The implications of Brexit on flight training in the United Kingdon (UK)

Pilot training and licensing post Brexit - Q&A

Pilot training and licensing post Brexit; what’s changed and what does it mean for aspiring aviators wanting to take the first step towards a career on the flight deck? Our Head of Airline Training, Philip Morritt joined us for a Q&A session and here’s what he told us.

What are the implications of Brexit on flight training in the UK?

A a result of Brexit, the United Kingdom (UK) ceased to be a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 31st December 2020.

Will ACS Flight Training Continue to hold an EASA approval?

The ACS Flight Training Academy continue to hold an European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), this means that we can offer cadets training towards both a U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) licence and an EASA licence.

What will happen with my EASA Private Pilots Licence (PPL)?

Your EASA PPL reverted to a UK PPL on the 1st January 2021.

What will be the privileges of a Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL)?

Holders of the LAPL are no longer able to pilot flights into Europe because it will become a UK National licence with UK-only privileges unless the EU agrees to recognise it.

Does the ACS Flight Training Academy have the facilities to complete an EASA PPL written exam?

Not at this stage, we are working closely on a solution with EASA.

Since the UK officially left the EU on 1 January 2021 what has changed at ACS Flight Training Academy in regards to pilot training and what license are cadets issued on graduation?

At ACS Flight Training Academy we still offer Modular training courses to help cadets achieve their Air Transport Pilot License (ATPL). On successful completion of an ATPL course cadets will graduate with a ‘frozen’ ATPL the minimum requirement to apply for airline jobs and begin your pilot career.
Brexit Impact on Flight Training

So post Brexit, what National Aviation Authority (NAA) issues an ACS Flight Training ATPL?

At ACS Flight Training we offer cadets a choice. Our Fast Track training course offers the choice to train for a UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or European Union Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) issued ATPL. Cadets must decide which license to train for before commencing training. On successful completion of our Essential or Standard EASA ATPL the license will be issued by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). It is also worth noting our CAA and EASA licenses are fully recognised by, and compliant with, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations - ICAO is responsible for Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) for the aviation industry globally.

What are the implications of these changes on medicals?

When applying for a pilot license the country issuing the license must also hold the pilot’s medical records. For example, if you wanted to apply for an EASA license issued by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) that same authority must hold your Class 1 Medical. If a pilot holds a CAA license they must pass a UK Class 1 Medical. You cannot have your medical records held by the CAA and get an EASA licence or vice versa.

Does the license issue determine what airline a pilot can fly for?

To fly for a UK registered airline, such as British Airways, a pilot must hold a CAA licence. To fly for an EU member state airline, such as Ryanair, a pilot will need an EASA licence. The EASA license does not necessarily need to be issued by the same member state where the airline is registered as some EU airlines accept any EASA licence. Before deciding which license to train for a pilot must consider where they have the right to live and work. This is particularly important for UK nationals/residents since 1 January 2021 now the UK is no longer an EU Member State.

Is it possible to transfer an ATPL pilot license? And what is the process?

Yes, it is possible to transfer a license. When transferring between EASA member states pilots must complete a State Of Licence Issue (SOLI) transfer. This can be a simple process as EU member states recognise each others EASA issued license – it usually involves completing a transfer form and paying a fee. Prior to Brexit the UK was a member state of the EU therefore the CAA was part of EASA and would follow the process as described above. However, post Brexit If pilots want to transfer a CAA licence to an EASA licence or vice versa it will involve a conversion of your licence, which may include additional requirements being met depending on the member state being transferred to.
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