The CAA has confirmed that the EASA requirement for all Registered Training Facilities (RTFs) providing private pilot training, to become Approved Training Organisations (ATOs), will be postponed.

The Aircrew Regulation requires all pilot training leading to an EASA flight crew licence, to take place from an ATO. Implementation of the requirement for RTFs will now be deferred to April 2018, following a decision made on 9 October 2014 by the European regulator.

Under the original timeframe, RTFs had to become ATOs by April 2015, as part of a package of Europe-wide changes to the flight crew training industry. Following representations from many in the general aviation community, the CAA has worked with EASA to extend the transition deadline in order to permit work to be carried out to produce a more proportionate alternative set of European rules for private pilot training.

This decision, which acknowledges the difficulties some training schools have faced in meeting the original deadline, will enable schools to continue instructing students for the award of EASA private pilot licences until April 2018, while a more proportionate system is developed and put in place. The CAA will continue to work with EASA and members of the UK and European GA communities to develop alternative options, with the ultimate aim of providing a high quality pilot training structure.

Tony Rapson Head of the CAA’s General Aviation Unit said “This postponement is not only important in itself, but is also clear evidence of EASA starting to deliver on its commitment for ‘Simpler, Lighter, Better Rules for General Aviation.”

The CAA said it supports EASA in its development work and remains committed to making sure the transition process from RTF to ATO contains the minimum of regulatory burden.

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