European pilot licences – EC flexes on start date

European pilot licences – EC flexes on start date

16-Sep-2011 Source: CAA

National aviation authorities across the European Union are to be given more time to prepare to issue new Europe-wide pilot licenses (subject to the agreement of the European Parliament). As a result, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) now intends to begin issuing the new licences and medical certificates from 1 July 2012.

The European Commission has agreed with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Member States to propose a short deferment to the European Parliament. The original implementation date was 8 April 2012.

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 licences 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 licences. This is because EASA does not regulate these categories of aircraft.

In many cases the transition will be automatic, as existing JAR-FCL licences will become EASA Part-FCL licences on 8 April 2012. JAR-FCL licences issued in the UK up until 1 July will also be deemed to be Part-FCL licences. Pilots with JAR-FCL licences will not receive a new EASA Part-FCL licence until they submit their JAR licence for renewal or amendment after 1 July 2012. Holders of non-JAR, national licences will have to obtain EASA licences within specified transitional periods; (by 8th April 2014 for any flight for commercial purposes). The new EASA licences will be valid for the owner’s lifetime. Pilots whose licences expire before 1 July 2012 will still need to renew as currently.

Similarly, existing JAR medical certificates will become EASA medical certificates on 8 April 2012 and from 1 July 2012 EASA medical certificates will be issued by UK AMEs when pilots attend for initial, revalidation or renewal medical assessments.

Ray Elgy, Head of the CAA’s Licensing and Training Standards, said: “Preparing for the transition from national to EASA licences is an extremely challenging and complicated process for the CAA. The Commission has recognised that allowing the CAA more time will help to ensure the transition runs more smoothly for UK pilots.”

Pilots are advised to read closely the detailed information on the CAA website

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