LONDON – Brexit has brought a lot of extra baggage – including the need for commercial pilots to retake exams in order to still operate European-registered aircraft.
Although some agreements have stayed the same between the UK and the European Union, the agreement regarding licenses for UK-based pilots has drastically changed.
According to information published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Christmas Eve last year saw the announcement that the European Commission reached an agreement with the United Kingdom that they will cease “taking part in the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and other EU institutions”, a week before the agreement took effect.
Outlined on the EASA website, after Brexit, which took place back in January, “holders of Part-FCL (Flight Crew Licencing) license previously issued by the UK CAA but under EASA cannot be longer considered holders of a Part-FCL license issued in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 subject to mutual recognition within the EASA Member States. Such licenses are considered as third-country licenses in the EU after that date.”
In simple terms, the licenses that UK- based pilots held for years are no longer recognized by EASA, so, therefore, cannot fly aircraft classified as EASA. Before the UK made the decision to leave the EU, UK-based Pilots could freely fly throughout Europe with their EASA-recognised license, with Part-FCL being the main piece of European legislation.
The CAA also stated on their commercial pilot info page that “to continue operating EU-registered aircraft, you may seek a license validation from any of the EASA Competent Authorities under the requirements of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/723, which would be valid for aircraft registered in any EASA Member State.” Alternatively, they said conversion of Pilots’ UK licenses can be made.