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CAA: Consultation on the simplification and rationalisation of GA pilot licences

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today (18 October 2022) proposed a simpler process to gain a pilot licence and training for the General Aviation community.

Draft proposals published in CAP 2335 General Aviation Pilot Licensing & Training Simplification – Phase 1: Strategic Direction; include creating a single set of Private Pilot Licences (PPL) for aeroplanes and helicopters that comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards. The consultation closes on 16 December 2022

Other draft proposals include.

  • Creating another single set of aeroplane and helicopter pilot licences that do not comply with international standards. Such ‘sub-ICAO’ licences are designed for flight in UK airspace only and subject to certain limitations but would make it easier for potential pilots to gain a licence.  
  • Better integrate the syllabuses of the sub-ICAO licences with the internationally-recognised PPL to allow holders to progress more easily from one to the other. The sub-ICAO licence could use operational limitations borrowed from the current microlight aeroplane community and allow ways for holders to progressively remove those limitations as well as the sub-ICAO status. 
  • Develop an approach for sailplanes and balloons, including a licence for commercial passenger-carrying ballooning operations, which are a significant element of UK ballooning. 
  • Develop how existing licences are maintained and kept valid under any new system the CAA creates, while minimising undue disruption and costs on users, flying schools and ourselves. 

A working group has been established with key General Aviation community experts including GA associations as well as flying instructors and PPL students.

Michael MacDonald, Co-Head of the CAA’s General Aviation & RPAS Unit said:

“This project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to simplify, rationalise and re-examine the GA licence regime.

“We’ve worked closely with and listened to the GA community and thank them for their continued involvement. We also want to continue to hear their views so that we get this right. We would encourage everyone with an interest in GA to get involved and participate in this consultation.

“This project will take some time to work through, and we anticipate the need to have a series of consultations and we hope this will help make the licensing and training process simpler for all flyers."

A collaborative approach was taken to ensure we fairly reflected views from the wider GA community. We 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.

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