8 April 2018 - Don't get caught out by the pilot licence deadline
Rally 2015

To fly any EASA certified aircraft after 8 April 2018 pilots will need to hold an EASA licence. EASA certified aircraft include most popular light aeroplanes and helicopters, such as PA28s, C172s and R22s. 

There are two exceptions: 

  • National licences for microlights and gyroplanes do not have an equivalent EASA licence to convert too.
  • EASA Balloon and Sailplane licensing is subject to delays in the drafting of the relevant legislation, so the UK will issue a short-term exemption for pilots of these categories, permitting the continued use of the current national licensing requirements for these categories of aircraft.

Pilots who do not hold an EASA aeroplane or helicopter licence by 8 April 2018 will only be able to fly UK registered (G) Annex II (non-EASA) aircraft within the privileges of their national licence.

Do you need to convert your existing pilot licence to an EASA equivalent?

If you already hold an EASA licence and have converted any relevant ratings, or you only intend to fly ‘Annex II’ aircraft (microlights, kit-built, vintage or ex-military) within the UK, then you do not need to take any action.

National Ratings

If pilots wish to exercise aerobatic and towing privileges in an EASA certified aircraft, they will also need to hold the appropriate ratings on their EASA licence. To take advantage of the CAA conversion terms in order to apply for the rating as detailed, pilots must have been exercising these privileges on their National or JAR licence before 8 April 2018.

NPPL holders

The CAA conversion terms will also allow for pilots with NPPL (SSEA) or NPPL (SLMG) to convert to an EASA LAPL(A) with SEP or TMG, whichever is applicable. Alternatingly, if they have met the LAPL(A) requirements, they can then undertake further PPL flight training and a skill test and then apply for the issue of a Part FCL PPL(A).
To take advantage of these conversion terms the NPPL SSEA/SLMG must have been issued by the CAA on or before 7 April 2018. Please ensure that you allow sufficient time for your application to be processed.


Applications and/or recommendations from the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) must be received by the CAA no later than 22 March 2018, to allow the CAA sufficient time to assess and issue the licence within the published code of practice timescale. 


The CAA strongly recommends that pilots who do need to obtain an EASA licence allow sufficient time for their application to be assessed and processed before the deadline in order to continue exercising privileges. Applications submitted close to the deadline will not be fast-tracked.

Additionally, if we receive an incomplete application or recommendation, or require additional documentation or information, we cannot guarantee we will be able to issue the licence before the deadline.

Further information

Please contact fclweb@caa.co.uk or reply to this email if you have any questions.