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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.

Privileges and conditions

An SPL will allow you to act as pilot in command (PIC) on sailplanes and powered sailplanes. To fly a touring motor glider (TMG), you must also comply with the requirements detailed in extension of privileges to TMG on the LAPL (S) page.

You can only carry passengers when you have completed at least 10 hours of flight time or 30 launches as PIC after your licence has been issued.

You cannot operate commercially, or receive any kind of payment, until you:

  1. Are 18 years of age or over
  2. Have completed 75 hours of flight time or 200 launches, after your licence has been issued
  3. Have passed a proficiency check with an examiner

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

  1. Flight instruction
  2. Conducting skill tests and proficiency checks

for the LAPL (S) or SPL and any associated ratings and endorsements.

Launch methods

You will be limited to the launch method included in your skill test. This limit can be removed if you complete the requirements detailed in the launch methods section on the LAPL (S) page.

Recency requirements

You can only fly if you comply with the recency requirements detailed in the keeping your licence current section on the LAPL (S) page.

Experience requirements and crediting

If you do not already hold a licence, you will need to complete 15 hours of flight instruction on sailplanes or powered sailplanes, including the requirements detailed in the experience requirements and crediting section on the LAPL (S) page.

SPL crediting if you hold a LAPL (S)

If you held a LAPL (S) within the two years prior to applying for an SPL then you will be fully credited towards the theoretical knowledge and flight instruction requirements.

SPL 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 7 hours. You will still need to complete the 2 hours of supervised solo flight time, 45 launches and landings and 1 solo cross-country flight of at least 50 km (27 NM) or 1 dual cross-country flight of at least 100 km (55 NM), as the credited flight time cannot be counted towards this requirement.

Apply for an SPL using paper forms

Related Information


All relevant European regulations such as Part- ARO, ORO, CAT, SPA, NCC, NCO, MED are available on the link shown below.

For Flight Crew Regulations please refer to the consolidated version Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011.

For other regulations such as Part-ORO, Part-ORA, please check the Air Operations regulations.

Close Regulations