The CAA is encouraging pilots who hold a UK CAA ‘National’ (non-JAR/Part-FCL) licence flying ‘EASA aircraft’ – such as Piper PA-28s and Cessna 172s – to convert it to an equivalent EASA licence by 8 April 2014.

Although the final conversion date for National non-JAR licences for commercial and private pilots is April 2015, EU regulations will mean that pilots not in possession of a European licence by April this year will face certain restrictions.

During the period from 8 April 2014 to 8 April 2015, holders of National PPL, CPL and ATPL licences will be restricted when operating an EASA aircraft to the privileges of the new European Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL).

This means the licence privileges are restricted to:

• private VFR operations

• flying single engine aircraft of 2,000 kg MTOM or less

• a maximum of three passengers

• flying without instrument or instructor / examiner privileges

National licence privileges may be restored upon completion of the conversion process to a Part-FCL licence. An IMC Rating can be restored on the new EASA PPL(A), CPL(A) or ATPL(A) as an Instrument Rating (Restricted) IR(R). The IR(R) cannot be included in a LAPL(A). Pilots wishing to keep IMC Rating privileges must hold a PPL(A) or higher licence.

Pilots flying EASA aircraft with valid JAR licences issued after January 2000, and pilots flying National Annex 2 aircraft (e.g. microlights, amateur-builts, vintage aircraft, and gyroplanes) using either a CAA Licence or an NPPL are not affected. National licences will remain valid indefinitely for non-EASA aircraft, and JAR licences have the same privileges as the equivalent Part-FCL licence. JAR-FCL licences must be converted to the Part-FCL format on the five-year expiry or when next submitted to the CAA for an amendment e.g. to add or revalidate a rating.

For more information, see the CAA’s information notice.

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