Following the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January, a transition period will apply until 31 December 2020. During this period, the UK and the aviation sector will continue to follow EU law and to participate in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) system. As a result, businesses and individuals operating in the UK should see no change to existing conditions during the transition period, while the longer-term UK-EU relationship on aviation is determined. Please see the homepage for further details.

A fuller outline of the position as the UK enters the transition period is available here.

While the respective positions outlined in the UK Government and EU negotiating mandates indicate what both sides want in terms of future agreements on air transport and aviation safety and security, the conditions that will exist after the end of the transition period are still uncertain.


As the UK-EU negotiations move forward and more information becomes available, the CAA will update these FAQs and notify stakeholders of the updates through the SkyWise alert system. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to the EU exit category in the SkyWise system: skywise.caa.co.uk

On the basis that the UK’s membership of the EASA system ceases at the end of the transition period and if there is no mutual recognition of safety certificates between the UK and European systems, private pilots might need to take action to ensure continued authority to fly. Actions required would depend on individual circumstances and are a matter for each business and individual to consider. This page sets out what you need to consider to prepare for such an eventuality.

UK-ISSUED PRIVATE PILOT LICENCES

Would I be able to continue operating UK-registered aircraft?

Yes, as a signatory state to the Chicago Convention, UK private pilot licences would continue to be legally valid for the operation of UK-registered aircraft. The CAA will continue to issue and reissue pilots' licences when they are lost, damaged, when details need to be changed or pilots' privileges updated as we do now. Over time, this would include removing references to EASA.

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Would I be able to continue operating EU-registered aircraft?

On the basis that the UK’s membership of the EASA system ceases at the end of the transition period and if there is no mutual recognition of safety certificates between the UK and European systems, the use of a UK Part-FCL for operating aircraft on the register of an EASA Member State would end at the end of the transition period.

To continue operating EU-registered aircraft in the event of such an outcome, you could seek a licence validation from any EASA Competent Authority, which would be valid for aircraft registered in any EASA member state. The European Commission has previously said you cannot seek this until after the UK is no longer an EASA participant.

Alternatively, you could undertake a State of Licence Issue transfer before the end of the transition period. This means completing the transfer of your licence and medical from the UK to another EASA member state by December 31, 2020.

Further guidance on State of Licence Issue transfers

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Would I be able to fly my UK-registered aircraft to Europe?

Yes, as a signatory state to the Chicago Convention, UK private pilot licences would continue to be legally valid for the operation of UK-registered aircraft.

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Would UK pilots’ medicals remain valid?

On the basis that the UK’s membership of the EASA system ceases at the end of the transition period and if there is no mutual recognition of safety certificates between the UK and European systems, medical certificates issued before the end of the transition period would remain valid, even if issued by a non-UK EASA Aeromedical Examiner (AME) or Aeromedical Centre (AeMC).

At the first medical after the end of the transition period and thereafter, medicals would have to be issued by UK AMEs and Aeromedical Centres, both would retain their permissions and approvals under UK law. No action required.

For UK pilot licences, existing medical certificates would retain validity and UK AMEs and Aeromedical Centres would retain their permissions and approvals under UK law. No action required.

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I have a licence application currently in progress with the CAA. Will I receive an EASA Part-FCL or a UK Part-FCL?

The CAA will continue to process your application and you will be issued with an EASA Part FCL or a UK Part FCL licence, depending on when your licence is issued. If the licence is issued prior to the end of the transition period, it will be issued in an EASA Part FCL formatted licence. If the licence is issued after the end of the transition period it will be issued as a UK Part FCL formatted licence.  Both licences are fully ICAO-compliant and valid for operating UK-registered aircraft.

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Once the CAA has completed transfer of my records to my new EASA member state, what happens to my old UK licence?

Once you have been advised by your new NAA that your new Part FCL is ready, you are required to collect it and to surrender your old UK licence to your new NAA. It is not permitted to hold two Part FCL licences from different EASA member states. Applicants are therefore advised to complete the transfer process and surrender their old UK Part FCL at the earliest practical opportunity once they have been informed that their transferred licence is ready.  It should be noted that retaining the UK-issued licence and medical documentation does not stop the transfer process.

In cases of excessive delay in surrendering a UK Part FCL, the CAA may be obliged to revoke the un-surrendered UK Part FCL and void its associated privileges to ensure the continuing integrity of EASA’s system of oversight and provide clarity for aircrew of their current Competent Authority.

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What if I wish to submit variation requests to my new NAA or advise of changes to my medical or professional status?

The CAA retains responsibility for oversight of your medical and professional records until your medical records are transferred to your new NAA. The CAA will advise you by SMS message when this occurs. At this point, responsibility for oversight of your professional and medical fitness to operate will move to your new NAA as your new Competent Authority and it becomes your responsibility to inform them of any changes to your status. Variation requests, if necessary, should also be forwarded to your new NAA. However, applicants are advised to minimise such requests as far as possible as they might delay the transfer process.

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EU-ISSUED PART-FCL PRIVATE PILOT LICENCES

Would I be able to continue operating UK-registered aircraft?

On the basis that the UK’s membership of the EASA system ceases at the end of the transition period and if there is no mutual recognition of safety certificates between the UK and European systems, you would require a validation from the UK CAA. to continue operating UK-registered aircraft.

On the day this scenario came into effect, the CAA would publish on its website a general validation document for all EASA licence holders required to operate UK-registered aircraft. Individuals who hold an EASA licence at that point would be able to download the document.  Additional details would be provided on this microsite closer to the date.

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Can I seek a validation after the end of the transition period?

If UK participation in EASA ended without mutual recognition of certificates and licences, then on that day the CAA would publish on its website a general validation document for all EASA licence holders, required to operate UK-registered aircraft.  Additional details will be provided on this microsite closer to the date.

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NON-EU/UK PRIVATE PILOT LICENCES

I have a UK-validation on my third country licence. Would I still be able to operate EU-registered aircraft?

On the basis that the UK’s membership of the EASA system ceases at the end of the transition period and if there is no mutual recognition of safety certificates between the UK and European systems, you would only be able to operate UK-registered aircraft with your validation. You would need to seek validation from an EASA member state to continue operating EU-registered aircraft.

You cannot currently seek this validation until after the end of the transition period. You are advised to contact EASA or the relevant NAA as soon as possible to discuss the application process required in this circumstance.

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I have validation on my third country licence issued by another EASA member state. Would I still be able to operate UK-registered aircraft?

On the basis that the UK’s membership of the EASA system ceases at the end of the transition period and if there is no mutual recognition of safety certificates between the UK and European systems, you would only be able to operate UK-registered aircraft in UK airspace with your EASA validation for a period of up to two years. You would need to seek validation from the UK CAA to continue operating UK-registered aircraft outside UK airspace and after the two-year period. More information about how you can seek a validation will be made available.

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