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UK NPPL - what will happen after April 2018?

It will cease to be usable for EASA aircraft i.e. basically certified aircraft.

How many NPPL holders are there? This from 2015 says 619 but these hold a CAA medical. This from 2006 shows 852 and probably that has the same condition. One press release by the LAA indicated that 2/3 of NPPL holders were on the self declaration, which would make the total of the order of 2k pilots.

Most of these won’t be homebuilt / annex 2 / etc so they will be grounded.

The UK CAA could easily continue the NPPL for certified aircraft. I would be really surprised if they will let Brussels kill it, especially with Brexit coming along. Why does EASA care what happens inside UK airspace, non-EU? I guess it will all go into the bargaining pot.

What about a grandfathering into the LAPL, perhaps with UK-only privileges unless a Class 2 medical is obtained. The NPPL is supposed to be good for France too (from some old text on the LAA website) but only if the holder holds a full medical.

Actually the same Q might apply to the UK National PPL for EASA aircraft… not sure. If it does, I will change the title of the thread.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Well for some bits its easy as I assume the NPPL (microlight) will contiune on as before.

As for some of the rest well I’m sure they must be stuff being worked on this in the background and I would be very surprised that the 2018 date doesn’t slip. Also it doesn’t appear to be that well thought out. So post 2018 I can still tain someone in a Cessna to add an SSEA rating to an NPPL (microlight or SLMG) but then they can’t fly that said aircraft.

The other bit that sounds a bit daft is the part where NPPL (SSEA) issued before a certain date can do a paperwork excercise to convert to a LAPL but those after a certain date can’t. To me its either safe or it isn’t.

I bet the date will slip.

I understand that the UK has “used up” all the available derogation time available on this particular extension, and that a further postponement is not possible.

I certainly hope though, that a further postponement is possible, or preferably that they should scrap the whole idea that a perfectly valid full ICAO licence (legacy UKPPL) should not be recognised in Europe even though it is perfectly valid throughout the rest of the world.

Egnm, United Kingdom

The problem is that the NPPL has proved to be the saviour of many who cannot get the Class 2 medical, while the UK National PPL cannot be applied for unless you have a current and valid Class 1 or 2 medical (thread here). Accordingly, most NPPL holders cannot transition to the National (ICAO) PPL.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I’m not sure whether a full UK National ICAO CAA PPL is still available for brand new applications. I’m not aware of any training syllabus for it, and assumed it was a legacy licence only. However, it can certainly be used with a CAA medical declaration for use within the UK only on annex2 aircraft, and also on EASA aircraft until next April.

Egnm, United Kingdom

I’ve had two students who both wanted to get a UK PPL. They both had varius issues and a UK PPL would have been ideal.

Both contacted the CAA who couldn’t understand why an earth anyone would want ti hold a UK PPL. The outcome was that legally they are able to issue one but its against their policy and so they wont.

That’s interesting because I know an EASA PPL holder, flying on the NPPL + medical declaration, who was able to get one (cheap too, at £35, compared with £150 for the NPPL) but since he needed a Class 2 medical for the initial application, he could not get it after all.

They both had varius issues and a UK PPL would have been ideal.

I wonder what the issues were. Apart from any ability to use the medical self declaration, is there any advantage in the old UK PPL?

And, apart from any ability to use the medical self declaration, is there any use in the NPPL? Any training syllabus reduction is a fallacy anyway because you need to know certain stuff to fly safely and usefully. It’s like the LAPL where I believe most potential customers came to the same conclusion hence almost nobody is doing it, and without a medical advantage, it is a chocolate teapot.

I would still be amazed if the CAA screws some 2k pilots in April 2018. Most of the holders are flying certified aircraft…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

A subject I ought to avoid due to the effect if has on my blood pressure.

My first licence was the CAA ICAO compliant PPL. But I lost the Class 2 medical in 2003 following a minor cardiac event and did not care to jump through one of the hoops necessary to get it back. So I dropped onto a NPPL, which I thought would see me out. Then EASA arrived to complicate matters and since my aeroplane is an EASA type, (another bugbear) I needed something else and in 2013 I got a LAPL, retaining the NPPL to run concurrently.

But here’s the thing. I live in the north of Scotland so I’m not channel hopping every second weekend for a café and a crêpe. I know how to fly, I’ve done the training and passed the exams so why the heck should EASA or the CAA care what licence I fly with in UK airspace as long as I have a licence? It’s a situation that has arisen only because EASA chose to enclose my aircraft 50+ year old type within it’s notional boundary. That the French (cited solely because they are at the other side of the shortest channel crossing) might take a dim view of a self declaration NPPL I fully accept but how is it not possible for the CAA to say that within UK airspace, a single engine light aircraft satisfying certain technical parameters of weight, No. of seats etc, can be flown by anyone with ANY appropriate PPL, UK, ICAO, JAR, EASA, FAA, whatever? Where is the proportionate safety case for any restriction?

So I hope that the moving April goalpost, presently standing at 2018, continues to move, though really I’d like the CAA to dig up and burn the goalpost.

I couldn’t agree more with the above sentiments but whilst the CAA have produced a great initiative with the new medical declaration, we are legally hamstrung by the infernal EASA club rules. The CAA have stated that they are actively trying to get EASA to accept a medical self declaration for use with EASA licences, (or at least National CAA licences on EASA aircraft after April next year) but apparently, whilst EASA has not dismissed the idea, it is being blocked in comitology by certain member states.

As I understand it, as long as the UK is an EASA member we currently have no extension time left for a further derogation on the use of a UK licence and self declaration on EASA aircraft after April next year. If EASA ultimately wanted a common European licence, then in my view that should have been confined to new issues only, and all previously existing state National ICAO licences should have been grandfathered until such time as the holders naturally died off. This was after all the situation with JAR.

Last Edited by flybymike at 08 Jun 10:26
Egnm, United Kingdom

It’s like the LAPL where I believe most potential customers came to the same conclusion hence almost nobody is doing it, and without a medical advantage, it is a chocolate teapot.

For senior citizens who are aeroplane pilots there is a small advantage in that the LAPL medical is valid for two years, but “no IFR” is a show-stopper for many.

For coffin-dodgers in light helicopters, the LAPL is also easier to maintain, in that it does not require an annual Licence Proficiency Check with a type-rated examiner (few and far between for some types). Most light GA choppers are certified for day/night VFR only, and the LAPL restriction to 3 pax (not seats), is fine.

Glenswinton, SW Scotland, United Kingdom
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