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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.

At a glance

  • General Aviation Pilot Licensing could be simplified and rationalised under new proposals.
  • The proposals cover the potential changes to pilot licensing for aeroplanes, sailplanes, helicopters, gyroplanes and balloons and airships.
  • Follows extensive work by the UK Civil Aviation Authority to consider the general aviation community views on licensing.

General Aviation Pilots will soon find it easier to gain and maintain a licence when proposals put forward by the UK Civil Aviation Authority are implemented.

An image of multiple light aviation aircraft on a green background
Row of light aircraft parked at an airfield

The regulator is working to simplify the licensing process for the general aviation community as part of its General Aviation Pilot Licensing and Training Simplification project.

The proposals set out in a consultation published today by the UK Civil Aviation Authority will see changes to a wide range of issues.

These include consolidating the number of licences on offer, reducing the number of examinations for the gaining of licences and changes to the class rating structure including requirements for maintenance of competence.

Proposals cover licensing for aeroplanes and microlights, sailplanes, helicopters, gyroplanes and balloons and airships.

Reform of the system was a high priority for the general aviation community when asked by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and this signals a major step closer to delivering on those wishes.

Michael Macdonald, Head of General Aviation at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“To all pilots, the licence they hold is incredibly important. We’re looking to simplify the system to make it easier for new pilots to choose their path in aviation, and for existing pilots to maintain and upgrade their licences, all whilst maintaining the UK’s world-class level of safety.

“Experts from the community have been involved throughout the development process of these measures, which we feel will really benefit those looking to gain licences in the UK.”

The consultation will be open for 10 weeks and will close on the 22 May 2024

Notes to editors

  • Proposals have been developed following extensive discussion with expert industry stakeholders through a series of formal working groups.
  • Executive summaries are available for the aeroplanes and balloons and airships consultations.  
  • The General Aviation Pilot Licensing & Training Simplification project was created in response to CAP1985, in which the regulator asked the general aviation (GA) community to identify opportunities to pursue following the UK’s departure from EASA.
  • The UK Civil Aviation Authority is the UK’s aviation regulator. We work so that the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards and consumers have choice, value for money, are protected and treated fairly when they fly.
  • Responses to these consultations should be submitted via our online consultation website: aeroplanes and microlights, sailplanes, helicopters, gyroplanes and balloons and airships.