EASA Licensing: 8 April 2012

During 2012, pilot licencing and medical rules will change as new European (EU) legislation comes into force. The introduction of EASA licences will see the biggest change in pilot licencing since the introduction of JAR licences 12 years ago. The key upcoming date is 8 April 2012, when the changeover process begins.

The CAA have published a quick reference guide that provides an overview of the effects that the changes will have. The CAA is strongly recommending all qualified and trainee pilots take the time to read the guide at the earliest opportunity.

For all information relating to the switch, go to www.caa.co.uk/eupilotlicensing.

A Quick Summary

The majority of recent licence holders will have a UK Issued JAR-FCL Licence. These licences will automatically assume the privileges of the new EASA equivalent (Part-FCL) licence from the 8 April 2012 onward.  After this date, when they are next renewed at the end of the 5 year validity period, the CAA will re-print the licence as one of the new Part-FCL licences. The new EASA licences have a lifetime validity.

Another common licence type is the UK CAA Lifetime licence (A UK Non-JAR-FCL Licence). These licences will NOT automatically assume the privileges of the new EASA Part-FCL Licence from the 8 April 2012. Instead, licence holders have between 8 April 2012 and 7 April 2014  to apply to the CAA to convert their licence to the new EASA licence. If this has not been completed by the 7 April 2014, the holder will be restricted to fly only certain aircraft types.

Finally, holders of NPPL licences will be able to continue using the licence until 7 April 2015. After this date, if you want to fly an EASA aircraft then you will need to convert to an EASA licence. At present, there is no conversion agreed that allows you to obtain an EASA LAPL or PPL based on an NPPL, although the CAA are currently negotiating on this conversion criteria which will be published once finalised.

*Please note that the above is our interpretation of the changes. Please consult official CAA / EASA publications for the most accurate and up-to-date information.