The EASA Flight Crew Licensing (FCL) rules for sailplane pilots have been reviewed and, as a result, revised and simpler EASA ‘Sailplane FCL (SFCL) rules will be available from April 2020. The SFCL rules include a number of helpful simplifications compared to the existing FCL sailplane licensing rules. For example, among other simplifications there is a single licence – described as the Sailplane Pilots Licence (SPL) – which can be used with either an ICAO compliant class 2 medical certificate or in the EU and UK, a LAPL medical certificate, and the flight instructor certificate is non-expiring, subject to rolling recency requirements.
In the UK;
Pilots of EASA sailplanes, including powered sailplanes, can carry on operating under BGA pilot certification and pilots of EASA self-launching sailplanes and TMGs can carry on using a national SLMG class rating until April 2021
All gliding instructing at BGA clubs continues under BGA requirements until April 2021 – therefore all gliding instructors must hold a valid BGA instructor rating.
Meanwhile, the BGA intends to support those pilots who choose to hold an EASA sailplane pilots licence. To do so,
– we will continue to provide a licence conversion service (modified in April 20 to recognise the changes brought about by the new SFCL rules)
– we aim to maintain a core of EASA qualified examiners, who in turn can support instructors and pilots
Training for an EASA sailplane licence has to take place under Declared Training Organisation (DTO) requirements. Put simply, the DTO rules formalise the pilot training processes that currently take place. The BGA is a DTO and has declared a number of courses (syllabus, etc) that support sailplane licence holders who need to add privileges to their licence. As the DTO requirement grows ahead of April 2021, the BGA will be supporting wider uptake of DTO requirements among member clubs, including the supply of CAA-approved syllabii and advice on making any necessary changes to the club training processes.