge examinations. If you wish to take theoretical knowledge examinations at ATPL (H) level or for an IR (H), you will need to complete additional study.

Crediting: theoretical knowledge training

If you hold a PPL, you need only complete at least 200 hours of theoretical knowledge training.

Theoretical knowledge examination

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

Close Theoretical

Flying

Requirement Required number of hours Crediting for previous experience
Total flying training at least 135 hours, including all progress tests, of which 5 hours may be instrument ground time If you hold an ICAO compliant PPL(H), 50% of the hours flown can be credited, up to a maximum of 40 hours, of which up to 20 hours can be dual instruction if you have a helicopter night rating, or 50 hours, of which up to 25 hours may be dual instruction,

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

  • Dual instruction
  • PIC
  • Cross-country flying
  • Night flying
  • Instrument time

Exact hour requirements for each of these components are set out below. 

Dual instruction 

You must complete at least 85 hours of dual instruction, which can include the following components: 

Dual instruction - visual instruction 

Up to 75 hours of the dual instruction requirement can be visual instruction, which may include one of the four options below: 

Simulator/aircraft category Hours allowed
Helicopter FFS, level C/D 30
FTD 2, 3 25
FNPT II/III 20
Aeroplane or touring motor glider (TMG) 20

Dual instruction - instrument instruction 

Up to 10 hours of the dual instruction requirement can be instrument instruction, which may include up to 5 hours in either a helicopter FNPT I or higher, or an aeroplane. 

If the helicopter used for flying training is different from the helicopter FFS used for visual training, the credit will be limited to that allocated for an FNTP II/III. 

Remaining requirements 

Requirement Required number of hours
PIC 50 hours as PIC, of which 35 hours may be as student pilot-in-command (SPIC) and at least 14 hours solo day and 1 hour solo night flight.
Dual cross-country flying 10 hours
Cross-country flying 10 hours as PIC, including a VFR cross-country flight of at least 185 km (100 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 night circuits, each of which must include a take-off and landing.
Instrument time 10 hours dual instrument time, including at least 5 hours in a helicopter.

 

Close Flying

Skill test

Your skill test must be taken after completing the course.

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 (H), issued in accordance with Annex 1 to the Chicago convention. EASA PPL (H) licences are issued in accordance with this Annex. 

Before you begin the course, you must have completed 155 hours flight time, including 50 hours as PIC, of which 10 hours must be cross-country. 

If you are taking your skill test on a multi-engine helicopter you must have completed the prerequisites for the issue of a type or class rating for a multi-engine helicopter. More details are available in the  class and types ratings section.  

You must complete your flight training in one continuous course at an ATO.

Close Pre-requisites

Flying

To apply for a CPL (H) you must complete at least 30 hours of dual flight instruction, including 10 hours of instrument instruction and 20 hours of visual flight instruction.

Use of simulators or aeroplanes for dual instruction 

  • Up to five hours of the instrument instruction requirement can be taken in a FFS, FTD2,3 or FNPT II, III
  • Up to five hours of the visual instruction requirement can be taken in a FTD 1, FNPT I or in an aeroplane

Night flight instruction

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 night circuits, each including a take-off and landing.

If you already hold an IR 

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

If you have a night rating (helicopter) already

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

Close Flying

Experience requirements that must be met before the CPL skill test

You must have at least 185 hours of flight time before conducting the skills test.

This must include the following for Pilot in Command (PIC)

  • 50 hours as PIC, of which 10 hours of cross-country flight as PIC, including a VFR cross-country flight of at least 185 km (100NM), in the course of which full stop landings at two aerodromes different from the aerodrome of departure must be made

You may be able to count some other Pilot in Command flying hours towards the 185 hours of flight time required.

These are detailed below:

  • 20 hours in aeroplanes if you hold a PPL(A)
    or
  • 50 hours in aeroplanes, if you hold a CPL(A)
    or
  • 10 hours in TMGs or sailplanes
    or
  • 20 hours in airships if you hold a PPL(As)
    or
  • 50 hours in airships if you hold a CPL(As)
Close Experience requirements that must be met before the CPL 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

You must complete Part-FCL CPL (H) theoretical knowledge instruction as determined by the Head of Training of an ATO and pass all Part-FCL theoretical knowledge examinations at a minimum of CPL level.

If you want to take the ATPL(H)(VFR) examinations you must complete an approved ATPL(H) Modular theoretical knowledge course as set out in Part-FCL Appendix 3(H) and pass all Part-FCL ATPL(H)(VFR) examinations.

If you want to take the ATPL(H)and IR examinations you must complete an approved ATPL(H) and IR Modular theoretical knowledge course as set out in Part-FCL Appendix 3(H) and pass all Part-FCL ATPL(H) with IR 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(H)s do not need to complete a theoretical knowledge instruction course as set out in FCL.315 and Appendix 3, paragraphs F to K before you take the theoretical knowledge examinations for the ATPL(H)with IR or the ATPL (H) VFR or CPL(H), as applicable.

If you pass the ATPL(H) without or with IR examination please note that the calendar validity periods set out in Part-FCL apply. If you do not hold an ATPL(H)before the exams expire you will need to re-take them to qualify for the licence.

If you pass the ATPL (H)/ IR examination please note that the calendar validity periods set out in Part-FCL apply. If you do not hold an IR(H) before the exams expire you will need to re-take them to qualify for the IR(H).

Close UK military flight crew

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

If you apply for a CPL holding a valid CPL in another category of aircraft you 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

Applicants for a CPL who have passed the relevant theoretical examinations for an IR in the same category of aircraft are credited towards the theoretical knowledge requirements in the following subjects:

  • Human Performance
  • Meteorology

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

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

Holders of JAR FCL and Part FCL helicopter licences

If you are applying for an IR(H) and have passed the relevant ATPL(H) VFR exams, you will need to pass the following examination subjects:

  • Air Law
  • Flight Planning and Flight Monitoring
  • Radio Navigation
  • IFR Communications
Close Holders of JAR FCL and Part FCL helicopter licences

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 class rating on your third country licence for the same type of helicopter 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 utilised by an ATO conducting conversion training on ICAO licence holders for a Part-FCL CPL (H) 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 (H) 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 (H) 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.

Minimum course content without submission of a recommendation to the CAA

You must:

  • Complete at an Approved Training Organisation approved to conduct CPL modular courses the minimum flight time under instruction in a Helicopter as outlined below.

Minimum hours of instruction required depending upon total flight time experience as a helicopter pilot

  • Level 1: Experience > 1000 hrs: Min 7 hrs (23 hrs credit)
  • Level 2: Experience 500 - 999 hrs: Min 10 hrs (20 hrs credit)
  • Level 3: Experience 250 - 499 hrs: Min 15 hrs (15 hrs credit)
  • Level 4: Experience 185 - 249 hrs: Min 20 hrs (10 hrs credit)
  • Level 5: Experience 155 - 184 hrs: Min 25 hrs (5 hours credit)

Pass the Part-FCL CPL (H) 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(H)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(H).

You must meet the experience requirements and prerequisites for the issue of a type rating as set out in Part FCL Subpart H for the helicopter used for the skill test.

The helicopter used for the skill test must meet the requirements for training helicopters.

A QMP(H) for Single Engine Helicopters only who:

  • has not graduated from all Single Engine Rotary Wing (SERW), 60 Squadron Lead In Course (SLIC) and Multi Engine Rotary Wing (MERW) or legacy courses,
    or
  • does not hold (or has not held) an operational category to operate military Multi-Engine helicopters,

can take the skill test in a:

  • Single Pilot Single Engine helicopter,
    or
  • in a Single Pilot Multi-Engine helicopter provided they complete the ME helicopter type rating training course at an ATO before to the CPL Skill test.

A QMP(H) who:

  • has graduated from all SERW, SLIC and MERW (or legacy) courses,

or

  • holds (or has held) an operational category to operate military multi-engine helicopters,

can take the skill test in a single pilot multi-engine helicopter.

Skill test

The skill test must be conducted by the holder of a single pilot 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.

Applicants who hold a UK issued Part FCL licence in another 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 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.

Applicants holding a current and valid IR(A) must complete a minimum of 5 hours dual instrument instruction time in a helicopter.

Close UK military flight crew

Holders of a UK issued Part FCL licence in another 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 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.

Applicants holding a current and valid IR(A) must complete a minimum of 5 hours dual instrument instruction time in a helicopter.

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

How to apply

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

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 Integrated application

Name in e-Licensing

Document required

Identification Document

A certified copy of your ID

CPL Skills Test

Examiner report form SRG2197

  • Examiner's licence, medical, examiner certificate if non-UK
  • ATO approval certificate if non-UK

Instrument Rating Skill Test

Examiner report form SRG2135

  • Examiner's licence, medical and examiner certificate if non UK

CPL Instrument Rating Integrated with ATPL Theoretical Knowledge Course Completion Certificate

Form CAA5000

Certified copy of licence for update rating(s)

A certified copy of your licence (if one already held)

 CPL modular application

Name in e-Licensing

Document required

Identification Document

Certified copy of ID

CPL Skills Test

Examiner report form SRG2197

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 SRG2197

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

ATO approval certificate if non-UK

Instrument Rating Skill Test

Examiner report form SRG2135

Examiner's licence, medical & examiner 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)

You should not upload Online application form as eLicensing replaces this form.

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 SRG2197, with a copy of the non-UK Simulator approval certificate if you used a non-UK simulator for the skills test
  • Instrument rating examiner report form SRG2135, 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)
  • Proof of your ID (This can be a certified copy of your valid passport/full UK photographic driving licence, or a close up photo of you holding your ID in which your face and ID are clearly visible)
  • A certified copy of your relevant logbook pages to confirm your hours and experience.
  • A copy of your course completion certificate (CAA5008 and CAA5004 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)
  • A copy of BIFM certificate (only required if this option is selected on online application form)

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

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