New UK Pilot License Start Date Postponed


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New UK Pilot License Start Date Postponed

By Shane Nolan

May 25, 2012 - The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that the introduction of new EASA pilots’ licenses in the UK has been delayed until September 17, 2012.

The CAA said that due to the complexity of the transition to the new license format, and changes to the associated requirements and infrastructure, the original 1 July 2012 date was not achievable.  

The deadlines, by which national commercial and private licenses must be converted to EASA licenses which are fixed in European legislation, remain as April 2014 and April 2015, respectively.  

The CAA estimates that over 20,000 national licenses will have to be converted during the period this is in addition to the JAR licenses that will have to be replaced with EASA licenses on expiry or amendment. 

Ray Elgy, Head of Licensing and Training Standards at the CAA, said: “We apologize for any inconvenience caused to pilots and organizations that were making plans based on the 1 July date, but we ask them to stick with us while we get this job done properly. It is disappointing that the timetable has moved in this way. However, it is vital that this transition is done correctly.

“The UK will still be one of the very first countries to introduce the new licensing regime and the extended period of transition allows flexibility for many operators and individuals to choose when to convert.” 

The implementation of new rules for pilot licensing (including medical certification) across the EU is part of a process that has already seen EASA take responsibility for other areas of aviation policy, such as flight operations and airworthiness.  

Most UK pilots, private and commercial, will be affected by the switchover and will have to obtain new EASA licenses to continue to fly aircraft that have EASA airworthiness certificates. However, some pilots, such as those who fly microlights, ex-military and kit built aircraft, will be able to continue to use their existing licenses. This is because EASA does not regulate these categories of aircraft. The new EASA licenses will be valid for the owner’s lifetime.
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