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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 PPL is 17 and you will need to hold a Part MED Class 2 Medical Certificate.

A PPL for helicopters will allow you to act as pilot in command (PIC) or co-pilot in non-commercial operations on helicopters.

The exception to this is for holders of a PPL (H) with instructor or examiner privileges, who can be paid for the following:

  • Flight instruction
  • Conducting skill tests and proficiency checks for the LAPL (H) or PPL (H) and any associated ratings or certificates.

Training

You must complete a training course at an approved training organisation (ATO) or declared training organisation (DTO).

Contact a flight school near you

Theoretical knowledge examinations

As part of the application for a private licence, you will need to take and pass exams in the following subject areas:

Common subjects

  • Air law
  • Human performance
  • Meteorology
  • Communications
  • Navigation

Exams specific to the aircraft category

  • Principles of flight
  • Operational procedures
  • Flight performance and planning
  • Aircraft general knowledge
Close Theoretical knowledge examinations

Validity of passed theoretical knowledge exams

You will need to set up a customer portal account to access Private pilot theoretical knowledge e-exams.

If you successfully pass the theoretical exams for the issue of a private pilot's licence, they will be valid for 24 months for you to submit an application for the PPL issue.

This period is counted from the date you pass your last theoretical knowledge examination.

Within these 24 months you must complete the flight training and pass the skill test, otherwise these exams will expire, and you will have to retake them.

Please see FCL.025 for more information related to exam validity.

Close Validity of passed theoretical knowledge exams

Theoretical knowledge crediting

If you have passed the theoretical knowledge examinations for an airline transport pilot licence (ATPL) or for a commercial pilot licence (CPL) in the same category of aircraft, you will be credited with the theoretical knowledge requirements for a private pilot licence (PPL). (FCL.035.b.)

Close Theoretical knowledge crediting

Flight instruction and crediting

If you don’t already hold a licence, you will need to complete 45 hours of flight instruction on helicopters, 5 hours of which may have been completed in an approved flight simulator (an FNPT or FFS) if your flying school has access to one, including at least:

  • 25 hours of dual flight instruction.
  • 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo cross country flight time with at least 1 cross country flight of at least 185 km (100 NM) that includes 2 full stop landings at an aerodrome different from the departure aerodrome.
  • If you are applying for a PPL(H) 35 of the 45 hours of flight instruction have to be completed on the same type of helicopter used for the skill test.

If you have previous experience that you believe may be used to reduce the amount of training required then please refer to the following information.

Applicants with prior experience as PIC

PPL(H) crediting if you hold a LAPL(H)

If you hold a LAPL (H), and are applying for a PPL (H) you must complete a course with a flight training school to include at least:

1. 5 hours of dual flight instruction,

2. At least 1 supervised solo cross-country flight, of at least 185km (100NM), plus full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome.

PPL(H) crediting if you hold another type of licence

If you hold a pilot's licence for another type of aircraft, except balloons, you will be credited with 10% of your total flight time as PIC up to a maximum of 6 hours. You will still need to complete 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo cross country flight time with at least 1 cross country flight of at least 185 km (100 NM) that includes full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome and 25 hours dual flight instruction as credited flight time cannot be counted towards this requirement. (FCL.210.H)

Close Applicants with prior experience as PIC

Third country ICAO compliant licence holders

There has been a change to the rules for the conversion or validation of Third Country ICAO compliant licences/certificates.

For conversion terms, please refer to (EU) 2020/723 of Easy Access Rules for Aircrew (Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 for further information.

Close Third country ICAO compliant licence holders

Flight crediting if licence held in the same aircraft category

If you hold a LAPL (H), and are applying for a PPL (H) you must complete a course with a flight training school to include at least:

1. 5 hours of dual flight instruction,

2. At least 1 supervised solo cross-country flight, of at least 185km (100NM), plus full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome.

Close Flight crediting if licence held in the same aircraft category

Skill Test

At the end of your training, you will need to take a skill test with an examiner in the relevant aircraft type to demonstrate that you can competently carry out the procedures and manoeuvres that you have been taught, while acting as pilot in command (PIC).

You must have had some flight instruction on the same aircraft type or class that you will be taking your skill test in. Generally, you will take the test in the same aircraft in which you have been trained.

In practice you will not need to worry about making any bookings for a Skill Test yourself as this is something that your Flying School will do for you when they feel that you are ready.

Your Flying School will also need to ensure that the examiner meets the requirements for test notification and designation as set out in:

If you use an EASA examiner, the examiner certificate must have been issued prior to 1st January 2021. If the examiner certificate has been reissued after 1st January 2021, it is unlikely that we will be able to accept any flight test conducted by this examiner.

Please contact us prior to undertaking any test.

How to apply

To apply for the issue of a PPL, please complete the Online application form SRG1105.

If you wish to apply for a UK national PPL, you must submit your request in writing by email to fclweb@caa.co.uk (with the subject heading: 'National licence').

What documents to submit

When applying for the PPL issue online, you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Online course completion certificate (CAA5016) or Training Organisation equivalent. (Even if you are exempt from completing ground school/flying training, you must obtain a course completion certificate so that we can see your theoretical knowledge examinations. Please also state the reason for your exemption on the certificate)
  • Skill Test report form ( SRG1172),
  • A certified copy of your logbook pages showing your PPL flight training experience,
  • A certified copy of either your passport (preferred) or Full UK Photographic Driving Licence

Please note: we will not be able to assess your application unless the uploaded documents have been correctly certified.

How to get copies of your documents certified.

Additional documentation

If you are applying on the basis of UK military service, a third-country ICAO licence, or a skill test conducted by an EASA examiner, you will be asked to upload additional documentation on your online application.

Using military service as the basis of your licence application

If you are applying for any pilot licence under the military accreditation scheme (MAS) based on your service as a pilot in the UK military, you will need to upload the following documents alongside those required for the licence application:

  • Completed form SRG 2133
  • Certified copies of the following logbook pages:
    - the Special Qualifications page
    - the last few pages of your military flying logbook

How to get copies of your documents certified.

Close Using military service as the basis of your licence application

Using third-country ICAO licence conversion as the basis of your application

If you are applying for your licence on the basis of an ICAO-compliant licence held with another country, you will need to apply for the verification of your third country ICAO licence.

Please follow the verification of a third country ICAO licence process and submit an online form SRG2142.

We recommend that the Third Country Verification is obtained prior to your PPL application as the turn-around of these applications is reliant on the response times of the NAA that has issued your ICAO licence.

Alternatively, you can submit these applications together but that means that the PPL application will get processed outside our agreed processing time.

When submitting your online PPL application, you will be asked to upload the following documents alongside those required for the licence application:

  • Certified copies of the logbook pages to confirm the hours and experience required for the issue of PPL.
Close Using third-country ICAO licence conversion as the basis of your application

Training conducted at a non-UK ATO/DTO

The ATO must have been approved prior to 1st January 2021 or the DTO must have received confirmation of their declared status before that date.

For non-UK ATOs, you will need to upload a copy of the Part-ORA ATO approval certificate with your application. For non-UK DTOs, you will need to upload evidence of their DTO status.

Close Training conducted at a non-UK ATO/DTO

Training conducted in a simulator

For any training undertaken in a simulator, the EASA or EEA Member State FSTD qualification certificates must have been issued prior to 1st January 2021. If the simulator has been re-evaluated in 2021 by the EASA member state, we are then unable to accept this, unless there is also a current and valid UK approval for the same simulator. In instances where the simulator has been re-evaluated and there is no valid UK approval, please contact us prior to conducting any training or testing.

Close Training conducted in a simulator

Skill test check conducted by non-UK EASA approved examiner

The skill test can be conducted by an EASA state qualified Part-FCL approved examiner, as long as the examiner certificate has been issued prior to 1st January 2021 and the test notification requirement has been met. We will be unable to accept retrospective test notification.

If the examiner certificate has been reissued after 1st January 2021, it is unlikely that we will be able to accept any flight test or assessment of competence conducted by this examiner. Please contact us, prior to undertaking any test or AOC.

If the examiner for your skill test was approved by an EASA member state, you will need to upload the following documents alongside those required for the licence application:

  • A copy of the examiner’s authorisation, 
  • A copy of the examiner’s licence,
  • A copy of the examiner’s medical certificate

(Please note: all 3 documents should be uploaded as single document that does not exceed 5mb)

Close Skill test check conducted by non-UK EASA approved examiner

The Fee

Please see our Licensing fees and costs (Full details available in Scheme of Charges (Personell Licensing)).

An additional fee applies if you would like your documents returned by secure courier.

Making sure your documents are safely returned.

File size limit

Please note that there is currently a 50Mb size limit for files uploaded to our forms.

Guidance on documentation

All documents should be uploaded with a different filename clearly stating the content of the file attachment (for example Passport, Licence copy etc.)

Submitting documents with the same filename may result in the loss of information in the system and added delays to the application assessment.

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

Contact us

If you have any questions please contact our licensing team:

Email (preferred)
Phone 0330 022 1972 (Mon - Fri 08:30 - 16:30)

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