General Aviation Pilot Licensing & Training Simplification
Following CAP2335 – GA Pilot Licensing & Training Simplification Phase 1 Consultation, we have now published our formal Consultation Response Document CAP2532. This summarises the responses we received to the consultation and the next steps for Phase 2.
Sailplane Pilot Licence
The consultation returned a clear preference towards continuing the conversion to the Sailplane Pilot Licence (SPL) under the UK Sailplane Flight Crew Licensing (Part-SFCL)regulations. We will be working with the sailplane community to explore any areas within these regulations we could improve as part of this project.
Balloon Pilot Licence
The majority of respondents of the consultation who expressed a view favoured retaining a single balloon pilot licence with appropriate ratings for commercial non-passenger and passenger ballooning respectively, thereby supporting continued implementation of the Balloon Flight Crew Licensing (UK Part-BFCL) regulations. We will be working with the balloon community to explore areas within these regulations that could be improved as part of this licensing and training simplification project.
To assist with this, Department for Transport will be amending in upcoming legislation the implementation deadline by an extra year, to December 2024.
- Overall direction: the vast majority who expressed a view agreed with the need for licensing system simplification, including over half agreeing strongly, indicating a clear mandate from the community to proceed with this project. A strong majority also agreed that this review should go beyond just a simple consolidation of the UK and retained European regulations.
- Technical proposals on ICAO and sub-ICAO licences and consolidating the syllabuses: the vast majority supported each of our proposals indicating a clear mandate for progressing the technical details.
- Honouring existing licences after we create new regulations: two options were considered by respondents as most attractive: ‘deemed valid for life’ and ‘deemed valid until a sunset’, but there was no overwhelming preference towards either.
- We will commence Phase 2 of this project, reconvening the community working group to proceed with developing the technical details around these proposals, which we will consult on by early 2024.
A collaborative approach was taken to ensure we fairly reflected views from the wider GA community. We have established a working group of key GA community experts including GA associations as well as flying instructors and PPL students and we would like to thank for them for their continued support on this project.
We speak with Laurence Baxter from our General Aviation Unit to learn more about this work: Help simplify private pilot licensing and training in the UK (podcast)
Looking at the high-level issues, including the implications for consolidating UK Air Navigation Order and retained EASA regulations, compliance with ICAO standards and recommended practices, and the distinction between general aviation and commercial flight training.
Focus on licences, ratings and certificates across all the aircraft categories in scope. We will look at including privileges, training, exams, costs and cross-compatibility where this is relevant,. It will be necessary to further break this down to pilot and instructor components. This also gives us an opportunity re-examine the training syllabus and related guidance material to reflect any emerging safety thinking. This will culminate in a series of policy proposals from which we could develop rulemaking.