With the UK’s departure from EASA imminent BGS customers need to choose whether they wish the remainder of their training to be conducted under UK CAA Approvals or EASA Approvals. In order to facilitate the latter a separate Approved Training Organisation (ATO) called Bristol Groundschool Europe (BGS Europe) has been set up and is already approved by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). Whichever ATO you choose, in terms of the location of training and training delivery nothing will change, the courses will be identical – only the Approval changes.
For some candidates the choice is simple. UK Military pilots training with ELCAS funding are required to continue with UK CAA Approval and take their exams in the UK. Many other candidates will have already decided to go for a UK licence and will either have done all their exams so far under the UK CAA or will have completed some under Austro and will complete the remainder with the UK CAA from January. They too should stay with the UK CAA Approval.
Candidates who have already transferred their State Of Licence Issue (SOLI) to another EASA State will be taking exams outside the UK CAA, probably with Austro control. These candidates should choose to transfer their training records to BGS Europe so that EASA Approved training can continue uninterrupted. EASA will not allow a transfer from a UK ATO to an EASA ATO after exit day, so the end of December is a deadline for this option.
There will be some candidates who have applied to transfer their SOLI late and do not know yet whether the SOLI transfer will be accepted. For these candidates we would also recommend choosing to transfer to BGS Europe because, even if their transfer fails, the UK CAA have said they will recognise training completed at EASA Approved ATOs for ‘up to two years’. On that basis we would expect to be able to transfer candidates back to UK Approval if it transpires in January or February that the candidates’ SOLI transfer has not been successful.
You should be aware that the UK CAA position on what they will and will not accept post-Brexit appears a bit arbitrary. The legislation says:
..any other licence, certificate or approval issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency or by the national competent authority of an EEA state which continues to be in force or effective on or after exit day by virtue of Part 3 of Schedule 8 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, is:
(a) to continue to be in force or effective on and after exit day for the remainder of its validity period up to a maximum of 2 years (subject to any earlier suspension or cancellation by the CAA); and
(b) to be treated as if it were issued by the CAA.
On that basis the CAA say in their webinars that they will accept training conducted at an EASA ATO (such as BGS Europe or Bartolini) after December because it is based on an approval that is already in force on exit day. On the other hand, they say they will not accept Austro exam passes made after exit day because the Austro Control authority to conduct exams delegated from EASA is not a ‘licence, certificate or approval’.
If you choose to transfer your training records to BGS Europe the transfer will take place the day before exit day. From that point onwards your exam sign-offs will come from BGS Europe, everything is the same but the name on the form changes.
It is possible that some candidates will not reply to the emails being sent out. In those cases we will identify UK military ELCAS cases and keep them with the UK Approval, all other candidates will be transferred to BGS Europe following the argument above, that they can always be transferred back to UK Approval if that is what they so wish, but not the other way.
Please also see our Brexit Frequently Asked Questions page
Bristol Groundschool students – If you have any further questions please email email@example.com