I am a British citizen. Should I aim for an EASA or UK CAA CPL/IR?
Few British citizens have the right to live and work in the EU, so even if you obtain an EASA CPL/IR it is unlikely that you will be able to gain employment with an EU-based airline. Therefore, an EASA licence may be of no use to you. Whereas it appeared earlier in the BREXIT process that conversion on an EASA license to a UK CAA licence would be straightforward, currently there is a mechanism for doing so only for EASA licenses issued prior to 31st December 2020. It follows that you may be better aiming for a UK CAA CPL/IR.
I am aiming for a UK CAA CPL/IR. Do I have to train in the UK?
The UK CAA have said that they will recognise training delivered by EASA ATOs up until 31st December 2022 for the purposes of issue of a UK CAA licence as long as that ATO’s approval certificate was issued prior to 31st December 2020. So, for example, if you transferred from Bristol Groundschool (UK) to Bristol Groundschool (Europe) before 31st December 2020 and subsequently decide that you want a UK CAA licence, there is no need to transfer back if you complete your theory training by 31st December 2022.
Similarly, you could do your CPL/IR training with a school like Diamond Flight Academy in Sweden before 31st December 2022.
There are caveats to this advice:
- Any theory exams taken after 31st December 2020 must be examined by the UK CAA, who will recognise EASA theory exams taken prior to 31st December 2020.
- Any flight tests taken after 31st December 2020 must be conducted by a Flight Examiner authorised by the UK CAA; schools such as Diamond Flight Academy do have such arrangements in place, but you should reassure yourself that they will continue to do so before selecting an ATO for your training.
- The arrangements after 31st December 2022 are currently unclear; if your training is likely to continue after this date you should reassure yourself that the training you are offered will be accepted for the purposes of issue of a UK CAA licence.
- If the ATO uses Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs) to deliver any part of the training, they must be approved by the UK CAA; existing EASA certificates valid on 31st December 2020 will be accepted by the UK CAA but, when they expire, a UK CAA approval will be required. You should therefore reassure yourself that the FSTDs have appropriate approval.
I missed the opportunity to transfer my SOLI from the UK to another EASA member state. What can I do?
The initial SOLI is the state which does your initial EASA medical. If that was the UK, at midnight on 31st December 2020 you ceased to have an EASA medical or an EASA SOLI, so may apply to any EASA member state to conduct an initial Class 1 or 2 medical; that state will become your EASA SOLI.
I’m sitting EASA theory exams with Austro Control but UK CAA was my EASA SOLI, what do I need to do?
See answer to above answer.
I have already started my training; how does BREXIT affect me?
If you have already started training and are aiming for an EASA licence you must complete your training with an EASA-approved ATO. That could be a UK ATO if it has direct EASA approvals (e.g. Wings Alliance) or if it has established a presence in an EU country and gained approval from that country’s EASA regulator (e.g. Bristol Groundschool).
Can a UK CAA PPL holder continue with Austro and achieve an EASA licence?
The pre-requisite to commence EASA CPL or ATPL theory training is an ICAO issued PPL licence; there is no need to transfer the licence to EASA. A UK National full PPL or a UK issued EASA PPL issued before 31st December 2020 is an ICAO PPL. It follows that if you hold one of these licences you may do your theory training with an EASA Approved ATO like Bristol Groundschool Europe Ltd and exams with Austro Control or another EASA regulator.
I have a UK PPL and Class 2 and have not taken any exams yet. What should I do?
You have 2 choices:
- Stay with the UK CAA approval, take UK CAA exams, get a UK issued licence.
- Leave your PPL in the UK. Get an EASA Class 1 medical from the EASA State you wish to be your SOLI. Take EASA exams, take flight tests at an EASA approved ATO, get an EASA licence issued.